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Meeting Mike Eruzione

April 3, 2010

Okay – so I didn’t really meet him necessarily.  I more or less sat in a room with 1000 other people and listened to him speak – but none the less – it was a great day and a great moment for my ten year old son, Kobe, and I.

My best friend of pretty much my entire life was recently inducted in UNO’s Hall of Fame.  Kobe and I were invited to sit at her table and we were honored.  She didn’t think it was a big deal or a big honor – but we did and were overjoyed to be there for it.  Mike Eruzione was the guest speaker for the event and he did a wonderful job.  It was the ideal speech to have Kobe sit through as he talked about playing as a TEAM over playing as an individual, respect for all things – yourself, your teammates, your fans, your coach and so on.  He talked about rolling up your sleeves and working hard – and about how everything in life that is worth anything comes from that.  He gave this little story on perspective – it’s not word for word – but as close as I can remember it.  (For those of you who don’t know who he is – he scored the winning goal in the 1980 USA vs. Russia Olympic games for the US to win the Gold medal.  The only reason I knew when I got the invite was because the day before I had just watched an ESPN special on Herb Brooks)  After they won the gold he said he got fan mail – and bags of it – including five marriage proposals – and he said not a one included a picture – PERSPECTIVE.  Then Mazda (or some car company) dropped off a car for him – he drove it everywhere – and after a year – they took it back – PERSPECTIVE.  Once during the Olympics in the locker room President Jimmy Carter called and asked to speak directly to him – Mike said – “It’s been thirty years and I haven’t heard from him since!” – PERSPECTIVE. I thought it was a great story – and a great message to kids and adults – don’t get caught up in who you think you are – the good and the bad all come and go with time.

Before Mike spoke – Steph was called up after the other two guys that were inducted this year – and I will tell you as I watched her take the stage it brought tears to my eyes.  I am not the type of person to cry at sappy movies, chick flicks or stories of lost kittens, I don’t like flowers on Valentines Day, and I don’t like to discuss my feelings.  But being so proud of someone that I love and care about so much made me well up.  She’s an incredible person and to see the people just flooding around her at the dinner and the fact that she was selected to be in the Hall of Fame made me so proud for her to be my best friend and the Auntie to all of my kids.  Thanks again for having us Steph – your amazing and will always be a hero to Kobes, Maddie and Jax.

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