My mom was a sports fanatic. She followed the Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football teams and later the Vikings. Watching the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl got me to thinking about her. She has been dead for almost 20 years. (More)
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When I was in fourth grade I was entrusted with the task of visiting nine other neighborhood women to collect their quarter for the Gopher football pool and allow them to draw a number for their share of the winnings. Looking back I suppose they were gambling but that never occurred to me at the time. The women would gather around and listen to the game on the radio. Half time got 50 cents and the final got $2.00. I also suppose that if this were a movie my character might be ‘the runner.’ They were all very knowledgable football fans and traded stats (from the newspaper) and tidbits about where the players were from and what they were majoring in. I know my dad wasn’t a great fan but my mom sure was.
Mom got her love of baseball from her dad and learned to listen on the radio. My dad built a little shelf on the head board of the bed to hold her small AM radio so she could listen to baseball in bed. By the time the MetroDome was built my mom was a widow. The company I worked for had a luxury box. By then my mom was in a wheel chair with multiple sclerosis and going to a game in the box was doable in a way that the stands would not have been. The boxes were in high demand for football games but not so much for baseball. I got the box and took mom to a Twins game. One of my coworkers also had a super fan widowed mom and was herself a baseball fanatic. The four of us women and four little boys had a great time at the game. It’s probably a good thing that my eldest got to grow up seeing women sports’ fans because he married one.
Back to the Super Bowl. My niece is an over-the-top Broncos fan. Her dramatic Facebook posts during the playoff games were awesome. I wasn’t watching the game, just reading Molly’s posts. She has a lot of Broncos gear and I made a polar fleece coat for her black lab out of Broncos fabric. I wished her and her team good luck before the big game started. At half time she posted that her team was “surprisingly ahead.” After the game and the Broncos’ victory, she posted a bunch of things including where to buy a championship sweatshirt. I am happy for her.
I intend to share the stories of her grandmother’s love of sports with her. Maybe this is one of those “it skips a generation” phenomena. Remembering my mom as a sports fanatic made me realize just how much freedom from stereotypes I was raised with. Thanks, Mom!