Anybody know a good florist? This week, I’ll be celebrating both Valentine’s Day AND my 13th wedding anniversary by heading to Maryvale, Arizona, for six weeks of Spring Training! Don’t worry, I’m only slightly in the doghouse. After all, it was my wife, Michele, who pushed the final chip to the middle when this Brewers job was on the table.
I’d love to tell you she did it because of her passion for baseball. But, no, Milwaukee was a "go" with my wife because she loves the schools, the seasons, and the people. Truth is, my bride doesn’t know much about sports at all. She’s an educator, a bookworm and a great equalizer in this fanatical, sports crazed country. She has met some of the most famous people in the sports world, completely oblivious and unimpressed with career accomplishments or public standing. It cracks me up when she’s says things like, "That guy, Doug (Melvin), seems nice…what’s he do?" She likes Mike Maddux because he knows a lot about the public school system and the real estate market in the Milwaukee area, even though she’s still not sure what position he plays. Nope, talk of Bill Hall or Jeff Suppan will be returned with a blank stare, followed by a properly placed "and…"
Don’t get me wrong, my wife loves the fact that I’m following my dream. She’s on board 100%. She even likes going to games and being at the ballpark. She’s just not impressed. She can sniff out a person’s character like a bloodhound…and credentials don’t mean much. Which is exactly why I love her so.
An example: Early in my TV career, I worked in production for Monday Night Football. As a favor, my boss offered Michele, then my fiance, a chance to work on the crew as a runner for the Stage Manager. The Stage Manager is the person who manages the booth, making sure the announcers are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. In 1994, the MNF announcers were Frank, Al and Dan…and sharing the booth with these legendary broadcasters…my sweet lady. Just hours before kickoff, Michele’s first (and last) "order" was to retrieve Al Michaels from the make-up room and deliver him to the booth for pre game voice overs. So with a teacher’s sense of duty and organization, Michele strolled down the hallway with confidence and purpose…spotted her target…then delivered the message exactly as it had been given to her: "Al…they are ready for you in the booth, come with me!" To which the confused man in the chair responded: "Young lady, my name…is Frank." Unfazed, she replied, "Sorry, Frank…which one’s Al?" Al chimes in, "I’m right here." Then, having solved the riddle, Michele commanded, "Well OK…A-L! They are ready for you in the booth. Come with me!" Like a kindergartner being delivered to the bus line, the great Al Michaels made it to his voice over on time and in tact!
So with that love story, I’d like to wish my beautiful wife a Happy Valentine’s Day and a Happy Anniversary! Thirteen wonderful years and the fun is just beginning. I can’t wait to find out which sports legend will be next to eat some of her homemade humble pie!
Honey, you’re a great wife, a great mom, and a great teacher…see you in six weeks!
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