On the TunneySide of Sports December 25, 2017 #672 Up next…And a Merry Christmas!
After further review…To all who are reading this “TunneySide of Sports” today, we wish you a blessed day – for this is the birthday of Jesus as Christians celebrate this day. But whatever your faith, this is a joyous time of the year. Despite the personal hardships or the struggles, we face in the world, today is a day we need to take time to give thanks.
Speaking of which, let me give a huge THANKS to YOU –the readers of this weekly column for your support. As you will note, this is column number 672. As of January 2018, this column will be 13 years old, and I have been privileged to write one every week.
While the National Football League has its difficulties on and off the field, I am proud to have been an NFL on-field official for 31 years. I met some wonderful players and coaches as well as officials during my 57-year association with the league. I was fortunate to have officiated four Super Bowl games as well as 10 championship games and 25 Monday Night Football games, which during my career was the only night game played. There are two Monday night games tonight as well as the twelve NFL games played yesterday — Christmas Eve day. That means that fourteen of the seventeen NFL crews were away from their families during that time.
Christmas is meant to be for families celebrating together, but for these 112 officials (fourteen crews of eight) they are in meetings or on a football field, instead of being with their families. It happened to me more than a few times – flying on Christmas Eve day and/or officiated on Christmas Day, or flying on Christmas Day to officiate a game on December 26th. There is nothing so difficult as to not be at home with your children when Santa arrives.
Let me dedicate this Christmas to my family that carried on those days without me — my four children, Maureen, Michael, Mark, and Janet who I have missed being with on that glorious morning. To my sisters, Joanne and Loretta, and brother Peter and their families who when we were younger would often celebrate a Christmas dinner, at our mom’s of course – but with me in an airplane or at an NFL game. Regrets, not apologies, but only wish to have been with all of you on Christmas.
Will you log-in, after you celebrate your Christmas, your feelings about Christmas with family?
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