There’s no question I am who I am today thanks in large part to you–specifically, my love of sports. I was thinking about just how big of an impact you’ve had on my sports life and was blown away. A simple thank you is hardly enough, but I’ve got to give it a shot.
Thank you for being the best baseball coach I ever had; for teaching me how to throw (and hit) a curveball. Thank you for the extra hours spent throwing batting practice, hitting grounders, and catching bullpen sessions.
Thank you for driving me all over the state during my travel basketball career. I think once I finally hung up the sneakers I had heard every Harry Chapin song about 500 times on long car rides with you. We did the drive to Bulls/Sox Academy so many times that I looked forward to the trip with you just as much as I did the games themselves. Thank you for taking me to Proviso West every Christmas so I could learn from the best, and then still having the energy to rebound for me in the driveway right after.
When I picked up tennis, even though it was outside your area of expertise, you did the whole thing all over again. Driving to tournaments, taking time on family vacations to rally…you name it, you did it.
Thank you for helping introduce me to my first four loves: the Bulls, the Sox, the Bears, and Notre Dame football.
Once I went to Indiana, you took up following the Hoosiers, too. There is no more frustrating fandom, so I appreciate you giving up countless afternoons that could be spent doing literally anything else to suffer with me.
Thank you for helping me gain an appreciation for golf that will last a lifetime. I can confidently say it’s the one sport in which I’ll never catch up to you (unless you’re down to start spotting me 30 strokes per round, I wouldn’t hate it). Even so, I’m honored to be in your dream golf foursome along with Dan and Dan.
Above all, thank you for supporting me every step of the way. Whether I was playing, broadcasting, writing, or even podcasting, you’ve always been my number one fan. I can only hope someday that I have the same impact on my son’s life as you’ve had on mine.