Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For the love of football

By Clare Farnsworth

October 16, 2009

When Colin Cole met his wife, Kaye, her knowledge of football was an instant attraction. Now she will put it to good use in Saturday’s “Football 101” workshop.

When Colin and Kaye Cole first started dating, there was an immediate attraction.

“When I met her, she knew a lot about football,” said Colin Cole , the Seahawks’ nose tackle. “And that’s one of the main reasons that she and I clicked so well, because I don’t have to worry about having to go another room to watch football.

“She wants to be there to watch it, too.”

Kaye Cole grew up in what she calls “a football family.” Her father was a Dallas Cowboys fan. She was a San Francisco 49ers fan. Her brother played the sport.

“Kaye is a big fan, and she just loves it,” Colin said.

Kaye is putting that football background to good use Saturday, when the Seahawks Women’s Association is holding a “Football 101” workshop at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

There are still a few spots open for the workshop, which begins at noon and runs until 5 p.m. Registrations are being taken at

The event will be broken into four quarters and feature presentations by three former players – Dave Wyman, Ray Roberts and Eddie McMillen. Paul Johns, who also played for the Seahawks and is now the team’s assistant director of community outreach, will serve as the MC. There also will be autograph and “postgame” sessions, the later to include a raffle.

“What we’re trying to impart to everyone is that you can have no football knowledge or you can have a little bit of football knowledge, and you can come to the ‘Football 101’ workshop and get the technical side of what’s going on,” said Kaye, who is a co-chair of the event with Linda Ruskell and Kathy DeHaven – wives of the team’s president and special teams coach.

“Maybe a person doesn’t know all the calls or what the first-down marker is all about. This is their opportunity to come learn about it.”

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Puget Sound affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Sisterhood.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Kaye said. “While women are getting the technical side of the game, they’re also helping to support two great organizations.”

Cole has her PhD in counselor education and supervision. She taught an online course in sports psychology for Capella University before moving to the Seattle area this spring after Colin signed with the Seahawks in free agency.

It was Kaye’s football background that also led to her meeting Colin. It was at the University of Iowa, when Kaye’s brother made a recruiting trip. Kaye accompanied her brother because their mother couldn’t make it.

Colin jokingly likes to tell everyone that Kaye “stalked” him.

“She’s my queen and she’s a great woman,” he said, and then added with a straight face. “She obviously knows a great man.”

Just as obviously, Kaye is a smart woman. “She was smart before I met her,” he said. “Smart enough to come after me.”

But Kaye tells a different story.

“When people ask how we met, he tells everyone I stalked him – he’s like, ‘Every time I turned around, there she was. She was just always there,’ ” Kaye said. “It’s hilarious. That story is so convoluted. Don’t listen to him.”

Kaye laughed, before telling her side.

“Colin sat across the table from me during my brother’s recruiting trip to Iowa,” she said. “We were all talking back and forth about which state produced the best athletes. Of course Colin said Florida, because he’s from Florida. Someone else said Texas.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh gosh, please don’t let this guy hit on me, because I know it’s going to happen.’ But he didn’t.”

After Kaye enrolled at Iowa their paths crossed again, this time because Kaye had three tickets to a lecture series featuring Bill Clinton.

“My brother backed out at the last minute,” she said. “I was like, ‘Whoever I see that I know, I’m going to ask them.’ ”

One guess who that was.

“I swear, the first person I saw that day was Colin,” she said. “We’ve been together ever since.”

Regardless of who instigated the beginning of this match made in football heaven, those attending Saturday’s workshop will benefit from their love-of-football relationship.

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