Happy Mother's Day

Sun Devil safety Alden Darby poses with his mother, Nellie Mckinley.

To all of you Sun Devil moms out there, we wish you a very Happy Mother's Day.

When Arizona State coaches make house visits on recruiting trips, they aren't just trying to impress the athletes.

In fact, the questions that the potential Sun Devils often ask are probably some of the easiest answers for coaches give.

How much playing time will I get? Will I have to redshirt? How long are practices?

Coaches have these answers scripted out.

But these visits aren't about rattling off program facts, listing off All Americans, and pitching the start of a dynasty.

House visits are about pleasing the toughest of critics.

House visits are about pleasing mom.

When Todd Graham, Herb Sendek and the like sit in a recruit's living room, they have to spout out more than just how that athlete can become the start of something special.

They have to break down the path to graduation, add up the credit hours, and figure out how exactly that athlete is going to get his or her laundry done every week.

Since the inception of recruiting, devoted mothers everywhere have played an important role in the college decision process.

After all, these mothers are putting an enormous amount of trust in the coaches they deal with.

The child they doted on, drove to countless practices, and always had that video camera ready for is preparing for a new chapter.

For moms, this new chapter can be difficult.

But it's nothing a trip to the Arizona State bookstore hasn't fixed before.

Just a short time after they coordinated postgame snacks at peewee games, these same mothers are found in their ASU sun hats, maroon and gold jerseys, and Sparky foam fingers cheering in the stands.

These are the moms who can be heard screaming, "That's my son! That's my son!" regardless of what's happening on the field.

Whether their son is running for a 50-yard touchdown, laying a downfield block, or emerging from a crowded sideline so she can get a glimpse of him, yes that is her son.

That's the son she drove to his first practice 15 years earlier. It's the son who sat embarrassed as she pestered potential coaches. And it's the son she can't wait to hug after the game.

Today, we share our love for the mothers who gave their hearts and souls to us.

We also thank the mothers who share their Sun Devil athletes with us.

It's not easy to watch your pride and joy get hit going over the middle, and it doesn't make it any easier when media and fans debate your child's every move.

We know that having a college athlete is tough, but we admire you for raising such talented young athletes. We've had an opportunity to interview many Arizona State athletes, and we are routinely impressed by each and every one.

In the end, we are truly grateful for the support you show for your Sun Devil on a daily basis.

So from the team here at House of Sparky, we wish every Sun Devil mom a Happy Mother's Day.


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