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Stephanie Pedersen: Thankful he doesn’t like football

If you want to know my priorities, you should ask my daughter.

I worked from home Tuesday after she complained of a sore throat that appeared to be growing seaweed in the back of her mouth. Before she was diagnosed with strep, we were lying around on the couch. She was watching TV, and I was working.

After she switched her focus to the iPad and ultimately nap time, I told her I was changing the TV channel.

“Let me guess, you want to watch football?” she said.

“No,” I told her.

“Then you’re going to watch the news, aren’t you?” she said.

“Nope,” I replied.

“Ohh, you’re going to watch ‘Fixer Upper’ then.”

She was right. I love home-improvement shows.

But Aubrey knew that my go-to when I have time on the weekends is football games.

The kids don’t have much interest in watching with me. Logan sides with his dad and his team. Aubrey pulls for the team of the parent who is giving her what she wants at that time.

But they’re not really into watching the games.

Part of me is upset that we don’t share that interest just yet, but I know that could change. Hopefully it will.

But part of me is thankful my 8-year-old has zero interest in playing.

Sure, his dad and I have asked him if he wanted to play. We’ve even encouraged it to a point, but he’s not interested.

And deep down inside of the protective mom part of me, I breathe a sigh of relief.

In the South, especially, we worship our football players at all levels.

The entire town even shows up to Central games in Phenix City.

What we don’t see are the number of brain injuries that happen every single day. As small as they may be, they’re adding up, and we’re learning more every day about what it does to the brain when someone is body slammed a few times every week for 20 years.

It’s scary, and I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not a fan of some of these new rules that officials claim will cut down on injuries. It hurts the game, and I’m not certain it protects the players.

I haven’t seen the new movie “Concussion” because, well, I have kids and rarely see movies in the theater that aren’t “Inside Out” quality, but I’ve heard reviews where people have changed their minds concerning whether we should even continue the sport.

I’m not certain I want to know what a fall in the South is like without football. But I know I’m not the only one concerned about injuries.

If you’re a mom with similar worries, the Atlanta Falcons have a clinic for you Feb. 18 at Opelika High School. They’ll provide helpful information “to moms who have children who are considering or play tackle football.”

You can go to their website,, for more information.

Right now, I’m thankful I have a boy who doesn’t seem to want to play.

I just hope one day he’ll share my love for watching the game.

Stephanie Pedersen, senior editor, at