AVA FULL OF GRACE #7: Put Me In The Game, Coach. I’m Ready.

December 11, 2013 |  by  |  Ava Full Of Grace

Ten years ago, if you wanted to find me on a Sunday, I’d be at O’Briens Irish Pub in Santa Monica, California.  I’d ride my bike there from Marina Del Rey, wearing my Randall Cunningham jersey, donning a foam Philadelphia Eagles helmet.

I could do that.  I was in neutral territory.  LA doesn’t have a football team, so you could wear whatever jersey you wanted.

Occasionally I’d get a ‘thumbs up’ and a ‘GO IGGLES’ yell by passersby, but I also had the rogue Cowboys or Giants fans slow down, give me the finger and throw their coffee at me, trying to knock me off my bike in the process.  No big deal, it’s all good.  That’s what we do.  Nothing but love for ya, baby.

I used to wait for ‘Tim’, the pub bartender to open the place up.  On the west coast, games started at 10am and I knew that he worked until 3am the night before.  Sometimes we had to call him (yes, we had the bartenders phone number) so we didn’t miss kick-off.  Me and the Philly crew would get there to establish which game was on ‘the big TV’ and warm up our bar stools for the next few hours.

After Eagles touchdowns, you’d find me on a tabletop, flapping my wings, making loud and obnoxious screeching noises as the Jagermeister shots were passed out amongst the crowd.

But again, that was ten LONG years ago.  Here I am now.

Dad watching football with post-itsI’ve relocated back to the east coast and while I occasionally get the opportunity to go and see a game, I have two toddlers and another baby on the way, so I normally try to schedule naps (selfishly) around Sunday 1pm kick-offs, so I can try and enjoy the first half… horizontal… in silence.

The second half never goes so well anymore.

I dance along the sidelines (of my living room) yelling at the coach (the TV), telling him to ‘put me in the game’.  But anymore, I’m a bench-warmer and a human fixture to attach post-its to.  Perhaps I’m the new half-time show.  I don’t have profound nipples like Janet Jackson and can’t sing like Justin Timberlake, but I’m there, I’m here, I’m ready to be involved as much or little as I can be.

I hate to bitch about 4 hours within a week, but as a full-time stay-at-home dad (and writer on the side), I look forward to it, I pray for it, I long for it, I NEED IT.

I’m going to start embracing the fact that my daughter might actually enjoy watching the game with me.

Will I ever feel comfortable listening to her root for a ‘tight end’ or use the word ‘scoring’ in any context?  Probably not, but I can work at this.

I can try, right?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Adrian Kulp is a blogger, author, TV producer and full-time stay-at-home dad.  His first book for Penguin Publishing, a comedic parenting memoir, debuted in May of 2013.  He currently writes Dad or Alive, as well as for The Huffington Post.  He’s a member of Target’s Inner Circle and a contributor to Kids in the House.  He most recently produced ‘Modern Dads’ for A&E.



Great blog, Adrian. Your posts are awesome. "It puts the lotion in the basket" is a particular favorite. We love watching sports together as a family. Amazing what the little ones pick up and remember! When we need to know who plays for who, we just ask the kids and they're usually right. Crazy. They don't have all the crap we do taking up cranium space. It's some of the best times, though. It's going to be times like these that build our kid's character and give them the great memories. We just got a copy of a brand new book, well renewed (re-released), that I have to mention because this reminds me of it and you might like it. It's called “She Calls Me Daddy: 7 Things You Need to Know About Building a Complete Daughter,” by Robert Wolgemuth. The original book came out in the 90s, a best-seller, has been updated for today. His girls are grown up and give their own input along with their husbands who are daddies to girls.So great for helping daddies learn to lead, love and cherish. An invaluable investment. I highly recommend it!


Love it! Isn't it amazing how much changes in so little time! My hubby is a big fan of the yelling at the TV, which is fine for the day games...a little trickier for the evening games! ;)-Ashley