Being a good sport
By Dale Burgos
Dale Jr. #7 running in for his first touchdown
Football is a family affair. Dale’s mom, Cora Burgos, tries on the gear
It was some ago that my dear old dad was chauffeuring me around to martial arts practices or tournaments. There was also a time we would get up early, load up the Chevy Vantasy van with my remote control (RC) car gear and compete in local contests. I remember it as if it was yesterday when, in fact, it happened 30 years ago. How time flies!
I remember dad bringing me to a Sikaran-Arnis tournament that took place at Tec-Voc High School. I remember his last minute efforts to mould a mouth guard for me, as we found out it was needed for me to compete in the sparring category. That same day, I recall my dad giving me last minute pointers on how loud I should scream when doing my forms. “Forms” is basically a choreographed routine that shows off fancy kicks, punches and, like my dad taught me, loud screams.
You see, it was the tournament before, where I didn’t place very well (or at all if I remember correctly) for my forms routine. My dad said it was good, but he said I could do it better. His solution, as I mentioned, was to scream and over enhance my punches and kicks.
If you have never attended one of these events, it is usually held in large gymnasiums with multiple events going on at one time. There are usually large groups of parents and family watching at these events too, so it can be a bit nerve wracking. Time came for me to do my routine. I can see my dad watching with eager anticipation. “Scream, enhance my kicks, look serious,” were the thoughts running through head. I performed my routine just like I practiced. At one point, I looked at my dad. He was smiling. In the end, I walked away with a first place trophy. Dad looked on with absolute glee.
This and many other memories play out vividly in my mind. And it is these kinds of memories I want to bestow upon my children.
We like to keep the Burgos boys busy, as their time can easily be spent playing Xbox, Wii or on their iPads. That isn’t how I grew up so when I’m home, I get them to come outside as much as possible. Walking the dogs, basketball on the front drive or bike rides. Restricting them from their video games this past summer has worked and we haven’t had many complaints. If they are slow to move, I simply shut off the Wi-Fi. Sneaky, right? Especially since I have seen adults in complete meltdown mode when they lose their Internet connection. Kids are no exception. I just blame it on the Internet provider. If they only knew. LOL.
This year has been pretty busy with Elizabeth and me running around to soccer, flag & tackle football practices and games. Soccer and flag football started late in the year due to poor weather in April and May. This past summer, Dale Jr. took up tackle football on the advice of his best friend who has played before. I was excited and a bit hesitant about putting him in a sport where kids will hit each other, especially since Elizabeth and I tell the kids not to fight. I felt a bit hypocritical until I went to the first practice. Now I am a huge fan! As a side note, I am not as big a fan as my wife. To put it lightly, she is the loudest and most intense fan the sport of football has seen. I have video to prove it.
My son plays on a nine and 10-year-old team. It’s amusing to watch them play, since they really don’t know the sport too well. However, there is still running, throwing and lots and lots of tackling. Some kids get bruised, some get strained, but they keep coming back.
Along with keeping the kids active, sports keeps our family together. My wife and I, with kids in tow, have been to every practice. At the games, we have the whole family together creating our own cheering section.
Just like my dad with me, I have been practicing some moves with Dale Jr. and he’s starting to use them on the field as the team’s quarterback. At a recent game, he scored his first touchdown as I looked on with absolute glee.
Dale manages the communications department for the Winnipeg School Division and will never be invited to play on the Pilipino Express baseball team.