Saturdays have always been a special day for me. Growing up in Alaska, Saturdays meant my dad was home from working a 2-week shift at Prudhoe Bay on the Alaskan North Slope. It meant a special breakfast. And if we finished our chores, it meant a day full of college football.
My father was a man of few words. He served in the Air Force, and later as a cook on the North Slope. When he did speak, he spoke with authority. And we listened. On Saturdays, those words usually revolved around a single thing: college football.
Nothing brought the family together like a kickoff. That’s why when I saw the AT&T Made Me a Fan contest by AT&T Thanks on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, I knew I had to share my story.
As I got older, the bond my father and I shared over football became stronger. I fell in love with the sport. While watching the games each week, I carefully studied each player’s every move. I would then practice what I watched.
That practice paid off. I played high-school football on Alaska’s frozen tundra and continued my career as an offensive tackle at a junior college in California.
When the AT&T Thanks team called to let me know I had won a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship, I immediately thought there had been a mistake. Once I understood it was true, the excitement began to build.
Attending the championship game in-person is a dream my father and I shared for many years. Unfortunately, it’s a dream he was never able to realize. Even though he passed away, I know he’d be thrilled that I’ll finally be fulfilling the dream by going to the big game on Monday, Jan. 9.
I owe my love of the sport to him. He’s the one who made me a fan.
Thanks, dad. And thanks, AT&T, for helping to make our dream come true.
The AT&T Made Me a Fan contest is a social sweepstakes presented by AT&T Thanks in which fans were encouraged to share who or what made them a fan of college football for a chance to win one of nine trips to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla. For more information on the Made Me a Fan Contest, visit http://www.mademeafan.com. For more information and ticket details for the 2016 College Football Playoff, visit http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/.
Kerry Wyatt, Winner of AT&T Made Me a Fan