Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Passionate Fan

My husband has been a sportswriter for 35 years. Our three boys were raised traveling to games that dad was assigned on weekends for years.

They grew up missing Saturday birthday parties and school events to attend Big 8 and then Big 12 football and basketball games. Their friends thought they were lucky, sometimes the boys weren't so sure. While dad was working on his stories long after the game was over. Mom was on the parking lot teaching them how to throw a spiral. At midnight we would start the 3-5 hour drive home talking sports the whole way.

The history of being a sports fan has been instilled in all three of the boys. Now grandpa is working on his grandson also! You see, being passionate about your team is a good thing. It builds character, it's a great hobby, it's great conversation with friends, when they loose it's seeing how they might do things differently the next time, keeping the faith.

Our youngest was among the faithful at the recent KSU/KU game to cheer for his Wildcats. Preparing for the game started early in the week hoping to be randomly picked with a low number for his wait in line. Learning on Thursday before the game that he would get the ultimate number, a number that might land him a spot on the front row, he headed to Kinkos with his jump drive in hand. There he had them print the poster sized picture of ESPN's Dick Vitale that would surely get him on TV and maybe even ESPN sportscenter (his favorite show).

He was up early and took part in ESPN's College Gameday that was held on campus. Total attendance was 8,159 the largest crowd ever for gameday. Did you know, K-State became one of only 15 schools that has hosted gameday for both football and basketball that morning?

Leaving the stadium he made calls to his brothers in Texas and Wichita to report in, and stood in line with a few of his newest and closest friends for 5 hours before game time.

The time came to enter Bramlage and he was on his way to the front row to take his spot, an outing that sports historians in our family will relive for years. Dick Vitale entered courtside and came up to him to see the poster picture of himself. He gladly signed and dated the picture and chatted about the beard that was placed on his face to promote the play of Wildcat Jacob Pullen. You see a real sports fan who has attended hundreds of games in his short 19 years knows how to get on national television, his plan worked well.

I have cheered for many ball games in my lifetime and each day there is one more to cheer for. I enjoy the passion of a true sports fan, the thrill of being at the big game, the excitement of being live for a college gameday show, and watching the family enjoy their own version of sportscenter after the game.

Thanks Jordan, you were trained well, your gameday events were thrilling, fun, exciting and memorable for mom and dad too! We enjoyed every minute of it!