My mother is an educated woman. As a teacher she worked hard in education for over 40 years, and wanted the absolute best for both of her two sons. She watched both graduate high school and college, and then be on their own respective ways.
As for her youngest son, his path was always a bit skewed compared to most.
That youngest son is me, and I will always remember my mother harping on me to do my very best in school. The only problem was, I never really liked school all that much. I would say I tolerated school, and the education system tolerated me right back.
Throughout my upbringing I was always more infatuated with things like sports statistics, overall records and those tidbits of information which only I found truly interesting. I mean, who wouldn’t love to know the fact Andy Van Slyke was the only batter on the 1991 Pittsburgh Pirates roster who didn’t wear batting gloves?!
I would often spout off these off the wall facts about Pittsburgh sports to my mom, and her response was always the same.
“If only you cared about your studies like you do those sports.”
As an athlete growing up, my mom was always there. Middle school football and track, high school baseball. All of it. While I have not always walked the path my mom thought I’d walk, she supported me nonetheless.
When I started down this venture of writing about the Pittsburgh Steelers, she was hesitant to fully get behind the idea. After all, I had a full-time job as a teacher, was coaching and had a young family of my own. When the venture of covering the Steelers turned into essentially another full-time job, one which would further help me support my family, my mom was all-in. She reads my articles, listens to my podcasts and even chimes in on the YouTube channel’s live stream chat once in a while.
As a father of five small children now, I can only imagine what I must have been like as a youth. Stubborn as an ox, and a strong will to match.
Those characteristics got me this far on this crazy journey, but I also got those characteristics from my mother. On this Mother’s Day I wish my mom the very best! She has tolerated my shenanigans for far too long, and I’m proud to say she’s my No. 1 fan.
It’s still funny how to this day, she will bring up how maybe all of those Pittsburgh sports facts I remembered as a kid somehow helped me get where I am today...maybe it did.
To all those mothers out there who bleed black and gold, or maybe those who tolerate our obsessions on a daily basis...this is your day! Happy Mother’s Day!