Rubio a big hit with 4-year-old

Published 9:11am Thursday, February 23, 2012

Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic

I don’t know if I have stated this in a column before, but my favorite sport is baseball. And it’s no coincidence that it’s the same sport I spent most of my childhood around.

Aaron Worm

Every Sunday during the summer I was at the ballpark watching my dad play town ball. Because of my dad, my passion for baseball began and continues to be very strong today. I think I am having that same influence on my youngest son, Isaak. He turned 4 on Monday and loves sports. I don’t know which one is his favorite right now, it’s too early to tell, but early indications are it might be basketball.

On Saturday, I took him to his first Timberwolves games. I can say, without a doubt, that they are his favorite team.

He loves Ricky Rubio. Rubio might be the most recognizable non-fictional person that he sees on television. (Rubio still doesn’t rank as high as Curious George, Dora the Explorer and others.)

We sat way up high in Row R in the upper deck in a corner of the Target Center, and I was worried he wouldn’t be able to get into the game being that far away. I was wrong. He paid attention to the entire game, except for the third quarter, which we missed most while waiting in line for a corn dog.

He clapped and cheered every bucket and asked what player had the ball when the Timberwolves had possession. (He never asked when Rubio had the ball. He could recognize the bearded guard with the Beatles haircut from up in the rafters.)

In the fourth quarter, the game went back and forth, and I don’t think Isaak sat down throughout the final quarter. With a corndog in one hand, he would pump his other fist in the air each time the Timberwolves scored. Kevin Love hit two free throws with 0.1 second to go, and the 76ers’ toss toward the bucket was knocked away. Target Center erupted, and my son’s arms went back in the air even though he didn’t know the game was over.

He looked at me and said “Who won good team or naughty team?” I said the good team, the Timberwolves, and he yelled out “Yes!”

On our drive home we went through the entire roster, naming off each player and their number. It was fun hearing him try to pronounce “Barea,” and hearing him say “Nikola Pevokic” was priceless. He says he doesn’t have a favorite player anymore. He “loves everybody.”

Last night as soon he heard the game was on, he stopped playing with his matchbox cars and headed straight to the couch. He was upset with me for not letting him watch the entire game against Denver. It was way past his bedtime, but he did watch every second of the first half. He even clapped his hands and chanted “De-fense” at the TV.

On Monday my favorite sports-watching buddy turned 4. I think I have created a little sports monster. His name might be Isaak, but I will just call him “Mini-me.” Happy birthday, son.


KATE Sports Director Aaron Worm’s column usually appears each Monday in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.