A Lifetime of Sports

When I was young we had 3 channels on our TV. There were two from Great Falls, Montana and one from Lethbridge, Alberta. I grew up watching hockey, baseball and NBA Basketball. I grew up dreaming of one day kicking Wilt’s butt in the NBA. I went to bed with a basketball and played every waking moment.  I grew up very, very competitive. I look at my children and they too are that way, Big Surprise.

Both my parents were that way. My Mom wanted to win badly even at Rummy. I quit playing with her at an early age. My youngest Casey used to play with her and she said to me one day,

That boy cheats at cards.

He was about 6 or 7 at the time. I said to my dear Mother, “Where do you suppose he learned that?” Yes the rummy game was always very competitive. Neither one liked to lose.

My Dad used to quote Lombardi to me all the time when I was young.

You show me a Good Loser and I’ll show you a Loser.

“Winning isn’t everything, It’s all there is.” Well you get the drift. When I played Basketball if I didn’t come home all bruises and scrapes from the floor, he didn’t assume I played basketball he thought maybe I’d played tiddlewinks.. I guess I learned well. It’s scary how competitive I still am.

Russ Crites playing basketball

Wow legs haven’t seen the light of day since this was taken in 1969

Good picture of a true competior

I was reminded a couple of times watching football in Helena when my boys were playing. After one terrible after the play hit, I yelled so loudly at the referee that the little ol’ gal next to me pulled at my sleeve and said,

Mr. Crites, Mr. Crites sit down you are embarrassing me!

Hard to stand out in a crowd of 3000 people but I assure you it’s possible.

My children apparently also listened well at home. I can remember calling home because I’d missed a game of Basketball when Rhett was in High School. To my surprise they had lost to a team that I figured shouldn’t have been even in the same gym as the team Rhett was on. When I asked him what the hell had happened I got a response that sounded like me talking. No he didn’t like to lose.

Ready to play, always.

Hard to watch baseball, basketball, hockey or tiddlewinks in any of our houses on TV. Seems to be a lot of yelling at the TV going on in whatever house you go to. Ok I take the blame, but if you can’t be passionate about sports don’t watch or don’t play. Yep I learned well Mom and Dad.

Nikki Crites, the softball player

Nikki coming into 3rd hard.

Lance Crites, Karate master

Just a few of the trophies he earned

Ok I’m not advocating this as a way of life, gentle readers… Just reporting the facts, just the facts, ma’am…

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