Many who know me realize that I possess a significant amount of school pride for my collegiate alma mater, UIC.
This is also true for my secondary institution, Bishop McNamara. (Okay, and St. Martin of Tours for grammar school)
But I digress.
Working at UIC, points of pride come across my desk all the time. Students earning an internship or job offer after a letter of recommendation, teams winning titles, GPA’s soaring, personal bests being surpassed, etc. I’m on a campus committee for a special faculty/staff award and at our meeting today the depth of nominees discussed made me proud to be a member of the UIC community.
But there’s something especially cool about the announcement from U.S. Soccer today that confirmed that Jay DeMerit is one of the 23 men who will represent our country in the FIFA World Cup. (He’s also feeling the heat from the British tabloids for talking about the American’s upcoming tournament opener with England) Jay played at UIC while I was running for the Flames. His journey to the top of the soccer world is an epic and tantalizing novel. (Take a moment and read about it; very cool story) We remain in touch and although we’re not close, I simply feel proud of and impressed by his accomplishments. Our friend Pete Vina is traveling to Philadelphia to help send-off Sam’s Army and man it would be sweet to join him there, not to mention to be in South Africa for the event.
I look forward to visiting the T-Shirt Deli and picking up a customized USA, #15 onesie for Liam. I want the pride to rub off on the little guy. Plus, I’d like the lesson of perseverance to be learned early. Jay’s story defines that pretty well.