Happy Father’s Day, Dad

If it weren’t for my father, this blog, and my other blogs, would not exist. Of course, if my father didn’t exist, I wouldn’t exist, but that’s not my point. My father instilled a love of sports in me that has only grown stronger as I have grown older. We watch sports, talk sports, and now, text sports. I taught him how to text message at Christmas, and now I get lots of texts during Cubs games.

Two sports he was involved in, track and field and wrestling, are now two of my favorite sports in the Olympics. When he came to visit me in college, we went to a track meet, and he was silent as he watched the athletes throw the discus – his event. “Dad, are they doing it right? Why are you so quiet?” I asked. He laughed. “They’re just doing it so much better than me”

I am one of those annoying people who likes to ask people where they were for certain events, and my father is always willing to oblige. He was working in 1980 when the USA hockey team beat the Russians. He remembered hearing about the win, and not believing it. When NBC started showing the Olympics on tape delay, he told me about being a high school student when he stayed late to watch the Mexico City games. Bob Beamon broke the long jump record, and he woke up his sisters to tell them. They didn’t care. I did.

For this Father’s Day, I am in Las Vegas for the wrestling and judo Olympic Trials. I’m sorry I’m not there for the barbecue, Dad. Please know this, though. I am the sports fan I am because of you – and the sports fan I am has made me into the woman I am. I love you very much, and can’t wait to come home to tell you about the trials.

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