Getting Silly with Dear Old Dad: Boston Breakers' Jordan Angeli's Father
The following is part of a weekly series in which writer Todd Civin presents the lighter side of the Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
The league is built on the down-to-earth nature and approachability of its athletes. "Getting Silly with the Breakers" is a fun-filled way to create a comfortable bond between the fans and the professional athletes who are the Boston Breakers.
A special thanks to Erica Hunt, the Communications Director for the team, as well as the players themselves for making this approach possible.
It is difficult for Art and Lindy Angeli to calculate exactly how many hours have been spent watching their daughter Jordan play soccer over the years.
One would estimate that an infinite number of cold mornings in the Colorado fall were spent packing the Angeli family into the back of the mini-van to see their little "soccer star" play.
A parent wouldn't be a parent if they didn't sit and dream about their budding "Kristine Lilly" some day growing up to play with, well, Kristine Lilly.
Each and every one of us has cheered wildly as our star in the making broke down the wing and wondered if their kid might just have the stuff to make it all the way.
For most of us, however, reality becomes reality as our child bends down to pick another daisy as some other guy's "soccer star" flies by to score the go-ahead goal.
And then there's Art and Lindy Angeli, whose daughter Jordan is preparing to play her first season in Women's Professional Soccer for the Boston Breakers.
In less than a week, their "little soccer star" will be suiting up with the likes of Lilly, Kelli Smith, Alex Scott, and Leslie Osborne as she begins her professional soccer career against the Washington Freedom on April 10.
I tracked down Jordan's daddy after finding he was a fan of the Breakers Getting Silly articles and asked if he'd participate in a little payback for making he and the family sit through those thousands of games leading up to Jordan's professional debut.
Todd Civin: At what age did you and your wife suspect that Jordan was a pro in the making?
Art Angeli: Professional what? Would you believe, at birth? Neither would we! She has been a professional screamer since the second she was born! No question that her lungs were fully developed.
We always believed that she would accomplish whatever she wanted in soccer because she constantly worked on improving her skills.
TC: Tell us about her first soccer game as a five-year-old. Did she shine above the other five-year-olds?
AA: First, it was really difficult to determine who was shining when all of them were running two feet apart closely surrounding the ball. Secondly, we had no idea what the game was all about because neither of us were soccer players.
However, at that age she did seem to have a knack for collisions and would often "gently nudge" other little kids to the ground to create room for her to get to the goal.
TC: From age five to present, how many games do you estimate that you attended?
AA: If you are talking about Jordan's games, it would be considerable. However, together with her older sister, Ashley, playing competitive soccer and basketball and her brother, Darik playing competitive hockey (he still plays) and baseball, it would be a big number. Adding all of them together seems it has to be close to a million.
TC: Are you the president of her fan club?
AA: Since the president is in charge of setting the agenda...NEVER. We would probably be more like the controller; in charge of paying all the bills associated with vast travels, uniforms, cleats, shin-guards, etc.
But watching her accomplishments as a player, we are due-paying members of the club.
I would guess that Steven Whiteaker would be the president. Jordan is great friends with his daughter Rachel from club soccer and he has always been in her corner.
TC: If Jordan didn't play pro soccer, what could she be?
AA: Reflecting on prior performances, does lead singer in Rock Band count? Ace Ventura, Pet Detective? America's Next Supermodel? Actually, we would think that she would be involved in the game in some manner.
Whether that would take the form of coaching, either part or full-time, or a front office/administration/marketing position, we feel she would still be involved in soccer.
TC: She states that she can play the recorder with her nose. Have you or Lindy seen her in concert?
AA: Yes, we have always been the fortunate ones that were able to see the first performance, as we were with most of her antics.
The day she discovered she had the talent, she was sitting at the kitchen table and had just finished her rehearsal for the upcoming "normal recorder" concert and decided to give it a shot.
Come to think of it, I hope that wasn't the same recorder that her brother used a couple of years later.
TC: Where does she get her athletic skills?
AA: As I hear from all of my friends, there is no doubt that it comes from her mother. Maybe I can get some bonus points for that answer.
TC: Tell us about her Junior Prom.
AA: At her high school, the dances were attended in the "group" format. Probably about 20 of them piled into a father's RV (Christmas Vacation ring a bell?). I don't think Cousin Eddie was driving, but they were all friends and traveled in a big group.
Mom was not impressed that her nice dress was accented with flip flops. After the dance, they returned to the school for "After Prom," where the school was decorated and filled with casino games, karaoke, etc.
TC: Have you spent any time on her Facebook page and is there concern on your part why it really took her six years to graduate from Santa Clara?
AA: Are you trying to tell us something? All we ever heard was that the classes were very difficult and that studying was occupying all the spare time that she was not training.
She told us that she kept going back because she had been injured. She always felt that she was "the life of the party," so, if you have proof, please send it along.
TC: Tell us about a time she was grounded.
AA: I can't think of too many times that she was grounded. Often sent to her room for roughing up her brother or sister, but can't think of groundings.
Just once when she was pretty little and together with her sister assisted in the construction of the house being built next door.
TC: How did she keep her bedroom growing up?
AA: The best of all of our children. However, mom could never figure out how the floor was a critical part of clothes storage.
TC: What household chores was she responsible for and did she get an allowance?
AA: Lets see, vacuuming? NO. Laundry? NO. Cleaning bathroom? NO. Washing dishes? NO. Mowing the lawn? NO. Cleaning up after the dog? Once in a blue moon.
She didn't get an allowance unless you consider us paying for lunches, soccer equipment, gas, insurance, and movies as a stipend.
Actually she was very helpful, considerate, and thankful and is always willing to help out.
TC: Are there expectations that she will buy you a car or larger home with her WPS salary?
AA: At this point, let's just say we are not holding our breath.
TC: Funniest Halloween costume as a child?
AA: This is going to be hard to believe, but it was probably a clown outfit. She was "blessed" with extremely curly hair, so fluffing out her hair added to its authenticity.
TC: Did she have any unusual habits or imaginary friends that she talked to?
AA: No, but she would often join in the conversation with Ashley and her imaginary friend.
TC: Any pets growing up?
AA: One day upon arriving home from work, they surprised me with their big accomplishment for the day.
Their soccer coach had a neighbor whose dog had given birth to Dalmatian/Black Lab puppies, which was a necessary addition to our new house.
As I was told, she was "the cutest dog that ever lived" and that they were going to take care of her and feed her and pick-up after her. Chase became mom's dog, at least in the care area.
TC: Describe her eating habits growing up. Was she fussy?
AA: If you are asking if she had fussy eating habits, no. But if you are asking if she is fussy? That's a whole other story.
TC: She says on the Breakers fan page that she is learning to cook. How is it coming?
AA: She is turning into quite a good cook. Actually, her cooking is missed quite a bit around here. Remember, she got her athletic ability from her mother, but not her cooking skills. We are quite happy that she progressed from watching the Food Channel to actually preparing some of the dishes.
TC: What was the oddest item she stuck up her nose or an embarrassing moment you recall from her life?
AA: Other than the recorder and various items to stop her nose from bleeding, can't think of any.
However, there was an incident in the first round of the state basketball tournament her junior year. She was involved in a collision and somehow hit her funny bone the wrong way, which contorted her fingers into a claw position.
This was very disconcerting to Jordan and she was extremely concerned that her hand would remain in that position forever. She was visibly upset when she came off the court with the trainer.
Next day in school, an assistant principal came up to her in the school and asked her for a high-five, with his hand in the same "claw" position.
Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report, Sports, Then and Now, and Seamheads. He also shares his top stories on his blog, The 'xoxo' of Sports. He is a supporter of Team Hoyt, the father/son marathon and triathlon team of Dick and Rick Hoyt. He encourages you to support their movement of "Yes, I Can" by visiting their Web site at www.teamhoyt.com.
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