I have some great memories of my mother. She was a fantastic mom, a great teacher and she was a really good athlete! That’s probably the first thing that I remember. I practiced more with my mom than I did with my dad. I remember the first time I was able to beat my mom in a race. We used to race around the house and I was probably 13 or 14 before I could beat her! I can remember the first time I actually came back to the front door and beat her to the house. I was so proud of myself but I couldn’t really tell all my friends… “Hey guys, I finally beat my mom in a race!” so I had to keep it to myself. That was one of my fond, early memories.
I also remember my mom was the cheerleading coach for Jackson High School. She used to ride the activity bus with the cheerleaders to the games. I can remember as a real young kid going to the high school games with my mom and thinking, “Boy, that’s what I’d like to do someday – be a player on the high school team and be involved in something that exciting. I also got to see how hard my mom worked with the cheerleaders and how it was important to her to get everybody in the school involved in the activities and school spirit – that is a great memory.
I also remember when I was playing for the Steelers and we won the Super Bowl and my mom got the chance to be there and see us play and win the championship after all the support and all of the years she had followed my career. I was so excited we won, but I was more even excited that my mom got to see it.