My Pom Poms are Illini Orange and White Sox Black

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 5 of #BTBC14
For which teams do you get out your pom poms?


The "Go Go" White Sox (as my daughter calls them), the Fighting Illini and runners.  

     Funny thing is, I don't really like sports.  But I am a big fan.  Kind of odd, in a way, that I know nothing about the sports that they play, but I wear their colors and defend them with pride in friendly sports banter as it comes up.  But, I don't actually tune in to watch them play, and I don't really know current players or stats or whatever.  ...But I am a big fan.  

     We recently took my goddaughter to an Illinois/ Ohio football game.  Boy, do I dislike Ohio.  Not sure why, but I am pretty sure I am supposed to.  Then, at halftime, I stayed and watched their band perform because they are amazing.  I then got up to go buy snacks, and while I was in line, I realized that my own team's band was performing.  I remember looking up at the big screen, and seeing them out there, and turned to my cousin and said, "Now, this might seem odd.  Me buying this hotdog and souvenir hot cocoa mug while my own band is performing...  But, it's really about tradition.  With the Big 10, you have pride and tradition.  It doesn't matter that we won't win this game to me."  I guess that is why I only went to one football game my whole college career, but I drove down 15 years later to go with my cousin.  And why I practically teared up at the ILL   INI chanting during the game.  Tradition.  

    I am an Illini fan, because I am an Illini.  I wanted to be a teacher, and I pushed myself to leave my family and go away to college, because that is what I needed to do to become a teacher.  And I did.  It is about going to college, and having dreams, and working hard.  It is about taking charge of your future.  It is what I hope all my students get to experience some day, at whatever college they choose to attend.  I became a big Illini fan about 5 years AFTER I graduated from there, and realized that if my students knew about college at a young age, they might start setting goals early on.  I always had pictures outside of my door of students "caught" wearing Illini, hoping to help them see the bigger picture.  The future starts today.
Paulie! Paulie! Paulie!
    I am a huge White Sox fan because of my husband.  I guess my family has always been on the White Sox side of things, but it wasn't until I met Brian that I saw what being a fan really looked like.  And, if it is important to him, then it is important for our kids.  I want them to have that bonding experience with their dad.  So, once a year we now go to the White Sox games, and I entertain the kids at the Fundamentals Deck and find the hotdogs, the Irish nachos, the curly fries and the funnel cakes (which is why I go to the game) while Brian watches the game.  We went yesterday, in fact, for the 4th.  We were in the kid area, looking for daddy, while I guess the best plays of the game were being played.  I had no idea.  I was snapping pictures of the kids and enjoying the atmosphere.  We got back just in time to see Paul Konerko (my favorite player) hit a home run.  YEAH PAULIE!!!  Not that I was paying attention, but the whole place stood up, fireworks booming, people chanting, it was great.  Great because my kids have Konerko jerseys because Evan was born on the 14th.  For that reason, Paul Konerko is my favorite player.  He also seems to be a pretty good role model, and that is important to me, too.

     After the game was over, I lifted Evan up and showed him how all the players high five each other after the win.  I told him that was the reason I love baseball, because they show sportsmanship.  The truth is, being the person who doesn't really know all that much about baseball, I was very disappointed to find out that they don't high five the other team.  I always thought they did. They support each other, but they aren't really showing good sportsmanship, IMO. I guess they only do that in Little League.  


     I suppose I am a fan, but not a sports fan, because I believe in pride and tradition, but I don't really believe in competition.  I believe in competing against yourself, but not against others.  Perhaps that is because I am the most un-athletic person on the planet.  But, I like to think that I am that way in all areas of life.  I like to see others succeed.  I like to cheer people on when they get recognized.  But, I also feel like sometime you have to be your own fan, too.  I believe in being a fan.  This fan does happen to choose to wear Illini orange and White Sox black, but I can be persuaded.  :)  

     Another sport that I cheer for is running.  My husband has run 14 Chicago Marathons and many other races, and now my kids are big into those Kids' Dashes that they attach to 5Ks.  I have made many an iron on T-shirt and poster to support Daddy during the "big race."  Waking up at 5am to drive to Chicago and walk the streets, mile marker to mile marker, cheering on runners I don't know, often from countries from around the world.  I know the rules of running.  Just keep running.  The determination runners have is something that I respect greatly, since I myself cannot run to the end of the block.  They are determined.  They have a goal in mind, and they move toward that goal.  And if you ask a runner how they did, they never complain about someone else's time being better than theirs.  They complain that they didn't reach their PR.  They compete against themselves, for 26.2 miles straight.  Then, they often do it again, in search of that PR.  Definitely worthy of pom poms.

     Go the distance this year.  Set goals.  Work towards them.  Be your own fan, but let your PLN support you too.  I'll get my pom pons out for you, too!  


  1. I had no clue your husband was a runner. I wonder if I have ran past him in the burbs. We could have even been buddies cheering our husbands on at the Chicago Marathon.

    It is definitely your spirit that keeps your family and us motivated, regardless if it is educational or cheering from the sidelines. :)

    Teaching In Stride

  2. Such a lovely family! Absolutely adorable pics! Glad that you are teaching the inner drive mixed with outward cheerleader!

  3. Leah, super funny how you left when your own band played...I was lol-ing over here! Love your ending line about the PLN - I love being a part of one!