“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
The words above were uttered by the great Abraham Lincoln and probably sum up today better than anything else I’ve ever read or seen. For better or worse, for both the good and the bad, we can all trace who we are and what we’ve become back to our mothers. So, sweet readers, today’s the day to show some appreciation for your mama, even if she wasn’t a crack fiend or a black queen.
Listen, I’m a mama’s boy. I can’t help it. That’s what happens when you grow up in a house with strong women. But, in the interest of this being a sports blog, I won’t bore you with the sappy, tear-jerking stories of my mom going from bouncing around foster homes as a kid to mentoring foster kids as an adult, her sacrifices as a young, single mother or or how she beat cancer four times. Well, I guess I kinda just did, but you get the point. Let’s talk sports. And let’s make them Kentucky.
I know we all have stories about our mothers and how they have somehow contributed to or suffered through our Big Blue Insanity and I can’t think of a better time to share them. The first time I realized what a complete UK basketball maniac my mother had become was during my sophomore year in college.
I had just moved into my first apartment and felt like the baddest man on the planet. I was taking a walk with my mom to the bookstore and we started to cross Lexington Avenue when a red Ford Probe came speading down the road and nearly took my mom out. I immediately panicked and was shaking and trying to put words together. My mom? She just turned around with eyes as big silver dollars and shrieked joyfully, “Oh my gosh! That was Gerald Fitch! TJ, that was Gerald Fitch!”. It’s a tough moment for any kid when he realizes his mom is walking a fine line between complete craziness and basketball groupie.
But, that’s my mom. She still calls me with her post-game analysis (which is better than you might think) and points out everytime she wins a battle of basketball wits with an Arizona fan in her new home of Tucson, Ariz. This is a woman who has planned Mother’s Day dinner with my brother around watching Michael Avery play in his AAU tournament so she can give me the scoop. If I was half the fan my mom is, I’d be doing a great service to Kentucky. So mom, have a wonderful day. You certainly deserve it.
Sorry, I’m a mama’s boy. But, in my defense, I tried to warn you. Feel free to share your stories below – even the sappy, tear-jerker ones if you want.