My dad gave me my love of sports. Who fostered yours?
Published: June 18, 2011 @ 11:40am
Sometimes things inspire you. For me it was an essay that I recently read by Jimmy Kimmel over at Grantland.com. In the piece, the late night talk show host talks about an experience he and his father had on the hot metal bleachers of Sun Devil Stadium in 1988 at a meaningless Phoenix Cardinals game -- let's be honest, it could have been any of their games from the ‘80s and ‘90s seeing as they were all pretty much meaningless.
While reading it I realized that sports is about one thing: shared experiences. I too have many memories of my father and I in the upper rows of Sun Devil Stadium at meaningless Cards games in the early part of their tenure in the desert. Those moments in my pre-teen years were my introduction to professional sports.
See, I have my dad to both thank and blame for my addiction to all things Arizona sports. When I was just a baby my father moved us from the East Coast. He was from New Jersey and loved New York sports teams while my mom and I were born in Boston. Instead of growing up being a fan of one of the two most winning sports cities over the entirety of my life, I called a city home that gave me more heartbreak than can be found on a season of the Bachelor. With that said, I wouldn't trade it in for anything.
Thanks to my dad and his willingness to spend his hard earned money on sporting events, I got to experience things like Charles Barkley scoring his 20,000th point, Steve Bono -- who ran like some odd genetic mutation of Frankenstein and a baby giraffe -- score on a 76- yard naked boot leg and Jeremy Roenick playing in Game 7 of an NHL playoff series with a broken jaw. Not to mention my favorite memory, which is watching the Arizona Diamondbacks winning Game 1 of the 2001 World Series while sitting inbetween my dad and his father.
On this Father's Day I wanted to take a few seconds to say thanks to my dad who gave me not only my sense of humor -- send all complaints to him if you don't like my columns -- but also my unwavering passion for sports. And don't worry dad, even though you robbed me of knowing what it's like to root for a city whose professional sports teams have multiple championships, I wouldn't trade in the memories for anything.
Like I said, sports is about shared experiences. So I pose the question, who fostered your love of Arizona sports?