On Family and Football

by Jerome's Friend

Intentionally I have not been fully transparent about my personal life when writing, but this post is a little different. Last September my wife Liz gave birth to our first child, our son James. He’s eight months old today and a porker, a chunker, a pooper, a stinker, a laugher, a cuddler, and the most incredibly striking thing I have ever seen. I mention this because I decided when he was three months-old to start writing. As you might imagine Liz was not too thrilled about it. But I guess I have a way with words…

Unknown when I started Philly’s Inferno was the community I was about to enter. There are others out there, those who enjoy writing and are passionate about the subject matter. It’s a sub-culture of Eagles Nation bloggers and tweeters and intelligent social fandom I never knew existed. And damn, they’re good. I’m not sure if my passion has shown through quite as much, or as well, but it’s something for which I will continue to strive.

This post is my 51st since my journey started in December. That number still baffles me. What’s even more baffling is the thousands of times people have read what I wrote. Thousands… I’m so humbled by that. They read my Eagles’ opinions, my statistical analysis, and my simulations. I have learned from them about football, about writing, and writing has taught me much about myself. Thank you everyone, for your comments, your insight… Thank you all for reading. But there are only two readers who really matter.

Liz has supported me through all of this even though it takes time away from being with her and James (I write this now as she sleeps next to me). She enjoys seeing me challenge myself. I have fallen in love with her even more because of it; she is a beautiful woman growing more beautiful daily. In that regard, author Daniel Pink is right. It’s really amazing what you can accomplish when you are properly motivated. It’s not always about the money or the notoriety, but rather the self-fulfillment. It’s why we have Wikipedia. So Liz, thank you so much. What you saw in me that night in Sea Isle, I still don’t know. But I’m glad you saw it.

Also when writing, I often think about James. I think about how when I am gone, when he is no longer a chunker, a pooper, or a stinker (but still a laugher and a cuddler), he will have this. These posts are time capsules, snapshots in time. They are the little pen marks on the door jamb showing how much I have grown. And maybe, one day, hope upon high hope, his pen marks will be greater.

I recently changed jobs and my former boss gave me a plaque as a going away gift. It’s made of wood, hand-painted blue, with a picture of a dog standing on its hind-legs trying to sniff a butterfly perched on a window sill. The caption reads “Always stay curious.” If there is any caption to my life, it is that. So I will continue to write. The passion that Liz and James, my parents, my sister, my friends have grown in me, I will try to impart on this screen. Because that butterfly is always there. And I need to know where it’s going next.

I hope there are some who will follow me. One of these days, it will lead to the Super Bowl. I’m sure of it.