Saturday, October 27, 2012

Winning the 50 Yard Dash, Little League World Series, and the UGA DAWGS

I really like sports. I mean a lot, but I was never a good athlete. As a kid, I was a little bitty splindly-legged tow-headed girl who was always the last or close to the last kid picked to be on a team. I was too short for basketball and not really strong enough to hit a ball far enough to be good enough. But I could catch a ball with the best of them. People who knew that chose me.

I could run really fast, though. One of my finest moments was in the sixth grade during Field Day when I beat the fastest girl runner in the school for the 50 yard dash. I still smile thinking about it. Track and field was never part of my school participating activities, though.

Swimming was something I was good at also. I could do it despite having a bad knee. Swimming is still something I love to do. But I never was on any swim team. My favorite thing to do is swim mindless laps and write articles in my head.

My dad and I coached my brother's Little League baseball team one summer in between my sophomore and junior year in college. The boys were around 11 or 12. Most were small for their age. In fact, I think my brother was one of the tallest kids, but he was pretty skinny. The boys lost their first 3 games, and folks made fun of them. But my dad was so good with them. He compelled each boy to play his best, not through yelling and belittling them, but by encouragement, respect, and kind words. 

Those boys started winning. The won the rest of their games and went on to win in the city league. That put them in contention for World Series competition. I was so proud of all of them. They played their hearts out, not necessarily to win for themselves, but they wanted to win for my dad. I can remember that every year, every little boy wanted to play on my dad's team. He was a great coach and set a great example. He believed in good sportsmanship and wouldn't tolerate anything less. He also wouldn't tolerate unruly and rude parents and spectators. That summer in 1967 (I believe) is way up there among my fondest memories. I loved those little boys.

Now, I follow the University of Georgia Bulldogs or DAWGS. It was great fun to see them beat Florida today. Florida is usually our nemesis. When Spurrier was the coach, his arrogance just made me want to stomp him which wouldn't have gone over as a good display of sportsmanship on my part at all. It has always pleased me to beat the Florida Gators. Sorry, Gator fans. I will always feel this way. Now, Spurrier is with South Carolina. That team beat us soundly a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to stomp Spurrier again, but he doesn't seem quite as arrogant. He did almost throw his visor, though.

I follow the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons professional teams and I love to watch Payton Manning play. He is such a good quarterback, like Joe Montana only I think Manning is better.

See, I told you I loved sports. I think I'm the biggest jock in the family except for maybe my middle son. He "runs" every sports category on Jeopardy, every time. It's amazing. And to me, he was the greatest soccer player on his high school team. I may be a bit prejudice on that.

Anyway, it's been a good day for sports. I wish the Tennessee Vols had won against South Carolina, but they almost did. It was a good game.

It's been a good day for UGA sports fans. That's for sure. GO DAWGS!!

And I make no apologies.

1 comment:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I was never that good at sports probably because when I was young (50's, yikes), it was not expected of girls. However, I thought of myself as a tomboy, and had many adventures. I was a fast runner, and as a matter of fact, now that I am of an age of invisibility, can still keep pace (or at least walk fast).

I am not crazy about watching sports on TV as my husband's obsession of watching 24 hrs of anyone carrying a ball drives me nuts. However, I am a sucker for any sports movie. They are always so inspiring and there is always a good feeling when you leave the theater.

How wonderful that you have those wonderful memories of those special times with your dad. I am sure those young men on the team will remember him forever.