Game Time: Sandra Bullock Inspires Me To Salute My Favorite Moms In Sport

So yesterday I spent my Sunday out at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with my 12-year-old daughter, Judy Anne, and my co-host John Harris and his daughter. It was the Sunday that I have unofficially dubbed "Rodeo Bubble Gum Music Sunday," the last two years headlined by the Jonas Brothers who have taken the RBGMS torch from Miley Cyrus and kept alive the tradition of screeching pre-teens, screeching mothers of pre-teens (admit it, MILFs, you were decked out for the JoBros...I saw all 10,000 of you), dads thanking God for the distraction of the iPhone, and music that, as shallow ends of the pool go, is about two inches deep.

We got out there around 2:00 in the afternoon, got fleeced for about 25 bucks worth of carnival games in approximately eight minutes, went inside around 3:00, and settled in for a lot of bareback riding, steer wrestling, roping, and...yes, JoBros. (It wasn't until I got home that I found out we were just a few minutes away from being attacked by a live bull if we had stayed outside.)

Thankfully, as mentioned earlier, the iPhone was working up in the press box at Reliant Stadium (typically, that's a 50-50 proposition, at best), so I got to roll through my mindless set of apps -- Sportacular, Facebook, and Twitter, among others. The breakdown of my Twitter feed throughout the evening went like this -- about five percent of those I follow were tweeting about the Rockets choking one away to the Pistons, and about 95 percent were tweeting about the Oscars, a split that immediately made me feel a little bit gay just being a follower. Sitting at a Jones Brothers concert wasn't helping either. I immediately began following five more female porn stars just to feel a little bit heterosexual again.

I actually had a few followers of mine disappointed that I was at the rodeo and not getting in on the snark-fest that is "Academy Award Night Tweeting." Just to be clear, even if I hadn't gone to the rodeo, I would have found something else in which to invest the ten hours that the Academy Awards typically run, likely the Rockets game and about six episodes of Season 3 of The Shield.

I'm just not an awards show guy. There's something about an exclusive room full of people congratulating themselves that rubs me the wrong way. I don't watch the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, or ESPYs. It just doesn't interest me. The only awards show that interests me is our very own 1560 The Game Mug Awards, and that's because we're essentially satirizing awards shows like these and, if people want to come, they can for five bucks (Warehouse Live, bitches!)

So yeah....basically, unless I'M ONE OF THE PEOPLE being congratulated, I'm not into a room full of self-congratulatory activity.

All of that said, I did flip over to the Academy Awards at the very tail end so I could see who won Best Actress. Sandra Bullock had been the chalk all "Academy Award season" to win it for her portrayal of the mom in The Blind Side, which was one of the few movies up for an award that I had actually seen, which is probably another reason I don't get into the Oscars. I'm not a huge moviegoer, and certainly not a goer of movies that the Academy would deem award-worthy. Best movie? I'd have voted for The Hangover, so there you go. You see me working.

But I did see The Blind Side since it was pertinent to the sports world in which I practice my craft. That and the fact that I have always been a big fan of Sandra Bullock and her "girl next door" qualities made me want to see if she would finally get some sweet, sweet Academy hardware.

By now, we know that Sandra finally got her hardware. If you missed her speech, here it is....

The part where she thanked her own mother profusely, and dedicated her performance to all of the mothers out there, was certainly very touching. In fact, it made me want to do the same thing. My mother is no longer with us, but I'm sure she's looking down smiling proudly at the 1,000 sage words per day I produce here and the four hours of Marconi-worthy greatness that I spew forth each day on the radio.

So for this one day, I'd like my blog post to be a bit more Bullock-esque, and I would like to honor my favorite mothers in the world of sports. In the spirit of the Academy Awards, the nominees are....

TIDA WOODS (mother of Tiger Woods)
It's not easy being the mother of "The Chosen One;" just ask Shmi Skywalker or Mary. But Tida Woods has pulled it off with a particular aplomb. Representing the "Ca" and "Asian" portions of Tiger's Cablinasian bloodlines, the part Thai, part Chinese, part Dutch matriarch of the Woods family is there to make sure that Tiger gets his requisite hug after things like public apologies for cheating on his wife....

I love the clueless way in which she stares at the producer for her cue to get up and embrace her weary billionaire kid. Priceless.

DARA TORRES (Olympic swimmer)

At age 41, just a couple years removed from having a child, Dara Torres went to her fifth Olympics and managed to come away with silver medals in multiple events. More importantly to superficial jerks like me, she was the first athlete to pose in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 1994. Most importantly, she gave married men everywhere a crutch when they're bellyaching for their wives to get into shape -- "Yeah, but just look at Dara Torres! I mean, she's 41 and has a kid, and she's winning medals in the Olympics!!" (And with that, another layer of why I am no longer married gets peeled back...I am asking Santa to bring me functionality for Christmas this year.)

LYDIA MOORE (mother of NBA forward, Kenyon Martin)
I am not a huge Kenyon Martin fan, but I'm not a big Mark Cuban fan either. Don't get me wrong, I respect Cuban's business acumen and his desire to put a winning product on the floor for Mavericks season ticket holders. Basically, I just want to punch him in the face because he's so darn punchable. The good news is if the Mavericks and the Nuggets meet in the playoffs, I may get Lydia Moore (Kenyon Martin's mom) to do the dirty work for me!

Last year when the Mavs and Nuggets met in the playoffs, after a close Nuggets win, Cuban allegedly sought out Moore so he could tell her what he thought of her son. Long story short, it involved the word "punk." Now we may see a rematch this post season. Here's hoping Lydia Moore is there and has really good seats.

CANDACE PARKER (WNBA star and mother of Sheldon Williams child)

Candace Parker is known for two things. One, "dunking" (air quotes fully intentional) in an NCAA women's basketball game. I'll let you judge whether or not these count as dunks...

And two, having a child with NBA player and overrated former Duke big man, Shelden Williams, who is best known for looking EXACTLY like the Ken Griffey, Jr. cartoon on *The Simpsons....

I'm far more impressed with the second accomplishment.

There are many other mothers I'd like to salute, but decorum keeps me from saluting Joba Chamberlain's mom, fear keeps me from saluting Allen Iverson's mom (and her crew), and the constraints of hard-drive space on our server keep me from properly paying homage to the mothers of all of Travis Henry, Antonio Cromartie, and Shawn Kemp's kids, but rest assured, I and Sandra are mindful of all that you do. To all the sports moms out there, thank you!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast