The Day I Got To Interview My Sports Hero
Since doing radio in the building at Town Square Media for ESPN, I have been fortunate to talk with and meet a lot of real neat people from the sports world.
Chuck Long is a football God in the state of Iowa. Turk Wendell is one of the best dudes to have a conversation. And I wish everyone could meet Ric Flair.
This past Friday I got to interview my first sports hero and my favorite of all of them. My dad, Ron Foster.
I call my father, "Pop" because that is what he called his father. Pop would say it with such respect and admiration to my Grandpa, that I wanted to show the same to my father.
Pop has been playing fast pitch softball since 1974. 1974! This is his 45th season playing, coaching, organizing and contributing to the game of softball in some form of another.
The man loves fast pitch softball more than anything in this world and although that may sound weird to you, he is all right with that. If you listen to the interview provided below, he will tell you that, "Softball saved my life."
If you talk with Pop about softball, he probably will tell you that softball saved his life on more than one occasion, too.
Here are just few things about his 45 years of softball in the Quad City Area:
- He has played in, coached in or contributed to more softball games in the QCA than any other person in the area. He would argue otherwise and give you a list of people that he feels are more important to the game but he would be wrong. But that is Pop, he would put other people first
- He has played in, coached in or contributed to more softball VICTORIES than any other person in the QCA. On and at any level.
- He has played in, coached in or contributed to more softball LOSSES than any other person in the QCA. On and at any level.
- He does not remember any of his no hitters
- He can remember every home run you have hit off of him. Where it was, what inning it was and what the score was
- There are current athletes, male or female, high school or college and traveling the world, playing softball that are playing at their highest level because of his influence
Not only has Pop passed on his passion of softball to me (I have played, coached and am currently passing the game on to my daughter), he has also taught me some life lessons.
I don't know when and I don't know why but years ago we had a discussion and I can't remember the topic. But I remember what he said to me because it still has a very profound effect on how I look at myself and how I handle myself. He said, "The way I look at it is this, Jay. If people are talking about me, at least they aren't talking about somebody else."
Meaning, he knows he can handle the B.S. that some can throw his way but maybe the next person they chose to throw shade to can not handle it as well.
He did not tell me I had to approach people's bad intentions like he does. He just passed along another option to handle the situation. I get to pass that option on to my kids, too.
Another example. I am sure I was complaining about something stupid and at some point in response my Dad said, "Listen. If this is the worst thing that is going to happen to you in your life, then you are going to live a good life."
And another home run in life lessons by Pop! If you can survive your current situation and you know that it is the absolute worst you are ever going to feel in your life than everything else is cream cheese.
I don't know if Pop's messages to me where his original words or if he heard them somewhere else. I don't really care about the creation- I care about the delivery.
People wonder some times why I love Rocky so much. Because Pop IS my real life Rocky Balboa. He has showed me how to have passion for life and how to get up every time. Even when you just did not want to get up again.
I believe everyone should be interviewed once. It is a learning moment for the audience, interviewer and the interviewee.
Unfortunately, we cannot all be with our Dads on Father's Day but there is still someone out there that may still influence you in a paternal way. So today take time to talk with them or your Dad or your Grandfather.
More than talk with them- interview them. We all can download an app on our smart phones that records and we all have the capabilities to format that interview into an MP3 to keep.
I don't care if it is four and a half minutes or four and a half hours but do yourself a favor and give it the effort. Below is the 45 minute interview with Pop from 6/14/19 on ESPN 93.5 FM KJOC's "Don't Hassle Us We're Local".
Pop deserves more than 45 minutes. He is approaching 39 years of sobriety on June 28th. Sounds like another great reason to interview my sports hero.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL THE FATHERS OUT THERE!!!