AFTER THE WHISTLE

A marriage of love and sports

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— Nine years ago last week my wife took a long walk down the aisle of the Concordia Lutheran Church to join me in marriage.

It was a nice gesture on her part, but I have to wonder if she really knew what she was walking into when she agreed to marry a sports reporter.

Since then, she has been forced to endure life without her husband on most Friday and Saturday nights, she has had to plan her vacations around key state high school championships and has even taken major sports seasons into consideration when it came time to plan our family.

Over the years, she has had to sacrifice more than what was covered in our wedding vows.

This winter she was still smiling after I spent two weeks in Utah covering the Olympics, despite being left at home with two young children.

Sure, she might complain a bit when I have to leave town for four days to cover a state championship, but I think she understands that is just part of the job.

When it comes to making family sacrifices, my wife can hold her own with just about anyone in Steamboat with maybe the exception of the coaches' wives.

For coaches, being away from the family during the season, and let's face it the offseason is also just a part of the job.

I know because I see many of those coaches' wives sitting in the stands on a weekend night when I'm sure they would rather be out for a nice dinner at a local restaurant or maybe at the movie theater.

I know because I've been to basketball practices at times when most people should be sitting down for dinner with their families.

I know because I have interviewed coaches late at night when most people should be settling in with their families.

It's one of the few downsides to the world of coaching, but once a coach commits to a team it means time away from home and time away from their husbands and wives.

This week we reported that Bruce Alston had resigned his position as the girls head coach at the high school for personal reasons.

I can't think of a better reason to step down from a job.

While the natural thing to do would be to thank Bruce for everything he did the last seven years as a head coach, I'm not going to do that here.

Even though he does deserve a nice pat on the back.

Instead, I would like to thank Bruce's wife for all the things she has sacrificed the last seven years.

I would like to thank her for giving up dinner with her husband and spending evenings at home talking about zone defenses and all of those weekend trips during the basketball season she didn't get to take.

While I'm at it I would like to thank all the wives and husbands of coaches at Steamboat Springs High School for the sacrifices they make so that their spouses can teach this communities' children through sports.

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