Sports are full of milestones. Athletes remember most of their firsts – first year, first fumble, first start, first injury, first time to score, first championship appearance. They remember the good, the bad and ugly but I’m guessing that as they look back on the years, they remember it fondly despite all the ups and downs.
It’s much the same way as a sports fan. You look back on a career of an athlete through the years and you remember him as a rookie and are proud of what that athlete has a accomplished and if he makes it to the Hall of Fame, it makes it feel old knowing you remember him before he was big time but also gives you a sense of pride.
All this stuff is applicable in any area of life and when someone achieves a milestone, it’s worthy of celebration.
My parents just achieved a major milestone this week – 50 years of marriage. That’s something that’s a rarity these days.
They got married on June 14, 1969, the same day that Reggie Jackson had 10 RBI to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 21-7 win over the Boston Red Sox but my parents probably don’t remember that. They’re neither A’s fans nor Red Sox fans.
The year they got married was the same year that Joe Namath guaranteed the Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Nolan Ryan was drafted by the “Amazing Mets” who won the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. That same year, Neil Armstrong took a giant leap for mankind on the moon. It seems only fitting that it all happened in 1969.
Fifty years – that’s a long time and kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around. In a couple weeks, I will have been married one year but my parents have been married 50 times longer. If they continue that rate of being married 50 times longer than I have, then next year they will have been married 100 years. Or is that not how it works?
It’s also pretty fitting that today we celebrate Father’s Day as I’m sure my dad clearly remembers the milestone day of marrying my mom and then when he became a dad himself for the first time. They probably weren’t expecting to be parents of seven children (and countless grand children) to cause so many ups and downs but I’m guessing they would say it’s been worth it.
Within my parents 50 years of marriage, the Cowboys won five Super Bowls and I got to witness three of which I got to witness with my dad as we cheered on our team to memorable milestones.
As I’ve said repeatedly, there are several life lessons that can be learned through sports, such as a solid work ethic, teamwork, perseverance and more, lessons I learned from watching sports with my dad and brothers. There’s no doubt sports brought us closer as a family, giving us something to bond over as we often celebrated victory or grieved the loss in defeat. Regardless, in wins and losses, in injuries and health, it’s all been worth it from my perspective.
Growing up watching and playing sports also built my passion and eventually led me to a career of sports journalism and now, quite frankly, I can’t imagine doing anything else for a career.
So with that being said, I’d like to say congratulations to my parents for the incredible milestone and to dads everywhere, especially mine, happy Father’s Day.