We are a football family. I'm 100% certain that my husband's heart is in the shape of a football, both of my girls know to throw their hands up in the air for a touchdown, and my 1-year-old shouts "football!" anytime you ask her what she wants to watch on TV. And look, I know there's a lot to dislike about the NFL, but when it comes to the sport and my little girls, there's a lot to love. Especially during Super Bowl LIV and the San Francisco 49ers' Katie Sowers making actual history — and her parents, I'm sure of it — proud.
For as long as I can remember, football and girls have always been a combination to marvel at. Whether it's a female ESPN reporter on the sidelines or a girl trying out for a football team, it's always felt a little taboo — even in 2020 — for a woman to be interested in football because she actually loves it, and not because she has a man in her life who got her involved. When it comes to Katie Sowers, the first female and openly gay coach to head to the Super Bowl, it's even more of a novelty. I mean, a woman liking football is one thing, but a woman coaching men in football? Pass my smelling salts.
But Sowers is there, and is making major historical waves through the sport and the NFL. This is 100% the kind of thing I love for my girls to see: a woman living her dream in a male-dominated field and kicking absolute *ss at it. But even better is Sowers' shout-out to her parents on her Instagram, proving that when you give your kids unconditional love and support, they can do big, big things. Like coach a team to the Super Bowl.
In the photo, Sowers tagged her two sisters — her identical twin Liz Sowers, and her sister Stephanie Sankar — and shared a sweet image of (I assume) her parents with a doll that looks like it belonged to her as a baby and/or was made from some baby clothes of hers, judging by the photo. Either way, it's a super sweet picture, and Sowers captioned it with "Thank you for loving your children unconditionally... I wish you both could be here but know you are here through me. I strive to be like you in everything I do." She also added the emoji that symbolizes "I love you" in sign language.
It's the ultimate love letter every parent hopes to get. We raise our children and we protect them and provide for them and give them the tools they need to be successful. And in turn, all we hope for is that they end up happy. To have your child then thank you for all you did — all the things you loved doing for them and would do a thousand times over — is just icing on the cake.
I know Sowers' parents are right there with her tonight on the sidelines, and no matter how the 49ers end the game, I know they'll be proud of her.