Sunday, May 16, 2010

Youth Volleyball: The Best Fan Ever

As I waited in line to pay my entry fee for the youth volleyball game, I noticed that there was a lone fan seated in the front row of the bleachers near the entrance waiting for the action to start. This fan greeted everyone who walked into the gym regardless of team affiliation. Unfortunately many of the fans ignored him.

As I walked into the gym, I received my hearty hello from the fan. I stopped to say hello and gave him a high five. My daughter and I decided to sit right behind him. As we sat down, he immediately turned around and to tell me that the blue team was playing the black team. I told him that I was rooting for the black team and asked if his brother was playing for the blue team. He responded with a huge smile, "9, mine, 9 mine" I told him that my son wore number 32. He repeated, "32 mine, 32 mine." I asked him his name. He said, "E" at first, so I called him E. Later he corrected me and told me his name was, "Ed". I asked him his age. He told me that he was 56, but I was pretty sure that he was 14 or 15.

During the entire first game, he twisted around to talk to me and my daughter. We decided to move down and sit right next to him to make it easier for him to talk to us. I was taking pictures of the action and snapped a picture of his brother. I showed him the image on the LCD and he laughed and laughed. I then used my iPhone to record a movie, I held the camera phone toward the court and we watched the the action on the phone. Ed said, "Brother on TV, brother on TV"

Ed was a big blue team supporter and every now and then he would break out with a loud cheer. Once after a particularly good play by his team, he did a little break dance routine on the floor beside the court.  My daughter and I cheered him on with delight.

As my daughter and I cheered for the members of our team like Jimmy, Nic and Andy. Ed would then start to cheer for them too. He cheered more for Nic's serves than for those of his own brother. By the end of the match, Ed was most definitely a supporter of Nic and our team.

After the game, Ed's parents were giving him the business for changing his allegiance to the enemy team. I said to his parents, "we wouldn't have won all three games without his loud and uplifting support. Ed made it seem like a home game for us." They needled him more all in good fun.

The Main Point

Ed was born with down syndrome, but we can all learn a little from Ed. Ed taught me to live life with enthusiasm regardless of your situation and cheer for everyone. Ed I will try.

Game 44

My son's volleyball team won three straight games. One of his best friends, Andy, tied a modern day volleyball record, he scored on 15 straight serves to start and finish the game. He was the only one on our side of the court to touch the ball. The one serve that the other team did manage to return went to Andy. He dove for it and somehow return it for a winner. Ed cheered like crazy when he saw that.


  1. Your story made my heart smile. God bless you ED!

  2. Great story. The star(Mimi) of my daughter's club swim team has a younger brother with downs. Mimi just graduated HS this year and my daughter started 8th grade, so we weren't at the same meets or sessions with Mimi. But Mimi's brother is a great fan and actually is on the HS swim team to a degree. He played some basketball game and the whole boys swim team came to cheer him on. He has touched every kid there in a good way.

    It really doesn't take much to be nice. Good job moving to sit with Ed and talking with him.

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  4. What a touching story. Children's sincerity and simplicity is great. The boy is really funny.

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