Every-Thing Sports

Sports and major events can create lifelong memories with your kids

WreslteMania provided a real bonding opportunity. Jermaine Every


Madison and I in line at WrestleMania Axxess

Sports provide us with a wide range of emotions. They can evoke sadness that

borderlines on depression to euphoric happiness that causes you to forget your life’s troubles. Carried out to extremes, sports can often lead to some crazy times in our lives. However, we can use sports and sporting events to our advantage.

This past weekend, I took my daughter Madison to WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. We had a blast. These are memories we will have forever. She can’t, and probably won’t for a while, stop talking about it. Now I know most people won’t recognize pro wrestling as a sport, but it requires more athletic ability than golf, pool, or poker, and it’s loosely covered by major outlets as a sport so it counts dammit!

WWE Superstar Paige and Madison at Axxess

At WrestleMania Axxess, an event taking place Thursday through Sunday morning, the WWE has a fan expo that has memorabilia displayed, autograph booths, various experiences, as well as a superstore complete with all types of merchandise. On Saturday at  

  Our hands compared to Andre The Giant’s

Axxess, Madi got to take a picture with Paige, a WWE superstar she’s admired for quite a while now. Paige thought I was Madi’s older brother because she said I looked too young to have a daughter that old. She was very nice and took time to chat with each fan that came through her line for an autograph.

We had a great time at Axxess and even won an authentic replica title belt! We also got to see some of the developmental talent from WWE’s NXT brand wrestle live. There was also a presentation for some Make A Wish Foundation kids which was really cool because

Seafood nachos at WrestleMania 34.

they were introduced as wrestlers with their own theme music and costumes. Overall, it was a pretty cool experience, but this was the appetizer to the main course of WrestleMania 34 itself the next day.

Sunday was the big day. After we arrived, found a great parking spot, and got inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome, we went to the concession stand because she Googled the food there and found out they had seafood nachos. The queso had shrimp and crawfish in it. Pretty good, but can be much better. She wanted her root beer in a souvenir cup, so I ordered my beer in a regular cup to save myself a few dollars. I quickly realized the lady didn’t charge me for the beer and felt like I won the night already.

Throughout the course of the near six hours there, I saw the unbridled joy of a child enjoying her time with her dad doing something we both love. Truth be told, I dislike large crowds. Arenas and stadiums aren’t made for guys my size so I get really uncomfortable very quickly. But it was all worth it to see the look on my daughter’s face.

As parents, we need to create more of these moments with our kids. Finding a common ground, such as a sporting event, can often create a bonding experience your kids will never forget. I’m a 37-year old man and I still remember being taken to different sporting events as a kid. And it may not always be a sporting event. My son was ecstatic that I took him to a movie premiere a few weeks ago. It could be something as simple as watching a game or movie or show with them. Giving them that attention can go a long way. Besides, you spell love t-i-m-e.

These days, kids have enough to deal with. Typical teenage angst is amplified by social media. School shootings and other incidents (such as bullying, fighting, etc) add more worry. If we as parents took more time to bond with our kids over a common ground, think of how much better we can make growing up for them? We’ve failed as a society on so many different fronts. Let’s not fail our kids by denying them life experiences we can bond over and strengthen our relationship with them.

 

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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