Celebrating Fathers. Meagan Colangelo on Michael Colangelo (ESPN).
Weekend With My Dad – Meagan Colangelo
I’m in the back seat of a speeding car wearing my J-Lo heels that perfectly match my new dress and holding on for dear life.
The strangest thing about that is that I am not even the most nervous one in the car, that honor falls to the guy in the front passenger seat all pro NBA center and UCONN star Jake Voskil.
Jake has good reason to be nervous besides the possibility of a crash; his broadcast career is on the line.
The NBA center is being peppered with questions and his every answer being scrutinized by the driver. Oh, the driver, I forgot about him.
The driver just happens to be my date for my very first walk down the red carpet.
He is a multi-EMMY Award winning executive producer for a fairly well known sports franchise, a politico and my number one fan.
His name is Michael Colangelo and he is my dad and we are on are way to Dick Vitale’s Gala.
You really never know who or what your father is until you step back and watch from a distance, watching him hold court in a room of sports heroes, or seeing your friends (and especially their parents) from college clamoring to talk sports or ask thousands of question with him or to be in an overwhelming environment of a live broadcast control room with him where forty to fifty people hang on his every word.
It leaves you a little bit in awe until you realize this is the same guy who can’t grasp that the recycling bin has to go out on Thursday.
My father has such a demanding schedule traveling to one sporting event to the next, but he always finds a way to be there when I need him, he always put us first.
Even my dance recitals (always during NBA Finals), he would show up with three giant TV cameras and just focus on my sister and I putting to shame every other dad with their little camcorders in the theater or at my Varsity golf matches where I know I can count on him for a fist pump on every good shot and a reassuring “oops” grin on a skulled six-iron into the trap.
My dad being who he is and what he does you would think he would demand perfection and dominance in every endeavor, but he doesn’t.
He does expect passion and most of all integrity in everything we do.
I love how he unrelentingly loves our mother Dawn, even after 22 years of marriage; she is his number one audience and supporter.
My dad is fiercely loyal to his close group of friends and to his New York Yankees, God help anyone who disparage either!
I marvel at how he will always take the time for all who care about sports, from the very little kids dreaming of a career in the big leagues to the elderly talking about Yogi Berra and the Yankee
He always thanks them when they say goodbye.
Back to the Gala.
We arrive at the Ritz-Carlton and step out on to the red carpet with camera flashes going off, it must be my shoes right?
Dad notices for the first time in his life that his little girl is taller that him (thanks to the four inch heels) and smiling says “you will regret your shoe choice by the end of the night”.
"No dad I’m good” I chirp back.
Dad was right again, after four hours my feet were killing me!
We were scheduled to go to a private after party where the Temptations were going to perform, but Dad must have know about my feet.
He said his goodbyes to The Schwab and crew with promises to meet at Dickie V’s the next day (which is an entirely other crazy story, if you know me ask me about it).
He turns to me and says “how about we get you some Band-Aids for your feet, order desert from room service and catch the end of SportsCenter?”
I say “ Sure. I think Jake is going to be a good basketball analyst what do you think?”.
Dad replies, “I think your pretty smart”.
Thank you Dad for being a once-millennium role model and I promise you that all your pearls of wisdom are not wasted on this college sophomore.
Happy Fathers Day and when you hear that giant truck outside on Thursday mornings, it’s the recycling truck and you missed it again.