Well last night was pretty awesome to say the least. Yesterday I took my parents to a baseball game for the first time in their lives. The Milwaukee Brewers took on the Baltimore Orioles in game two of a three-game series Tuesday evening. To summarize, the Brewers jumped out to a five nothing lead, but collapsed and gave up six runs by the end of the seventh inning. Jonathan Lucroy tied the game after he singled in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Elian Herrera for the tying run. In extra innings, Yovani Gallardo (yes) pinch-hit and drove home the winning run in the bottom of the tenth. You don’t see pitchers who are going to be on the mound the very next day pinch-hit the night before and hit a walk-off.
Growing up in Eritrea, my folks never grew up watching American sports and never really took them all that serious. Soccer is the only sport that people in the country pay attention too. My mother had been to Miller Park before, but only when it first opened back in 2001 for a tour, and then in 2003 for my sisters high school graduation from Riverside High School. Seriously, how lucky was my sister to have her high school graduation at Miller freaking Park, though? My father has only been at the ballpark for the graduation. Besides this event, as far as sporting events, my parents only attended a Green Bay Packers preseason game in August 2012 when they played the Cleveland Browns. Still, that was a preseason game, and that was the Cleveland Browns.
The game experience itself was fantastic. Arguably the most exciting part about baseball games are home runs, and that happened three times courtesy of Carlos Gomez, Mark Reynolds, and Khris Davis (the good home runs, of course.) Even though my parents don’t fully understand the rules of the game, they get the general consensus: hit the ball, don’t get three outs, and don’t make errors. Also, thanks to my good friend and current Brewers camera intern, Justin Helm, all three of us were on the jumbotron twice during the game. Crazy how fast we became instant celebs when it was over.
Even though the tickets were originally just a gift for Mother’s Day, it turned out to be a historic gift for my parents. We didn’t get home until about 11:30 in the evening, but oh well (sleep is for the weak hearted anyway.) Over-priced food was purchased, but that only made the game more realistic. All in all, this gift fulfilled its purpose: give my parents something they’ve never experienced before. I accomplished that.
AND OF COURSE WE TOOK A SELFIE.
Today was a historic day in the sport of football for the National Football League. The first openly-gay player— Michael Sam – was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2014 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon. But another iconic moment happened today, and it related directly to my natural roots. On Saturday, I randomly glanced at my Twitter timeline only to discover that for the first time, an Eritrean football player was drafted.
Natneal Berhe (mostly known as “Nat”) is a safety measured at 5-foot-10, 193 pounds from San Diego State University, and was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth-round at pick 152. While playing for the Aztec’s, Berhe recorded 94 tackles as a junior, and 99 as a senior. He also was a team captain and played the team’s “Aztec” position (safety-hybrid). From the tape I’ve been able to watch of him, he’s flies around the ball and has good football instincts, along with leadership obviously. On the downside, he lacks the ideal frame for the position, being considered a cornerback in a safety's body. (Maybe he needs to eat more injera?)
Berhe isn’t the only professional athlete to participate in the three major sports here in the U.S. (NBA, NFL, MLB). In 2009, Thomas Kelati signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kelati was cut, but now plays overseas in the Euroleague for Laboral Kutxa Vitoria.
Nat Berhe is a trailblazer. This weekend he set a positive example to any habesha person (a person that is Eritrean or Ethiopian) by proving that you can succeed in a field your culture isn’t normally accustomed to, or prefers. Looking away from his on-field accolades, Berhe also performed well in the classroom by obtaining his bachelor's degree.
Now his NFL journey begins, and many will pay close attention to his progress as he picks up many new "cousins" along the way.
Behind the Broadcaster
This blog displays topics that interest me -- including culture, entertainment, music, and life experiences.