Mac Engel

On Mother’s Day, a thanks to the moms who watch the games with us

Big Mac Chat with sports anchor Mike Doocy

Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist chats with long time DFW sports anchor Mike Doocy of KDFW Fox 4.
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist chats with long time DFW sports anchor Mike Doocy of KDFW Fox 4.

We always heard about Jason Garrett’s late father, Jim, but we seldom heard about his mom, Jane.

Jane delivered eight children. “Eight” as in eight.

“(We) were a year apart and my dad was a football coach and we had two or three dogs every year of my life. The person who kept that all together was my mom,” Garrett said Saturday of his mom, who is 83. “My mom was amazing keeping us all together and teaching us unbelievable values. You talk about team work. She was the master of being able to make the whole thing function. My dad would be the first one to say that.

“It was not perfect. We fought more than anybody and raised hell, and boys against girls. Trust me, that was very much a part of it. But she was amazing at keeping everyone together. ... She literally used to go to five football games a weekend. She was always there. Incredibly supportive.”

How many moms did Jason Garrett describe?

Start with mine.

My mother, Ann, has the eye-hand coordination of a tree, her idea of swimming is standing in three feet of water, and strenuous exercise for her is a walk on a beach.

There is, however, no “Chasing Children Calories Burned” app. No computer software engineer could possibly create the algorithm.

On this Mother’s Day I am grateful I can celebrate my mom again for a variety of reasons, one of them was that she embraced her children’s activities, up to and including the sports they played, no matter how horrible they were at them.

To every mom who has no interest in the game but does so for her children, thank you.

If you are bored to death by your kid’s games, know they will always remember that you were there to watch. You can supply expensive equipment and spend thousands on a variety of traveling teams, but nothing will ever top the time spent to either watch, or play, with them.

Ann Prince Engel was born in the era when girls did not play sports, long before President Richard Nixon made Title IX the law; this was when a muscle on a female was considered “butch” and, the biggest sin, unfeminine.

Raised in Charleston, West Virginia back ... go with a long time ago, pro or college sports were not a part of her scene. As a tall girl who struggled with coordination, playing sports were not an alternative.

When the kids started coming, mom took up baseball, basketball, football, soccer, wrestling, etc. She learned all of it when she did not have to.

Mom had zero baseline for sports, but when confronted with the challenge of six of the worst creatures on earth - her five sons and one daughter - she had two options: Learn the sports, or just read a book or do a crossword puzzle during practices or games.

Mom learned baseball, basketball, football and auto racing not because she had a deep passion for any of this, but rather for her children. I am closer to my mom because she watched the games with us, and took the time to take an interest in something not because she was a big football fan, but rather the games created a bond with her family.

Eventually I learned that maybe mom’s passion for all of this wasn’t quite as deep as I thought; mom attended the University of North Carolina, but she liked Duke basketball.

The more time passes, I only appreciate she sat in the living room to watch all of those games with us.

She let me stay up to watch Bill Buckner bobble the ball in the 1986 World Series (dad had to lean on her to do it). She celebrated when Kirk Gibson hit the home run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. She and dad were OK to take me to Reds’ Opening Day in 1991, a school day.

I was the world’s worst middle school football player; so bad I couldn’t get on the field, even on a team that won by wide margins. I can still see my mom and dad sitting in the stands to support their sideline-son. In the rain.

She tried to shoot baskets with me but ... that one didn’t quite take.

For someone who had no preparation, or maybe even interest in sports, she embraced the games. Having had tea parties and played Barbies with my own daughter, I now know what mom was doing.

On behalf of all the kids whose mom’s took the time to watch, or take us, to the game when maybe they were not itching to do so, thank you. We never forget it.

Happy Mother’s Day.

BIG MAC BITES

Watching the Dallas Cowboys rookie minicamp over the weekend and undrafted receiver Jalen Guyton from North Texas will push to make this team.

The NBA Draft lottery is Tuesday and do not expect the Dallas Mavericks to land a top 5 pick. It will be shipped to Atlanta to complete the trade for Luka Doncic. The Mavs have a 4.5 percent chance of landing the top pick, a 4.8 percent chance for No. 2, and 5.2 percent for No. 3.

They only want No. 1 overall, for Zion Williamson. Naturally, they will win the third overall pick and will be stuck selecting Duke’s RJ Barrett.

Touring the new Texas Rangers ballpark under construction in Arlington my first thought was the artist renderings don’t quite accurately reflect how much this new place will look like Minute Maid Park in Houston. I always thought Minute Maid Park was a solid hit, so if that’s your taste you’ll like it.

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