Saturday, September 3, 2011

Never Accept No When Nothing But Yes Will Do

The story you are about to read is a true story. Well, all my stories are true stories. But this story is about never giving up. Never backing down. Fighting for what you believe in. And if it means enough, not taking no for an answer.

When I was in high school, my Daddy set out to teach me about sports. The ins and outs, the rules, and the sports 'speak'.   His mantra was, no matter what type of job you maybe have as an adult, if you knew and understood sports, you could stand in any group and hold your own in a conversation. And there it was, how I was to spend every weekend, the year I turned fifteen years old.

I fought it tooth and nail. But he was relentless. So as any smart person would, to make myself feel good about it, at the beginning of the season, I picked a team to follow. The first sport was baseball, and I picked the New York Yankees. Catfish Hunter was the pitcher and he was awesome. Reggie Jackson was Mr. October, and we went to the World Series that year. The same year their catcher, Thurman Munson, was killed in a helicopter accident during the playoffs. Everyone wore black arm bands in memory during the series. They played Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees won the World Series that year. Ok Baseball, I was hooked.

Football season came along, and I picked Roger Staubach and the Dallas Cowboys. They played the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mean Joe Greene in the Super Bowl and lost. I cried. But again, I was hooked, this time on Football.

My dad was not a big basketball fan, so I was not force fed that sport. To this day, it's not particularly one of my favorites. I understand it, and I played it in Jr High, but that is as far as my interest goes.

Now to really understand my love for sports, you would have had to have lived with my Daddy, David Mount. We are not fit for public fans. We scream, we holler, and we stand in front of the television flailing our arms, do a lot of name calling, a little trash talking, grabbing the sides of our heads, banging on armchairs, and stomping our feet. Ranting plays to the coaches on the screen and threatening referees as if they can hear us. We are a mighty loud and rowdy bunch and more times than not, wore slap out once the game is over. Not to mention the restraint that is necessary when we are in public and cheering for our favorite teams.  That's still a work in progress.

The cooler weather weekends were filled with crock pots of homemade chili, homemade soups and stews, plenty of hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried hamburgers and all the other foods that go with weekends filled with sports.

As the years would pass, I never missed a Super Bowl or a World Series. Even if my team was not present, I would pick a team through the playoffs and follow them to the end. Cheering them on as if they were my pick from the beginning of the season. You have to do that don't you? You can't not watch the World Series or the Super Bowl just because you're team isn't playing..right?

When I moved to Quincy Florida, I moved into a beautiful old country house outside of the city limits. Which meant, no cable for me. Satellite would be necessary. I had my service with Dish Network hooked up the second week I was here so my kids could get the Disney Channel. First crisis over.

Sometime into about my fourth year living here, Dish sent out a letter stating some of the users would be losing service to certain stations due to regulated laws. I didn't pay much attention to my letter, because in my mind, I had no choice. Cable lines were not coming to my area anytime soon.  Well, evidently, somebody at Dish Network thought I had a choice and they removed some of my major access channels.

I came home one week before the playoffs for the World Series was to start, with no Fox Channel. And my Yankees were in the playoffs. On the Fox Channel. This was not going to work. I started with the normal calls you would make, to Dish Network and such. Talked to about 42 people with no positive results. I told them they could not include people like me in their "sweep" as they called it, because I did not choose to NOT have cable, I could not GET cable. And to penalize me was unfair. By the time I got to person number 42, I was ranting about the World Series, how I had never missed one and I was not starting now.

Somewhere during mid rant, the Dish Representative stopped me. Now,  I am into the next week by this time. The playoffs have started and I am watching them from my then boyfriend, now husbands house every night. The representative, tired of hearing me, said, if I could get the cable representative from the local television station in Tallahassee to write a letter stating cable was not available for me in my area they would reinstate those channels. Finally, someone is listening to me!

After another deluge of calls and speaking to person after person, I was finally was hooked up with the VP of the local station in Tallahassee. He listened to my story and half way though, HE stopped me. He asked me what team I was pulling for in the Playoffs and World Series. Well now, I wondered if this was a trick question, and if I answered it wrong, would I be out of help for good.  I buckled down and answered the very Southern sounding man (as was I ) and told him the New York Yankees. He said, well, that's good and bad news. Too bad, that's your team, because they aren't going to win, and good , that you're a loyal enough fan to admit they're your team anyway.

He agreed to write the letter and send it to Dish. The next night, Dish was calling me to walk me through my hook-up and reboot of the Fox network, and I was able to watch Game Three of the playoffs in my own home forty minutes into the game.  I was whooping and hollering...and of course my kids thought I had lost my mind.

My daddy always taught me, you can do anything and get anything if you want it bad enough. But you have to believe in your cause enough to see it to the end.

I live in the city now, so cable is not a problem. My favorite seasons are beginning, baseball is headed towards the playoffs and football is just beginning. The only fight on my hands now, is who gets to hold the remote, and who watches what on the big TV, and who goes to the bedroom to watch the smaller one. I'm pretty easy, I could care less, just as long as I get to see the World Series and the Super Bowl from one television or another in my own home, and not the neighbors house down the street.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

1 comment:

  1. My father never was into sports, so it wasn't until my step-dad came along that I learned the rules of the games. I wasn't one to sit and watch, though. These days, my friends' husbands are my teachers if I get in the mood to be a fan of something. I do love the excitement of the college football season, though, whether I am following a certain team or not.