Like most people born to baby boomer parents, I am a product of a broken home. My parents divorced when I was very young, and once my mother remarried, I found myself with a stepfather who didn’t like sports. Therefore, most of my childhood was a sport-less one.
Of course there were occasional breaks: like in 1984 when the Detroit Tigers were the best thing going and won a world title. My stepfather tolerated my curiosity of baseball. and by 1987 I was a devout baseball fan.
Some two years later my mother once again headed to divorce court and my sports curiosity was allowed to blossom. This was during the great run of the Detroit Pistons, "Bad Boys" edition. By the summer of 1988 I was a full blown sports nut and craved new sports to watch.
That Christmas season we headed to my grandmother's house in Indiana. It had long been tradition in my extended family to watch a good deal of the annual collegiate bowl games on New Years day, a tradition my stepfather had largely kept me segregated from.
This year however, he was gone, and I was free to indulge myself with a litany of bowl games. It was in one of those games that I first saw the great Barry Sanders. I don’t remember who they were playing or what the final score of that game was, but I do remember thinking Barry was the greatest football player ever.
Soon thereafter, Barry became a Detroit Lion; and, remembering how much I enjoyed watching him play in that bowl game, I became a Lions fan purely to watch Barry Sanders run.