The biggest reason I write about sports, the biggest reason I love sports is because of my dad.
Growing up, we had sports on in the house, quite often.
If we weren’t watching sports, I was outside playing sports in my front yard with a neighborhood friend or playing sports with my dad outside.
If I weren’t watching or playing sports, I was playing sports video games.
Sports have been a big part of my life, obviously, and I can credit that to my dad.
I’ve often heard of dad playing sports when he was younger.
A story of how he broke his hand during a football practice and had to continue to practice.
How he was quite good at discus and shot put and how he placed second in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Springfield, Missouri.
I’ve also heard stories about how his dad was scouted by the Cincinnati Reds.
I remember one year, Sports Illustrated came to Springfield one year and dad and I went.
There was a big celebration that featured famous athletes of Springfield’s past, where I got autographs of a guy that played in Super Bowl III with the New York Jets, former Missouri State Lady Bears greats Jackie Stiles and Melody Howard as well as a few more.
We also watched a Springfield Aces tennis match at the event. It was a great day of sports.
Despite us being Chicago Cubs fans, we trekked up to St. Louis to see Cardinals games often because of proximity.
Mom and dad were always present at my sporting events even when it meant taking off from work for them, whether that was baseball or basketball games.
Sports were a big part of my growing up.
I grew up watching Cubs games, my dad is huge Dallas Cowboys fan, so we watched those and as I’ve said in a previous column, watching the 90s Bulls was something I also did on occasion.
Dad and I would often watch sports together.
He taught me how to play sports and grow my love for the game.
He, along with my mom helped jumpstart a basketball league at our church in Springfield that is similar to the Upward leagues.
In that league, dad was my basketball coach for two years and I coached alongside him one year for my little sister’s team.
I can’t continue without saying that my love for sports was brought because my dad loves sports.
I love hearing stories about my dad and sports, especially when he can tell about athletes that were big before my time.
My dad’s all-time favorite player in any sport is former Dallas Cowboy Roger Staubach.
Those Cowboys teams growing up for him were a large part of him.
Coincidentally, the owner of the company he works for was Jerry Jones’ best man in Jones’ wedding.
Dad’s love of sports has caused a flame of loving sports to engulf me and there is not one day passes that I’m not reading about several sports stories, looking up stats, seeing how my teams are doing, trying to play armchair general manager on how I think my favorite teams should be improved.
Some of my favorite memories with dad are playing sports video games.
Whether it is football games, basketball or baseball games, dad and I love to sit down and draft our teams.
We love to build them to try to win the championship in their respective sport.
It’s an escape from the real world and one that I frequently do on my own when I have free time.
Many laughs have been shared playing these games.
One of my favorite sports memories was going to a Dallas Cowboys game in 2007.
It was dad’s first time seeing the Cowboys in person, and really all of our family, but I could tell he loved every minute of it.
I have also had a few sad moments in sports.
My biggest regret regarding sports is not waking my dad up so we could watch the Cubs win the World Series in 2016 together.
To be honest, I tear up thinking about it because though I do like the Cowboys, I feel my dad and I’s strongest sports bond is through the Cubs.
Dad has been a Cubs fan for much of his life so heartbreak was not something he wanted to see.
When Rajai Davis hit his game-tying home run, dad went to bed because he didn’t want to experience the heartbreak of the Cubs getting so close and not clutching history.
Alas, the magical 10th inning of game seven happened and the Cubs indeed won their first World Series in 108 years and I didn’t wake dad up to see it.
I love my dad for so many reasons and I can honestly say that among the many things he taught me, sports is high on that list.