Many have heard of “football widows” who all seem to curiously lose their husbands to the television every weekend about this time of year. Whether it’s nonstop coverage of college gameday on Saturdays, the NFL on Sundays, or Monday Night Football, these women find their husbands irretrievably glued to the set. But what about the tens of thousands of “football orphans” who suffer the same fate?
“Quite honestly, they’re cast aside. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be talking about them,” says Keith Hudson, husband, father of three daughters, and author of “A Letter To My Daughters.” “As fathers, we need remember that we are husbands and fathers first. Football, and all sports in general, should never be a higher priority in our lives. And when you add fantasy football to the mix, suddenly you’ve lost dad to the constant tracking of players and statistics that doesn’t quit after the Monday night game – it goes all week long.”
A tactic often taken by fathers torn between family and their favorite sports broadcasts is to invite their children to join them on the couch. According to Hudson, this tactic is nothing but a smokescreen.
“Attempting to include your daughters in your viewing habits by pointing out the social and historic significance of a game like the September 25 Monday Night Football game in the Louisiana Superdome – the first New Orleans Saints home game since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina – is a futile effort. In the end, after all the fanfare and news commentary, it’s still just a game,” says Hudson.
After more than 4,000 interviews with daughters and their parents, a recurring sentiment emerged – that many daughters felt their fathers knew more about their favorite teams and players, stats and all, but knew nothing about their daughters' boyfriends, their GPAs, and even whether or not they're sexually active. “This is a travesty,” says Hudson.
According to Hudson, fathers could better use their free time by balancing sports with time spent with their daughters, whether it be a movie, dinner, or just taking time to sit and talk.
“And this shouldn’t be just a one time, or once in a blue moon, thing. Spending quality time with our daughters on a regular basis, really as a matter of habit, will do wonders for your relationship both now and in the future. A father’s relationship with his daughter directly influences the expectations she will have for her future when she is looking for a mate. It’s the difference between a future life of love and respect versus on of chilly, cohabitating indifference,” says Hudson.
In researching his book, “A Letter to My Daughters,” Hudson surveyed more than 4,000 parents and teenagers. He found that the most common issues, questions and answers that surfaced ranged from sex, drugs, and dating to relationships and respect for the family.
Keith Hudson was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His family moved to Germany when he was seven years old. After living in Germany for four years, his family moved to Denver, Colorado, where he has lived ever since. Hudson is a married father of three daughters.