By Mark Carpenter-
It’s time to give credit where credit is due. Sports Moms are something truly special. It is often said that behind every great man is a great woman and those are true words, but it also could be said that behind every young athlete is a dedicated Sports Mom (or Grandma). I often write here about where I find inspiration for these columns and the fact the my own Sports Mom has had a really rough week made me think back to how involved she was in my sports upbringing.
I write a lot about the things that my Dad and I did as I was growing up but don’t think for a minute my Mom wasn’t right there too. She’s the one who lit up the jerk Carl Yastrzemski when he refused to sign an autograph in spring training, enough to get her a mention and ol’ Yaz some criticism in the next day’s Tampa Tribune. I think she’s still proud of that.
It was Mom who made it to everyone of my Knothole baseball games, always keeping that scorebook. I think I’ve finally figured out why my batting average in Knothole was so much higher than it was in high school. Mom will proudly tell you the story of getting thrown out of a Pee-Wee basketball game in some town that ended with a “ville”, I don’t remember which one, or when a referee threatened to toss her from a junior high basketball game. I was the coach then.
My Mom is the one who lives and dies with the ups and downs of UK basketball, thank goodness the beat Tennessee on Saturday or she may have come right out of her hospital bed. She was the one who helped drag my kids to games and was riding in my car when they both got old enough to play. She has been my Sports Mon from the day I was born and I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here in a recliner watching Steve Martin on the Oscars and writing a column for a sports page if it wasn’t for her. By the way, I’m also married to the absolute definition of a Sports Mom and that dreaded “C” won’t stop that.
In reality, though, I am describing so many of the Moms and Grand-Moms in Adams County, I often joke that it would be no use for me to even have any social media accounts if it wasn’t for the Moms and Grand-Moms who follow me and like all my photographs. By the way, I am deeply appreciative. It is well-known in our office that the main goal of my job is to keep all the Sports Moms happy, can’t have that group turning on me.
I googled “Sports Mom” and came up with this very accurate description: “Sports moms are a rare breed. They eat, sleep, and bleed blue (or whatever your team color is) and they are constantly on the go. They value competition, they love a good win just as much as our children, and they (eventually) accept every loss as a bridge to greatness. They wear personalized team-mom clothing and make special psych-boxes for the biggest games. They watch in the rain, the snow, the heat and the cold. They hate to miss a game. At the end of each season, they plan parties and make slide shows and the most sensitive among them may even shed a tear or two when they say goodbye to their beloved sports family- even if it is just until next season.
Behind every sports mom, regardless of what sport her child plays, there are some universal sports-mom truths. It takes a special woman to be one of them, but one thing is for sure: once you become a sports mom, there is no turning back.”
The role of the Sports Mom has certainly evolved with the times, but there are certain things that you can count on, such as all of the Moms who handle those concession stands every night and always get the utmost respect from me. (Especially if they feed me for free when I look so undernourished.) Hats off to all of you Moms and Grand-Moms- you are the gears that keep our machines running.
When I did that Google search, I came across a list, “10 Signs That You’re a Sports Mom”, and one stuck out for me. It simply said, “You once yelled at a ref.” We’ll just end it right there.