To sit through a football game with the rabid sports fans in my family, I need a little back story or behind the scenes drama with the team or the players. To at least fake an interest (and stay away from the chips and dip), I need something to keep me hooked. For tomorrow’s Super Bowl, learning that New Orleans Saints player Jahri Evans credits four “moms” for his success is going to keep me watching — at least through half time.
Give me two brothers facing off against each other (like those Manning brothers), or prep me with a little Bryant Gumble Real Sports video and I’m good to go. Tell me about the women behind the men on the field (with an underdog sports saga too) — then I’m really intrigued. And that’s why I’ll have my eye on the Saints and their right guard Jahri Evans tomorrow.
There’s often one mama bear behind the men on the football field (hello, Leigh Ann Tuohy of Blindside fame) but four? That’s impressive. And lucky — at least according to Jarhi, who credits his mom and three older sisters for giving him the gumption to go after his dreams.
Seems like Jarhi was a gentle giant from an early age — so big that his sister Carmella once brought him in for show-and-tell, but so gentle that sister Cheryl had to teach him to stand up for himself when he was being bullied on the school yard. (she told him, “fight me, of fight that kid.” She was really tough — he fought the kid.)
Jump ten years (and a bittersweet prep football career ) and now the sisters say of their baby brother in his Saints uniform bulldozing players across the field, “It’s amazing…God has been good to our family.”
Jahri echoes this sentiment as he prepares to take his team to Super Bowl victory tomorrow and thinks about the four “moms” who helped bring him this far. Being raised by these women all at once “was certainly an adventure,” he said in an interview yesterday.
And he also reminds us moms (with or without a pro athlete in the family) what we all do for our kids when he added, “I was always well fed!”