A salute to sports moms

sports@macon.comMay 11, 2013 

Chances are a number of memories you have from your childhood with your mother involve sports. It’s pretty much something that comes in their job description, whether they like sports or not.

My mom raised me all by herself, so by the time I could throw a baseball, she was the one in front of the white-picket fence throwing the baseball. I’m sure there was something else she wanted to do, but she did it almost every time I wanted her to.

It got so bad she had some shoulder pain that popped up. When she told our old family doctor she was having discomfort, he asked her what she had been doing.

“All I can think of is throwing the baseball with Bill in the front yard,” she said.

Dr. Calhoun just laughed and told her she was no Phil Niekro and that she might want to be careful. She still has a dimple in her shoulder to this day from her pitching days.

Whether you had a mom like mine, who had to get off work early to take me to practice, or your mom simply had the duty of being there when your dad was at work and couldn’t come, we owe them a lot for helping us realize our sports dreams.

Heck, my mom even put up with an 8-year-old who enjoyed sitting in front of the television pretending like he was an announcer. There was probably something else she would have preferred watching, but she let me do it anyway.

Along the way, she became a pretty big fan herself, but it wasn’t necessarily by choice.

Our moms are the ones who were there, no matter what they had to sacrifice. They allowed us to play sports that they might have known nothing about, but since we wanted to do it, they wanted us to do it, too.

If you played sports, chances are your mom learned all about three seconds in the lane, off sides or perhaps even the infield fly rule. They might have cringed when you got leveled on the football field or hit by a pitch, and even though they wanted to act like a mom, they let you feel the pain and get back up and go at it again.

I was reminded of a great part of a sports movie the other day. Do you remember the scene in “The Bad News Bears” when the Yankees’ pitcher almost hit Engleberg? His dad, the coach, went out to the mound and hit him.

The kid was embarrassed, obviously, at the cruel act by his dad. On the next pitch, Engleberg hit one right back to the mound. The pitcher just held the ball, while Engleberg rounded the bases for a home run.

Then the pitcher walked off the field and dropped the ball at his dad’s foot. He walked past his dad and then past his mom, only to look back at his mom, who then came and put her arm around him.

That’s pretty much what moms do for us. When we need them, they’re there to put their arms around us and make things better.

We salute them on this day, for taking us to practice, watching us play the games and being a fan of the same team we cheer for. That’s why when most players are shown on TV after scoring a touchdown or hitting a home run, they raise their hand and say, “Hi mom.”

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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