On football and family, free agency and spring break

NASHVILLE – Around the game, we hear important people say not just that football is family but that family is first.

Covering football is hardly like playing or coaching it in terms of time commitment and lifestyle, but there are certainly similarities.Grand Canyon South Rim

I’m not looking for sympathy here – none of us do – I’m just sharing that for someone whose extended family lives nowhere near where near I do, I’ve not seen anyone but my wife and son for Thanksgiving during my adult life. And sometimes they leave.

It’s the life I chose.

But there is a limit somewhere, and I’ve found it this week. [Unlocked]

The last two springs have been prime ones for family vacations for us and come up zero.

My son is now 12, very much at a time where he is more inclined to chill with friends than hang with his parents. Two years ago, like everyone, we were stuck at home during the initial outbreak of Covid-19. Last year, with that still a concern, my wife had serious back issues that ultimately required surgery.

We snuck in one beach vacation with close friends in 2019, but otherwise, the sort of life experience stuff we intended on having together has been on hold, like it has, I am sure, for many of you.

And it’s made me miserable. 

One big trip I’d dreamed of was to Phoenix, where my Uncle Nick and Aunt Maya lived.

Simon was fascinated by the idea of a Great Uncle, and with my spread-out family, they’d never met. My uncle being a great guy, it was a meeting that I was eager to arrange, and it could have easily been paired up with a visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

But Nick’s pancreatic cancer didn’t wait on us. And so the trip that didn’t happen in 2019 would have missed him in 2020 when he was dying at my cousin’s home in Seattle and Simon’s left to hear stories.

This is a long way to explain that the free-agency coverage here and on social media will come up short of what you typically get this week, when I also won't be part of OutKick 360 in a big week of NFL news.

Williamson Contry, Tenn. schools don’t consult the NFL calendar when they plan spring break. And for once I didn’t tell my family I couldn’t do something because of work.

Instead, I led the charge and planned the Phoenix/ Grand Canyon trip.

We’re going to go have a big time and build some memories on days I would typically be sending texts and trying to dig up nuggets about what the Titans are doing and write quick-reaction pieces to every development and discuss in great detail the moves around the league.

When we get back to our hotel each night, I will open up this laptop and catch up on what’s unfolded and share my reaction.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

But I want to behold this natural wonder at sunrise and sunset and hike and stumble into stuff and see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley and Sedona ask a stranger to take what will be a classic picture of the three of us that will hang somewhere in my house as a reminder of a tremendous week that amounts to way more than cap cuts or a new tight end.

I’m sorry it times out the way it does and I aim to still provide you a unique perspective about what’s unfolding with the Titans.

I hope you’ll please understand that I’m way overdue to deliver in a way more important department.

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