Sports guys love to be tough, to be bad asses all the time – especially football players. I’m here to tell you to soften up on this Mother’s Day and take a step back for a moment and remember all she has done for you.
My Mom was a sports fan, though it didn’t seem like it when I was growing up – I was too busy being a bad ass. But think about your own life. When you were busy batting baseballs in little league, bouncing off tackling dummies in youth football, or running the pick and roll in the rec basketball league, there was always somebody there and it was most likely your Mom.
I wanted to be a professional athlete, any kind of professional athlete – but I also wanted to be an astronaut and President of the United States. My Mom understood that and supported me in those early endeavors on the fields and courts. But she also guided me and showed me, in her own quiet way, that being an athlete probably wasn’t going to be my lot in life. She encouraged me to work more toward the astronaut or president thing.
But as I grew into a teenager, I knew becoming an astronaut wasn’t going to happen either … and as for president … after watching the 1960s pass, well I probably wasn’t into that either.
But through it all, there was sports. I had friends who were really good athletes and I followed all the professional sports I could. My Mom encouraged that side of sports in my life. But she was also there when I played every sport I could in high school, even though deep down we both knew it was only for character and body building.
And it was the character building part that was most important. We all go through rough patches on the field of competition – even the best of the best have lost – it’s what helps us to learn how to win. My Mom was there when our high school basketball team went 0-18 back in 1973. But she was there when we were 13-5 in 1975.
As a Green Bay Packers fan, I remember going to my grandmother’s house to watch because she had a color television. The Packers were winners – big winners – in those years. But when the 1970s hit, things changed, but I didn’t. I still loved the team and hoped for the best. It was my Mom who taught me that perseverance. She knew that 60 to 70 percent of those Mondays in the 1970s through the 1980s were pretty bad because we had to wake up to a Packers loss most of the time. She was a fan, too, though she didn’t show it as much as we did.
She always sided with us when our Dad, Yochen the Vikings fan, would chide us when Minnesota won all those games through the 1970s and 1980s. Now that he’s gone, she’s still with us today and enjoying these renewed Packers glory years.
I’m sure many of you Packers fans have had similar experiences as athletes, as wanna-be athletes, as Packers fans.
You can probably thank your Mom for your growth as a person.
Today, we are all fans, but more importantly we should all be fans of our Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!