Mother’s Day, Graduation, and Sibling Rivalry

My mother, Rose Mary, is a special woman. Recently I was sitting with a group of men and we were discussing what we were most thankful for in our lives. The discussion was about unexpressed gratitude for things that we had taken for granted and had neglected to give thanks for. My answer was my mother’s love for me and all of her children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren. My mother will be 77-years-old this June and I guess I would compare her love for all of us like the sun shining down on us. Most days we just take the sun for granted but it continues to shine and provide light and warmth for all that we need. In fact, how often does one stop and reflect about the sun and all that it provides for us? Well, mothers are very much the same even when children are ungrateful. Our mothers gave us life, and sometimes we take that life granted. “Unexpressed gratitude is like winking in the dark. You know how you feel about them, but they don’t.”

Well, it finally happened. My oldest son, Lamar Hunt III, graduated from college with three bachelor’s degrees – one in philosophy, one in math, and one in linguistics. He did so well at “The University of Kansas” that family members were obliged to attend not one but TWO recognition ceremonies. The first was a ceremony for those in the University Honors Program and the second was a ceremony for those graduating with “highest distinction.” Much like his grandfather, Lamar Hunt, Lamar III is a quiet, introverted individual who doesn’t blow his own horn. At one point along his academic journey, he won the philosophy award and neglected to tell his parents about it. Perhaps Lamar’s greatest gift is a lack of attachment to worldly things such as honors or vain pride. “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  E. E. Cummings

On Saturday night May 12, the Columbus Crew hosted FC Dallas at Crew Stadium. On different occasions, family members are asked which team they root for when the two teams play each other because the Hunt family is the investor-operator of both teams. In the past I would often hear my Dad say that he would root for a good game – naturally thinking about the fans and the thrill of attending a live sporting event. My answer to that question is more like one of a parent being fond of a first-born child. Both teams have played in the MLS Cup in recent years, so both franchises have known success. When my father began considering where to locate his first MLS franchise, he settled on Columbus, Ohio. The state of Ohio was a soccer hotbed (and still is) and the community was able to deliver 10,000 season ticket holders.

Without meaning to offend FC Dallas or its fans in any way, I was happy that the Crew won the game on an absolutely spectacular header. In looking at the replay, it looked as if the FC Dallas goalkeeper’s vision was slightly obscured – thus allowing the spectacular header to find the net before the keeper could make a play on the ball. The “Pioneer Bowl,” as this game is called, honors my father, Lamar Hunt, as well as the fans of the game. The Pioneer Bowl is a great rivalry, and will hopefully continue to help stoke interest in (and the growth of) Major League Soccer.