Steve Flaherty, Intern

Jan. 1, 2013 is a date that will go down as one of the most memorable days in Northwestern University’s illustrious history.  It marks the date that Northwestern’s football team became bowl champions for the first time since 1949.  That’s 64 long years without a bowl victory for all you math scholars.  Over those years, thousands of players have put on the Wildcat purple, and none of them were able to realize the jubilation that my teammates and I felt as we rushed the field in the game’s final moments.  As a senior, I could not have asked for a better way to end my career.

Later that day, as the celebration continued at the tailgate, I sat at a table with my family and a few of my teammates when my dad, usually emotionally reserved, admitted that he, “Had a few tears,” in his eyes at the end of the game.  That is when it struck me that this was not only my final game, but it was my parents last game as well.

As much time and energy as I have dedicated to my athletic career, they have probably dedicated just as much, if not more.  They were there for the soccer and baseball games down the street from my house in front of 10 people, and they were there for the football games across the country in front of hundreds of thousands of people.  They saw all of that dedication come to a culmination when I finished my senior year as a Gator Bowl champion, and that is why it was equally emotional for them as it was for me.

That night a friend sent me a picture of my parents on TV during the game.


I could keep talking about my parents, but in this case I think the saying ‘a picture says a thousand words’ applies well here.