Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dad is cool with that

Sometimes telling a personal story is important. If you are not interested in a purely non professional story, hit the back button.

Yesterday, I left the office somewhat unexpectedly (I did not know on Friday but I did know on Sunday) that I needed to take most on Monday off to take my dad to the doctor. These rare occasions may seem disruptive to the work week, but these times are gems.

Both of my parents are competitive--maybe not publicly. They instilled success, but not at the expense of others. I am so appreciative of the balance that parents demonstrated. For those who know me--most of my personality and my physical body come from my dad or his side of the family. My face and expressions (the chin and the no poker face) come from my mom, however, it is abundantly clear I did not get her slender and tall build.

My dad will talk to anyone. My mom is much more reserved. Again, I identify with my dad--I love hearing people's stories.

Yesterday, in the many hours of driving and waiting, my dad told me several stories. Some I knew and some I did not know. He told me one story that made me laugh and then he confessed he had never told anyone before--I will hold this story until he can't tell it anymore. It is more gossip than a story, but funny to me, and please don't press me to tell.

One story he told me was one that I had heard many times and, in particular, in my much, much younger days. This post is to record that story.

My parents had a friend from Montgomery who ordered a block of Auburn University football and basketball tickets. The basketball tickets were two rows behind the visitors' bench. As a teenager and a college student, I did not realized how coveted these seats were (call me oblivious back then).

I can't remember the year---but I suspect sometime between 1979 - 1985, my parents were attending an Auburn basketball game against LSU. Sonny Smith was Auburn's coach (those Auburn fans should narrow down that this could have been in the Barkley/Person days or possibly before).

My mom got into the game and if you know my dad--he was probably into the game too. But this was one of those days that my mom was adamant. She was giving the referees and the LSU coach her thoughts (okay; she was giving them hell but my mom does not curse). At some point. she probably yelled "Sit down Coach!"

In a quite moment after a "huddle" with his players, LSU Coach Dale Brown looked at my dad and then my mom and said "I am glad I am not going home with you."

There are moments--usually a build up of discontent--that you really did not want to mess with my mom, and my dad was totally cool with that.

I was telling this story to a colleague earlier today and he sent me this Instagram tonight and thought I might as well tell the story to others.

A photo posted by Dick Vitale (@dickiev_espn) on