Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our #1 Fan

My dad's never been super-fanatical with pro sports. He watches all his favorite teams' games, but if he doesn't have a rooting interest, he's OK with doing chores instead.

But when it comes to his sons' games, that's another story. And today, on his 37th wedding anniversary (and the day after his 1st ever Senior Citizen Discount -- a dollar off his ticket to Up in the Air), I want to take the time to remember some of his top moments.

4) November, 2009: It wasn't that he chose Robby's football game over a birthday, it was that he chose Robby's football game over HIS birthday. His 60th, in fact: A trip to Nashville my mom had planned for months. Did it matter that as an underclassman, Robby might not get in the game? "You never know," he said.

3) October, 2003: Imagine being a benchwarming freshman on the Penn Sprint Football team, traveling over six hours to play Cornell in the freezing Ithaca rain in front of maybe 10 fans, and then finding out your dad is one of them? "Wow, thanks for coming," Greg said after the game. "You really are insane."

2) December, 1995: My dad went to every single one of my freshman basketball games. I don't think the other parents even knew the schedule. "Dad," I remember pleading. "You can't come to all my games. It's embarrassing." So he'd wait until the game started (once I was distracted), and sneak into the bleachers.

1) September 2008: But when Dad started showing up to his PepsiCo beer league softball games, Greg knew he had the winner. "We can't even get the players to show up," he'd say. Even Dad admitted he felt a bit strange watching voyeur-like from beyond the outfield.

But if Greg ended up getting the game-winning hit with two outs in the last inning, he wasn't about to miss it.

NFL Week 17 Picks
I have a theory about Week 17: Teams playing with nothing to lose fare well against teams with everything to lose. These are the games that meet my criteria:

Cleveland (-1) vs. Jacksonville (1:00 ET).
Kansas City (+13) @ Denver (4:15 ET).
Oakland (+10.5) vs. Baltimore (4:15 ET).

Last Week: TBD
Record to Date: 31-34-3