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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Huddling up around love

To have and to hold.
Does that mean don’t fumble the football?
‘Til death do us part.
Is that a reference to sudden death overtime?
It was 10 years ago when Thomas Perry (?) and Carrie Chambers took their wedding vows on the 50-yard-line at Hurley Field behind Anderson Middle School in Berkley.
“It was all Carrie’s doing,” said Perry, smiling. “I did not know anything about getting married on the football field until she told me.”
While Perry is technically correct, it was he who fell deeply and madly in love with both Chambers and football (not necessarily in that order).
“It was my wedding gift to him,” she said, smiling. “When I first asked Thomas where he wanted to get married, his first answer was Canton, Ohio. I automatically rolled my eyes and got irritated.”
Canton is the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The wedding took place on June 15, 2001. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary Wednesday.
Since, Thomas and Carrie have compiled their own roster; Tristen, who is nine; five-year-old Tanner; and Cassidy, who will turn three Saturday.
“We both wrote some nice words to each other for out 10-year anniversary,” said Perry. “A lot of what I do as far as individually as a family man or a coach, everything goes back to football.
“There are so many life lessons. Take the teamwork aspect. Carrie and I working together and raising the three kids. If I do not have her, it does not work.
“The same with the kids as far as having patience and knowing when to be stern and when to be a friend. The sacrifices you make to provide a good life for your kids are similar to the sacrifices you make to succeed in football,” he continued.
Hut one, hut two, smooch, smooch.
Perry grew up in Berkley. He played for the Steelers youth football organization, and then for coach Pat Fox at Berkley High School for four years.
In 1994, he joined the staff at Anderson Middle School as a volunteer coach. After three seasons, Perry hired on as a full-time assistant. In all, he was on the staff 10 years.
A few years’ back, the family moved to Carrie’s hometown of Clawson and Perry began coaching in the Mavericks youth football organization in that city. He’s still doing that.
“We hardly see each other with work and his coaching and the kids’ activities,” said Chambers, laughing.
She is a sales rep for an auto supply company. She works during the day.  He is on the afternoon shift at UPS in Madison Heights.
“Thomas is home with the kids all day long. We get to see each other for a few hours until he goes in for work,” she said.
While Thomas and Carrie went out for a nice dinner this weekend, their favorite anniversary gifts to each other were words. Here’s some of what he wrote to Carrie to recognize their 10 years together:
“How do I ever say “Thank You” loud enough? How do I look in the mirror and be so grateful that I have been with the love of my life for 18 years? It seems like we’ve weathered the storms, we’ve made sacrifices, we’ve argued and cried. We have laughed, enjoyed, smiled, embraced, triumphed and loved. I am so thankful for the things you have shared with me in your life.
“I remember our first date on July 1, 1993; we went and watched the fireworks on the Canadian side. I remember holding hands and talking non-stop with laughter and smiles. I remember slight brushes against each other that made me feel like I had never felt before. I remember sitting in my car and when we were saying good bye, I leaned in for a kiss and you touched your cheek and that’s where my first kiss landed. To this day that is the best moment of our relationship.
“How do you repay someone, or what gift is appropriate for a person who gives so much and ask for so little? You blessed me with 3 li’l people that will forever tug at my heart. You have blessed me with a feeling of hearing a child say “Daddy can you help me?”  You gave me touchdown-scoring children, loveable moments wrapped in tiny hugs and kisses.”
Tristen plays football, basketball and soccer. Tanner is still deciding if he enjoys sports. Cassidy is still a little young to join in the fray.
“Thomas loves coaching,” said Carrie. “He loves football. Everywhere we go in Clawson, he’s recruiting for the Mavericks.”
Perry will get home from work about midnight or so. Some nights he’ll stay up until the wee hours of the morning scribbling X’s and O’s. Tristen has recently acquired that trait. He showed his dad his own customized play complete with about five or six reverses.
Carrie reciprocated with her own written words of appreciation for her husband:
“So on June 15th, 2001, I stood on the 50-yard-line of Berkley's Hurley football field and said I do to a man that has made me laugh, smile, feel true love and he believed in me when I didn't even know who me was.
“Thomas you have made my life a fairy tale; thank you for being my prince on a white horse and carrying me off to a beautiful life. I feel blessed and lucky to have you.”
Who needs Hallmark? Thomas and Carrie have some true team chemistry. Congratulations on 10 years. So you’ve made it to the end of the first quarter of marriage.
Call me again when you get to halftime.


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