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OPINION: Competitive genes: I am my mother's daughter

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Anybody who remembers my mom knew she was a competitor. She loved any competition. For example, we all had to try our hand at beauty contests growing up. Some of us lost, and some of us won. Trying out for Miss Lehi was one of my life's low points. My talent for the Miss Lehi pageant was a flag demonstration-enough said! Mom was also an avid sports enthusiast who loved to cheer on our local athletes, especially her grandchildren.

One basketball season, we took Mom and Eva Johnson, a very good friend who also shared a love for athletics, to Roosevelt to watch our son play a basketball game at Union High School. The four of us took our seats in the bleachers, but Mom and Eva became a little too vocal as the team played. It wasn't long into the game that my husband, Marley, got up and moved across the gym to sit in the opposing team's bleachers. That was the last time he ever sat with the two of them. They continued to harass the opposing players and the officials with loud voices and sometimes uncomplimentary chants.

Mom and some of her friends formed a group called “The Silver Foxes.” They never missed a home basketball or football game. They became notorious for their incessant cheering and yelling at the refs. They were a force not to be taken lightly.

Skyridge's softball team played Bingham, last year's state champs, on Friday afternoon. My granddaughter was pitching for the Falcons. Skyridge scored two runs on two good hits and went up two runs. In the second inning, the plate umpire called two illegal pitches on my granddaughter. I could see her frustration, which only exacerbated my fury. She had pitched in over 20 games this year and was only called once for an illegal pitch. I became livid when a foul ball was called fair by the base ump, and two runs scored for Bingham.

This was the beginning of what I considered to be a competition-not just against a great softball team, but the umpires as well. I was probably more verbal than I should have been, but I could only take so much. In a not-too-loud voice, I said to the umpire, “You should be embarrassed!” The next thing I knew, I was told to leave the ballpark. I grabbed my purse and walked the 400 yards to the parking lot.

All I could think of was my mom and Eva calling a basketball official “a four-eyed imbecile.” Age doesn't change your genetics and the desire to win. I only hope my granddaughter will forgive me someday. I guess I will blame it on my genes.

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