We're continuing our Stories from the Gridiron with a special introduction. It's of a father turned Gridiron Commissioner, who's bringing the goodness of Game Day to the families of Columbus, Ohio. Get ready to meet one of our newest Gridiron Commissioners.
Meet Ryan. He’s an account executive at Columbus Radio Group, husband and father to 3 fantastic kids. He’s also a Gridiron Commissioner. In today’s blog post, he shares a history with Gridiron that spans the country, his kids’ favorite song on Game Day, and gives us an inside look at college game days at the Shoe.
My name is Ryan Guard, and I am the League Operator for Gridiron Football Columbus. My wife and I live in Columbus with our three kids: Griffin (12), Gavin (10) and Hadley (7). I am from the Phoenix area, but my wife grew up in Westerville, so we decided to move here a couple of years ago to be close to her family.
I am thrilled to be launching this league in the suburbs of Columbus! Flag football has played a huge role in our lives for the past seven years. Some of our favorite memories as a family took place on the sidelines (and sometimes running down the sidelines) of a flag football game. Both of my boys have played recreational flag for years, while my oldest son Griffin has transitioned into highly competitive/travel teams the past couple of years. I’ve coached most of their sports teams throughout the years, and Flag Football is far and away our favorite sport as a family!
We were a part of an incredible Gridiron league in Arizona, and we can’t find anything like it out here… so we’re going to bring it to life! I’m 100% committed to creating the premier flag football league here in Columbus. I’ve seen what it can look like, and I won’t stop until we make it a reality here for the amazing people in Columbus.
What’s the best moment you’ve seen or experienced on a football field?
I coached my son’s first flag football teams seven years ago, and… it was a rough, rough start. We went 0-8 in the regular season, and we were the only 0-8 team in the whole league!
That league let everyone into the playoffs, and we were excited to play at least one extra game. When we won that game you would have thought that we won the Super Bowl! We lost our minds celebrating what felt like the impossible! When we won the next game, we were sure we were being Punk’d. There was no way. We won our way from the bottom of the bracket into the championship game. I wish that I could tell you we won that game, but we lost when the other team scored on the very last play, beating us by only a few points. It didn’t matter to us. We had tasted greatness haha!
What’s your “why” of becoming a commissioner for Columbus?
Columbus needs Gridiron Football. There are some other options, but there’s nothing like Gridiron. I can’t wait to exceed all of the expectations our new families have. I can’t wait for the smiles and high fives on Saturdays. I can’t wait to bring a ton of life and joy to these kids and their families.
What’s one thing you hope the kids in your league take away each season?
I want them to wrap up each season even more comfortable in their skin. I want them to be proud of who they are and what they’re capable of. I want them to have so much fun, that even if they go 0-8 in a season they’ll sign up for the next one because of the experience they had.
I guess that’s more than one thing, but they’re all connected!
You played other sports growing up; what got you and your kids into flag, specifically?
You know we love a good game day here at Gridiron. As a former global events manager– how cool are the Gridiron Game Days going to be in Columbus?
The rivalry is real between The Ohio State University and Michigan. What’s it like on college game days at the Shoe?
I've actually only been to one game at the Shoe, and it was amazing, even though it was against Tulsa haha.