If you know someone who knows someone who knows Theresa McDermott, please pass this along to her.
I intentionally let a few days pass before writing this post to you, Mrs. McDermott. I figured you and your family needed time to unwind and reflect on the last four years, your son’s amazing senior season, and that heart wrenching final game.
I mean, it’s not everyday that you go from feeling top of the world to bottom of the barrel in a matter of minutes: 40 minutes to be exact.
After all of the well-deserved accolades achieved by your son, Doug, throughout his collegiate career, I have got to imagine that you and your husband, Coach “Mac,” are still pinching yourselves to ensure it wasn’t all just a dream.
Although I’ve never met you, I believe you and I share a few things – albeit small things – in common.
I also married my college sweetheart and love him even more today than I did on our wedding day. We too went on to have three children together: two boys and a girl – the same ratio as your kids in the same birth order. My husband coaches our oldest in basketball just like yours does. There are times I want to simply sit back in the stands like every other parent with no connection to the coach, but I can’t because I’m watching the man I love mentor (and yell at) the boy I love. Although you didn’t graduate from Creighton like I did, I am willing to bet you bleed blue like the rest of us by now.
As I sat and watched Creighton get beat (sadly, beaten) by Baylor last Sunday, I thought about what it would be like to be in your shoes…or in your seat to be more specific.
Watching you want to comfort your son as he subbed out of his final collegiate game, but knowing in your heart that you couldn’t, tore me apart. I imagine the feeling wasn’t all that different from how you felt over two decades ago when you had to sit helplessly on the sidelines as little Dougie received his immunization shots. Or just a few years back when he wasn’t seen as the all star standout – far from it – on his high school team. Or at any point in his lifetime when he felt a little lost or homesick and simply wanted his mom.
Watching you fully realize that this was the last time you’d see your husband and son embrace on the court as coach and player, well, it choked me up. I was fighting back the tears along with you.
I know that being #3’s mom on that particular night is just one hat you wear.
You have two other children who you’ve nurtured and supported. I assume that Doug’s transformation into the confident young man we witnessed time and time again on the court was a gradual and powerful one for you to go through. I am guessing your younger son is a people pleaser who is very proud of his big brother and considers him a hero of sorts, but also refuses to take any crap from him. I’m willing to bet your youngest sat back, took notes, and can’t wait to show the world what she’s made of.
I am confident with these assumptions because that’s how I view my own three kids.
I know there were lots of days and nights when you were raising them on your own while your husband pursued a profession at which he clearly excels. He is blessed to have you in his corner and has thanked you in the media enough times for me to believe that he realizes a good thing when he’s got it.
You must be extremely proud of Doug and Greg for what they’ve meant to Creighton University, as you should be, but you should also take pride in the way you’ve helped support your family.
Thank you for being an inspiration to many moms like me who you’ve never met.
Sincerely, Heidi Woodard
Editor’s correction: When you own and operate your own blog, you can give yourself fancy titles like “Editor,” right? I’ve had two people kindly inform me after I published this post that Doug McDermott is Greg and Theresa’s middle child (I mistakenly implied he is their oldest son). Nick McDermott, the couple’s oldest son, still looks “up” to his younger brother. He graduated from UNI and excelled at golf. Thanks to everyone who has read this piece and continues to share it.
When I saw how early the score got out of hand, I knew I would be reading about this here. This is the best thing I have read online today, and probably all week.
Ironically, I listened to the Podcast of this program today http://www.onbeing.org/program/praise-play/111 If you have time, Heidi, I highly recommend it.
As I write this I am watching Steve Fisher, the closest thing we will ever have to another John Wooden, coach my local NCAA team who is currently leading the favored U of A.
I am reminded of all the reasons why sports do matter; collegiate and high school sports in particular. If you’ve never read the book, The Games Do Count, I highly recommend that as well.
As for Creighton, I’m a fan by proxy, and you are a part of that bridge. As for the McDermotts, their class is beyond evident.
You’ve never led me astray up to this point, Roy. I will have to make some time for both the podcast and the book. THANK YOU for the recommendations. And, as always, thanks for commenting.
Love this post, Heidi! Such a poignant tribute to a mom we can all empathize with. She should be celebrated!
FYI – Doug is middle child. Older brother, Nick, is quite the golfer and graduated from UNI.
A classy tribute to a classy family. Good job Heidi!
Great stuff Heidi
Great tribute for an amazing and wonderful Mom who nurtured such an outstanding son! He brought so much pleasure to so many in Omaha and in the nation of basketball fans! So nice of you to acknowledge Mrs. McDermott for the person that she is.
That was first class
I enjoyed reading this post, Heidi! It was so well written, thoughtful and a beautiful tribute to a strong mom and wife.
Thank you all for the nice comments. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to share your feedback. I realize I mistakenly thought Doug was the oldest (thank you, Ted, for clarifying that in a nice way…you could have easily called me dumb!) I have since included an Editor’s note at the bottom to correct this error.
I was reading this story about Mrs McDermott that my son sent me thinking what a beautiful person to recognize her for the love and commitment she has for her family. How much we all have gained from the McDermott’s it’s more than just watching the most talented exciting players that we’ve ever witnessed play for the Jays! How Doug has handled himself and the whole Creighton team is remarkable. I have never loved or been more proud of a team I’ve never met in my life. I could go on and on…other than my granddaughters basketball games I’ve loved watching this team the most! They have been great for Omaha.
In closing, I must confess I had no idea you wrote this article until I saw the name at the end and that’s when the tears of joy came for you and what a wonderful writer and beautiful, funny, talented woman you’ve become. Proud of you Heidi Lynn ❤️
Outstanding article. The McDermott family are very classy yet very humble family.
Doug gave us all a wonderful ride for 4 years. The best to him. I wish every child
in the USA could meet Doug. Next year will Theresa be half as nervous when Creighton
The McDermott family and you are both classy people. Way to see it as a parent and not a losing fan. Doug was the coolest in every interview I watched. Wish him and his family the best!
Very good Heidi!!
I have enjoyed listening to you on Pat and JT. I am not a social media type but one thing led to another and I started reading your blog posts. They were nice, well-written. Then this tribute to T. McDermott did it for me. You said all that I had been wanting to say. I will continue to read your writings.
What a very nice thing for you to say and for me to read. You made my day! I hope you continue to find my writing worthwhile. I love to do it. 🙂 Keep on listening too! Tues and Thurs mornings are a ton of fun for me. Love being along for the ride.