That’s right, beware of the blog… Daddy’s taking over!!!
Wifey is letting me share about one of my Top 10 Moments ever, so let me begin with a question to all you readers who are parents.
What is the most important milestone in a baby’s growth?
Some would say solid food, others crawling, walking, talking, etc. All of these are great, but I have to say first KU basketball game in Phog Allen Fieldhouse ranks up near the top.
ROOOOOOCK, CHAAAAAALK, JAAAAAAAYHAAAAAAWK, K…UUUUU is the sound that echoed through this hallowed stadium as Wifey and I walked Harper Story into the ultimate college basketball atmosphere for her first Jayhawk experience.
Now some context; any game in Allen Fieldhouse is an incredible setting for hoops, but just “any game” wouldn’t do for our little girl. This was game #1 for her at daddy’s alma mater at the court named after the inventor of basketball. It had to be special, so how about a sold out, rivalry game vs. K-State, on ESPN College gameday w/ Erin Andrews, Jay Bilas, and Dick Vitale?? That would be enough for most kids, but this is for Harper Story Todd so let’s add the cherry on top which is our good friend Wayne Simien having his jersey retired at halftime (more on that in a moment). This would be a day not soon forgotten, or as daddy hoped for Haper at such a formative time…NEVER forgotten. We decked the little one out in a KU cheerleader outfit given to her by Uncle Matt, Aunt Sarah, & Cousin Hannah who live in Lawrence. Cousin Hannah also let Harper borrow a headband and plugs to keep her little ears protected from the noise level that’s been compared to standing next to a jet as it takes off. She had her pre-game cheer practice with a stuffed musical jayhawk from her Great Aunt Deanie that plays the KU fight song. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen her smile that big or that quick at any other toy we’ve ever given her. She was a hit at the game as she smiled at KU fans and K-State fans alike. She threw up her hands for 3-point shots, dropped ’em on made free throws, and “Waved the Wheat” at the end of the game with the help of daddy. She stared intently at the players, fans, and every part of the magical atmosphere throughout the entire game.
I was a proud daddy of the newest Jayhawk fan in the building. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Rock Chalk Harper.
Final score KU 90, K-State 66, Harper…Priceless. Enjoy the pics:
As I mentioned above, the other phenomenal highlight for Harper’s first game came in the form of Wayne Simien’s jersey retirement. I wish Harper could have comprehended the words our friend shared as he gave his acceptance speech. I have never heard a man in the midst of a moment that could have been all about him defer honor to the Lord and others instead with such a comprehension of grace, authentic humility, and clear statement of faith. I’ve attached the video of his speech above. You’ll have to crank the volume and listen close…but it’s worth it. I love my boy Wayne and this well deserved honor is a wonderful event to have tied to my daughter’s first taste of KU basketball.