My dad, Robert Botterman, was the most interesting sports fan I ever met. He enjoyed all sports, particularly college basketball.
He loved the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and, while Dad passed away several years ago, I remember the joy he experienced during the tournament’s run.
Dad enjoyed watching sports on TV, and he read two daily newspapers. He started each day with a cup of coffee and the sports section from the local newspaper.
Dad had a gift for sports statistics and could rattle off details about individual players in every sport. It was a gift he employed with great success when completing his tournament brackets.
His enthusiasm for the tournament was infectious. Dad led me to the tournament in the early 1970s. I remain a fan today and enjoy watching the tournament with my daughter, who shares my interest in college sports.
The quality that made Dad a great sports fan was the way he could invest himself completely in whatever game was at hand. He could always find something to cheer about and a team to support. He thrilled to triumphs, rejoiced in victories and endured the sting of defeat. And win or lose, Dad always came back for more.
I am sure I’ll be thinking about Dad on March 11, Selection Sunday, the day when teams will be named to this year’s NCAA tournament. And I know he will be in my thoughts as my daughter and I follow this year’s march to the championship.
I’m Kevin Botterman, and that’s my perspective.