This may be a little late, but as we were celebrating Father’s Day this past weekend, I was thinking about my father in regard to sports. It occurred to me that even though he’s not a huge sports fan, it was my father who took me to many of my first major sports events. And I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful to still be able to enjoy sports with my dad, who will be 81 in October.
You see, my father is an immigrant from Sicily who really didn’t know much about American sports when he first came to this country. He was not real knowledgeable about baseball, didn’t really know anything about football, he had some clue about basketball, and as for hockey, well. He knew soccer, but that was about it.
My love for sports must have come from my mother, but I give my dad a lot of credit for becoming a sports fan, and wanting to take part in that with me, because he knew it was something I really enjoyed.
The first professional baseball game he attended was of the minor league team in our hometown, Jamestown, New York. Later he became more of a fan of the Jamestown team, and would attend several games each season when I worked for the team. However, the first Major League Baseball game we saw was when he took me to Pittsburgh sometime in the late 1970s. We went to a few more games in Pittsburgh over the years.
For a long time, I would bug my father to take me to Buffalo to see the former NBA team, the Braves, or the Sabres, or even the Harlem Globetrotters, but to drive the 70 miles from Jamestown to Buffalo in the winter was a bit risky. You might make it to Buffalo, but then get stuck in a blizzard trying to get home. So he refused to make that drive in the winter. I finally got to my first NHL game in Buffalo with a group from school and we rode a bus.
We did venture to Orchard Park, just outside Buffalo, in November one year to attend a Buffalo Bills game. It was our first NFL game, and one of my friends went with us. However, it was very cold and the inevitable happened, it snowed during the game. I hate to say it, but we kept going back and forth to the restrooms just to warm up. Besides the cold, my father didn’t like the atmosphere, as there were many inebriated fans in our area shouting obscenities.
My dad swore he’d never take me to another Bills game again, and he kept that promise. I did get to go to a couple more Bills games before moving to Tulsa, but that was as a member of my high school band as we performed at halftime.
As I got older, the tables turned a bit and soon I was taking my father to sports events. We’ve enjoyed many Tulsa Oilers and Drillers games over the years, the PBR and rodeo, indoor soccer and more. Now I plan to take him to his first Tulsa Roughnecks game in the next few weeks.
Like many father/son relationships, sports is a big part of the bonding process, and even though it didn’t come naturally for my dad, he learned to make it a part of our relationship, and for that I’m truly grateful.
ROUGHNECKS TIE L.A.
The Tulsa Roughnecks FC battled back from a two-goal deficit to play to a 2-2 draw with the L.A. Galaxy II, Saturday night in front of 3,829 fans at ONEOK Field.
Galaxy II wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard. Just three minutes into the match an L.A. corner kick by Josh Turnley was headed into the goal by Jeffry Payeras.
L.A. made it a 2-0 game when Jack McBean took a free kick in the 23rd minute, just outside the penalty area, that bounced off the wall of players in front of the goal and went into the back of the net.
In the 41st minute, Alejandro Covarrubias of L.A. tripped Tulsa’s Sammy Ochoa, just inside the left side of the penalty area. Ochoa was awarded a penalty kick. On his kick, Ochoa kept the ball on the ground and just inside the right post for a goal; his seventh of the season.
The Galaxy II led 2-1 at halftime.
Right after halftime (47’), Tulsa’s Jasson Ramos Carpio took a corner kick from the left side that bounced off the L.A. goalkeeper’s arm and deflected into the goal. It was ruled an own-goal as the ball would not have gone in directly off the kick, and the score was tied 2-2.
The Roughnecks are now 2-9-2 on the season and will host Arizona United SC on July 1 at 7:30 p.m.