53-Destiny or Disappointment?

 Prayer by Brandy Ford, Founder; Game Changers 180

Father, I thank You for being God all by yourself.  You are such a loving, caring, all-knowing and all-seeing God.  Lord, there are families that are enduring transitions, trades, and cuts within the NFL.  This is the time of year that so many are leaning, trusting and depending on You.  Father, favor these families according to Your will and purpose for their lives.  Open slots for them, give them open doors of opportunities and provide unto them smooth transitions.  Lord, I ask for peace over these families. Peace in their hearts, peace in their minds and peace in their spirits. Bring a spirit of calmness to their individual homes.  Allow these families to stand knowing You have a great purpose for them and their futures.  Father, cover these families even while they sleep. I come against the spirit of fear, anxiety and stress that would try to weigh them down and release the spirit of peace, joy and rest. Lord, You know the plans and the thoughts that You think towards them. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give them an expected end. Now let Your word cover their minds and hearts, stir up and strengthen their faith levels for increase and set their feet on a firm foundation in You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Article by Grace Allen

The idea for this specific post came to me after I realized that I was having a repetitive conversation with a few different women, from different teams, in different cities, a few days in a row.  I started thinking that maybe “its” something that more women out there are thinking about with fear, dread, worry, anticipation etcetera, and maybe we don’t all have someone that we can turn to to talk about “it.”  “It” being the 53- man roster that is quickly approaching.  Prior to football, who would've ever thought that 53 would be such a number of significance?  Surely not me, that is until we experienced exactly just how small of a number 53 really is and how the 53 club was not one that we were, for lack of better terms “invited” our first year in the NFL.  I have personally been on the outside waiting to get in, and so that I am not taken as being insensitive, indifferent or apathetic, I'll go ahead and share our story quickly before you read any further.


My husband, Ricardo, was drafted to the Falcons in the 5th round in 2014 as a corner out of Purdue University. Feeling on top of the world after the draft call was received, we had no idea what really lied ahead of us in the upcoming months. Fast forward to training camp in 2014, Rico found himself on a deeeeeep depth chart at the cornerback position behind a few super talented drafted Falcons players, as well as a handful of other super talented free agents who were signed to the Falcons training camp roster. As the preseason games unfolded, depth charts fluctuated and bubble lists made their appearance (while I simultaneously made it my job to search Twitter for the opinions of everyone and their mother); we started to get the vibe that maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't be calling Atlanta home come the end of training camp. It was STRESSFUL, SCARY and it felt like an out of body experience because how does ones “dream come true” (aka draft) just a few weeks prior, and yes, being dramatic here but really- how does it turn into "dreams crashing down" just a few weeks later? Well, my friends, that is the world that we live in and that my friends is exactly what happened. Rico was cut and then signed to the practice squad where he spent 14 weeks and moved to the active roster for the last two games of the season. But, enough of my story because that isn't really what this post is about.  I just wanted all of you to know that I am speaking on something that I am SO VERY FAMILIAR with. And if you're wondering, this story worked out for us and it will for you too.

Let’s just get right to it— this time of year SUCKS. No kinder way to phrase it. It is scary and we have zero control which makes it even scarier. The reality is that most of us are kind of just waiting to know the destiny of our men which also means the destiny of us, our families, our homes and our lives. A small percentage of us know that our men are going to make the roster and for those-I am so truly very happy because you 100% deserve this dream! The reality is while most couples are dealing with similar things such as potential job loss, being fired, demoted,  transferred, etcetera, it is much further into their lives.  Most of us in the league are young. We are not only learning ourselves but we are learning each other-our relationships, marriages, raising our kids and on top of that, we are constantly living in a state of major life changes and last minute decisions. From "will we have a job this year" to "will our kids have to move to a new school mid-season" to "buy or rent?" to "should I go back to school " AND the list goes on!  It is hard. (Btw, I promise that this post is going to look up...just keep reading if you're still with me.)


As we all know by now, the best things in life are the things that don't always come so easy. They're the things that we have to fight for, that make us question our desire to give up, the struggles and eventually what we overcame as a result of our trials. Those are the parts of life that we appreciate the most. Although it isn't easy (and 99.9% of the world knows nothing about these specific struggles that we face or why an article such as this even exists), just know that we were created for these moments. There is a reason that God chose US to be the women at our men’s side. There is a reason that God chose US to be the mamas to our precious babies that at this time of year pretty much only see our faces. It is because He knows that we have enough faith in Him to see through all of these trials that are quite frankly so often, so far beyond our years and our experiences but He knows that we are strong enough. You've made it this far, and this is just the beginning. Embrace whatever it is that lies ahead of you and yours this weekend. Embrace the role that you have been given. Whether it be a starting position, a practice squad spot or anything in between. An opportunity is an opportunity and as we all know, things change quickly in the world of football. As the woman "behind" your man, be that and be as much of just that as you possible can. Lets stand firm, stand strong and stand "behind" him regardless of where you find yourselves following this weekend. The most important thing of all is that you are unwavering. The entire world is their critic but, WE are their safe place. Hug them tight, thank them for working so hard for you and your family and make sure that you give yourself...grace upon grace.

Wishing you all the best and hope to meet you all face to face someday, Grace Allen