Liam McNeal Kensing was born at 8:48 p.m. on May 28, 2014. He’ll have much to learn about body control and his feet require a lot of work as of this writing. Still, at a hearty 9 pounds 8 ounces, I anticipate fielding phone calls from Les Miles, looking to lock up his verbal commitment for the class of 2032 any day now.
I asked my wife shortly after his birth what his name should be after finally meeting him. We deliberated between two for months, option to wait until his arrival to settle on one. Her response?
She being of more mature taste than I, she had no idea why that tickled me so much. I can see it now–he’ll be catching his own touchdown passes in no time.
OK, so maybe Liam won’t be an elite college football recruit, forced to fight off SEC coaches with the proverbial stick. Maybe he won’t play sports at all. Maybe his thing is science, or math. Maybe he’ll be a blogger.
On second thought, I might have to run interference on that one. But otherwise, I just want to see this (not so) tiny baby grow into a caring, ambitious, thoughtful and above all happy man.
Sure, I’m beyond elated to share my love of college football with him. Watching the next Kick-Six, Fumblerooskie or The Play with baby Liam on my lap was an exciting prospect throughout the pregnancy.
And even if he’s not destined to have his own signature play, I’d like to think sharing the game with my son will positively impact his life in other ways.
Perhaps it’s corny, but whether he’s a musician, engineer, doctor, educator, I want him to embrace the very core principles the most naïve football idealist would tout: competition through fair play and respect.
To put it in Theodore Roosevelt’s words: “In life, as in football, the principle to follow is to hit the line hard.”
In an era of TV revenue sharing disputes and grayshirts, that line of thinking might be archaic. But then again, if the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, can make Liam’s generation more accepting of one another, maybe it’s not so far-fetched to think college football can have some positive influence.
And at the very least, I can’t wait to have the same kind of father-son bonding moments watching games together that I shared with my dad.
In the meantime, we’ll get started on that Mr. Perfect passing route for Liam’s Hudl highlight ASAP.