Football keeps a mom close to her favorite sailor

Dear Son,

I know you're somewhere in the Middle East defending our country right now, but I need to get something off my chest.

It's about your mother. She'll do anything she can to stay connected to you while you navigate a billion-dollar guided missile destroyer up and down the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, out into the Arabian Sea and anywhere else the U.S. Navy needs you to be.

I understand a mom's need to do this because as much as I love you and your sister - and I love both of you more than life itself - your mother loves you 10 times more because that's just how moms are.

But, son, your mom has gone crazy for football. Specifically, she has gone nuts for your two favorite teams: The Oregon Ducks in college and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Remember when Mom used to nag us because we could watch football all day Saturday, all day Sunday and Monday night?

Remember how she used to tell us how boring football was? How all she'd do is make sarcastic comments about how big some lineman's butt was or how stupid the commentators sounded?

Do you remember how she used to threaten to blow up the TV if we watched one more game? Remember how she despised the fact all the commercials were about Viagra, beer or pickup trucks?

Remember how she used to insist we sit at the table for dinner when THE BEST GAME ALL YEAR was on the tube?

Remember the grief she gave us? I do, and I miss those days. I miss them almost as much as I miss you.

Since you deployed, she has taught your niece and nephew how to do something called "The Duck Dance." She made them Ducks T-shirts.

They made banners for the Ducks versus Seminoles game and hung them up in your sister's living room.

She bought Duck whistles and she "liked" every Ducks player she could on Facebook.

She also "liked" Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman of the Seahawks and she wants to teach Marshawn Lynch how to tell reporters to go pound sand in a foreign language.

Remember how she used to get upset when we'd shout with joy or dismay following a long run, a great catch, a bad call or a fearsome hit? Now, she screams at the television all game long.

You might be the one in the Navy, but your mother is the one who suddenly learned how to cuss like a sailor. As you know, she used to blush after saying dang, for crying out loud.

As the season wound down and it looked like the Ducks were going to compete for the college championship and the Seahawks looked primed to repeat as Super Bowl champions, she developed a few superstitions.

Superstitions like gripping my hand so tight I can feel the tiny bones in them turn to powder. Superstitions like punching me in the gut while she shouts, "Where's the flag! Where's the *&^%$ flag!"

She cried when the Ducks lost to Ohio State in the first true college championship game. I mean to tell you she bawled like a baby. She was inconsolable, beyond distraught and in no mood for any tender compassion from yours truly.

I know she was really crying for you. I know she wanted the Ducks to win because you wanted the Ducks to win and I know she wants the Seahawks to win for the same reason.

I hope they do, not only for you and for her, but also for me. As I write this, the Seahawks are down 16-0 and I've never been so happy to be working on a Sunday.

In closing, I hope you are well. I hope you are challenged and I hope you know how proud both of us are of your commitment and dedication.

Fair winds and following seas,

Dad

PS: Don't you dare tell your mother your favorite NBA team is the Portland Trail Blazers.

I'm begging you.