SEATTLE -- The DVR back home is set, and for Astros third-base coach Gary Pettis, that's the only way he'll get to see his son play football this weekend. Dante Pettis is a junior receiver at the University of Washington, which was scheduled to play Portland State on Saturday night just a few miles from where the Astros were playing the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Pettis was hoping for an early kickoff, but afternoon start times for both games meant he wouldn't get to see his son in person on the field. He did take him to lunch and dinner on Thursday and planned to see the Huskies march into the stadium hours prior to Saturday's game. Pettis also visited with Washington coach Chris Petersen, who coached his nephew, Austin Pettis, at Boise State.
Pettis said he's seen his son play 10-12 times in person while at UW. He had 30 catches for 414 last year, and this year, he has eight catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the Huskies' first two games.
"I try to catch them when I can," Pettis said. "Once our season is done and if it's close enough and I can get there without going through a bunch of stuff, then I'll try to make it."
Pettis didn't try to take time off to watch the game, wanting to honor his priorities with the Astros, who are still in the American League Wild Card hunt.
"We're fighting to try to stay in the Wild Card race, and so it's not like it's his first game in college football," he said. "Would I like to see him play? Of course, but I have a responsibility here as well. I'll get the updates when I can and I've also recorded the game. Even though I can't see him here, I'll get to see him when I get back home."
Watching your son play big-time college football can be nerve-wracking, but not for Pettis.
"I coached him when he was younger; I got a chance to watch him in high school. So now seeing him in college, what a thrill and a blessing that is," he said. "I get excited when I watch him play. So I guess the nerve-wracking side of it never comes into play, because I expect him to do something special. That's the way he's always been."
Pettis keeps his DVR set for the soap opera "Days of Our Lives" as well. His oldest son, Kyler, is an actor on the show. He plays a character named Theo Carver, an autistic high school student. Currently, the character is caught in a love triangle in true soap opera style.
Kyler gave his dad a website in which he can see only his son's scenes if he doesn't have time to watch the whole show, and he often sits with Astros coaches in the clubhouse and they watch them together.
"The plot is really interesting," Pettis said. "It's easy because I love seeing the actual scene and the plot to 'Days of Our Lives' and seeing when my son fits in. It's pretty cool."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.