Of LeBron, My Mom & Mother’s Day

Hey Cleveland. As you (hopefully) already know Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day. I’m not going too far out on a limb when I venture the guess that I am NOT the only sports-loving mom out there. In fact, I know I am not.

I have some wonderful memories of spending Mother’s Day watching playoff basketball with my mom & son. Even though my mom never followed professional basketball, she put the time in to learn the game when my son was seven and started playing in the Parks & Rec League. She was a fan of football (of course the Browns,) baseball (the Tribe & the Reds) so picking up the Cavaliers mantel was not a huge stretch for her. She embraced and heartily defended our team & players, especially LeBron James. She even insisted on being there (in a wheelchair straight out of the hospital) on my son’s last night at LeBron’s basketball camp in Akron and glowingly bragged to anyone who would listen how wonderfully LeBron treated her grandson.

Predictably, her tune changed when James and his talents wandered off to South Beach. We spent her last Mother’s Day in her room at the rehabilitation center watching playoff basketball. Trying not to laugh at her critiques of LeBron. He could do no right in her eyes. If the Cavaliers lost it was on him and there was no reasoning with her. A typical conversation about a Cavs playoff loss went something like this:

Mom: “I see that lazy player you like so much lost that game.”
Me: “You mean LeBron?”
Mom: “Yes, that traitor. He didn’t even try.”
Me: “But he played nearly every minute of the game.”
Mom: “See, if he had tried harder, they would have won.”
Me: “But, he scored over 50 points.”
Mom: “He should have at least tried.”
Me: “What! There are entire teams who don’t score much above that in a whole game.”
Mom: “He should play like he means it.”

And that’s when I would remember that this was a discussion I couldn’t win.

She never forgave him after his return and didn’t live long enough to see him hoist the trophy. It made the title a little bittersweet, but she wouldn’t have given Bron much credit for it. I can imagine her saying something like, “it’s about damn time he pulled his head out of his ass and played.”

As frustrating as those conversations were, I treasure the memories and would do almost anything to talk sports with my mom now.

That’s my point with this piece. (I understand there are people out there with truly toxic moms – this isn’t directed at you.) But for everyone else, be sure to take a minute (or more) to appreciate your mom, ideally every day but for sure on Mother’s Day. There is nothing more coveted by a mom than a bit of her adult child’s time.

If you have a sports fan mom, there are great gifts out there beyond coffee mugs and car magnets. Think about giving an experience, like tickets to an upcoming Indians game or a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Memorabilia, player jerseys, and décor are fun gifts, too. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the gift of a stylish Cleveland Sports Talk t-shirt or other items found in our online store. https://teespring.com/stores/cst-summer-19-store

If you are a sports fan with a sports fan (or fanatic) for a mom, you have a great opportunity to forge a special bond. Why not start this Mother’s Day? You will be glad you did.

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