Salute to a special Soccer Mom

May. 16, 2013 @ 09:58 AM

By now we are all familiar with the term, “soccer mom.” I’d venture a guess that we have all come in contact with this minivan-driving, lawn-chair toting, snack-packing individual who has become an icon in American society.  Maybe you are a soccer mom yourself and since we just recently celebrated Mother’s Day, I wanted to send out a salute to all the soccer moms who have made sacrifices to support their kids.

I’ve seen this support first hand over the last five years of covering sports in Rutherford County and it’s not limited to the soccer pitch. All sports and all levels have their soccer moms. From peewee to the pros, you can find them lending their support whether the team is championship contender or one that just wants to finish the season so they can have a pizza party. They are always there.

The soccer mom phenomenon usually fades away when the child hangs up his cleats or pads for the final time. Notice I say usually because I’m 29 and I still have a soccer mom.

I have never scored a touchdown, hit a homer or garnered a goal. I just write about others who do. But that doesn’t stop my mom from loading up the minivan in the time honored fashion and carrying me to the games I cover. Except in my case, the lawn chair becomes a wheelchair which has to be pushed over dusty fields, gravel parking and, during football season, carried up press box steps.

But in every other way, she is the quintessential soccer mom and I am your typical soccer kid. A recent conversation provides a perfect example.

Mom: I fixed you something to eat before your game.

Me: Carrots and Celery? But I want a candy bar.

Mom: You can have a candy bar when you finish your carrots and celery.

When we arrive at the game, Mom often stays to help fill out my lineup cards and fulfill other soccer mom duties like giving me a grape Gatorade with the familiar words, “I don’t want you to get dehydrated out there.”

Like any good soccer mom, she is also an amateur statistician.

Mom knows the positions on a baseball field by number and that the term “battery” has nothing to do with the Energizer Bunny.

The one sport she has yet to master is football. At a game last season, as Chase was approaching midfield, she said, “All right the running back just carried for five yard from the 48 to the 53 yard line.” Let’s just say during football season, I’m thankful for Soccer Dad.

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After the games, we sometimes go out for a happy meal to celebrate my latest example of journalistic genius that will be cut out and put in an ever growing scrap book. The only snag is, at my age, happy meals come from Hooters not McDonalds. We share a laugh and settle on Hardees.

As I write this column, Mom is preparing to be “soccer mom” once again. We are going to cover the Thomas Jefferson and Hendersonville match and I’m sure there will be plenty of carrots and celery in the cooler.

Since it’s a 45-minute drive, I might even get a chance to pop some old Scooby Doo episodes in the DVD player.

If the Gryphons win two more games, they will once again be headed to Raleigh for the State Championship. If I get the privilege of covering that match, I know who will make the sacrifice to take me there ... my soccer mom.