Home Columns Building a Legacy: How I Thought I Met Your Mother

Building a Legacy: How I Thought I Met Your Mother

by Gary Zamarripa

I met my wife at a Colorado Rockies baseball game when we were in our 20s. I was going to the game with my Dad, brother and my Dad’s lifelong friend, Mike. We lived in Denver and were waiting for Mike to drive up from Pueblo, Colorado, to join us. 

When he arrived, we saw he brought his niece with him. The weird thing was I had known Mike and his brothers, his kids and their families my entire life but had never met this niece. Even more bizarre is I knew her sister for as long as I could remember. How could I know that family so well but never even met one of them?


For context, I spent much of my childhood weekends at one of the softball fields around town watching my Dad play. He played with many of the same guys until I was into my college years. The nucleus of those teams was the Garcia family that included Mike, his three brothers and his Dad, “Mr. G.”

Softball games were the same. The dads would be on the field playing, the wives would be in the stands visiting and us kids would be running around without supervision for an entire hour. It was a good time to be a kid. That’s when I first met Nancy, my wife’s sister. We eventually went to school together and graduated one year apart. I knew Nancy for such a long time but never once met her sister..

Back at the Ballpark

Now back to the Rockies game, we exchanged numbers and went our separate ways when it was over. I got a call from her one weekend saying she came up to her sister’s house in Denver and wanted to know if I wanted to hang out with them. I agreed but as the time came closer, I ended up blowing her off and did something else.

It was not in a malicious way in my mind. She came to see her sister so I figured I would not be missed, and she could spend quality time with her. Unbeknownst to me, she drove two hours to see me and I just pulled a major jerk move. As you would expect, she did not call me again, but I never knew she was mad at me.

The next time I saw her was a few months later. We were both at the Denver Broncos season opener. We had season tickets in the same section as her Dad. I walked over to say hi and chat. I did not know this was supposed to be an awkward moment because I never knew she was mad in the first place. 

I was going to Pueblo, my home town, after the game and I invited her to join my friends and me at a hole-in-the-wall bar. I must have been hella charming because she agreed, and we ended up together from that night on.

The best part of knowing her family was I didn’t have that awkward meet the parents moment. Her dad watched me grow up on the softball fields up until I was old enough to drink a beer with them after the games.

At her college graduation party, I sat at a table with her grandpa, “Mr. G.,” drinking a beer. He looked down at his beer and said, “my limit is one.” I said, “cool, my limit is one after another!” Good fun to feel comfortable enough to joke like that with someone’s family after only dating a short time.

My wife, Tracy, poses for a picture in her grandparents’ backyard in 1981 with me unknowingly standing in the background with my parents.

We got married that fall and soon after, she found a bunch of old pictures. One caught my eye. It was a picture of her around 7 or 8 years old at a family birthday party. To the right in the background was an awkward-looking kid standing there with his parents. 

Yes, you guessed it. I was the awkward-looking kid in the picture. We were at the same place at the same time and never knew it. It makes me wonder how many other times she was around, and I just didn’t know it. I am four years older than her so there is a possibility she was at a number of those softball games.

Meeting the right person can be tough. Just imagine the possibility that you have already met that person and didn’t know it. Reminiscent of CBS television sitcom“How I Met Your Mother” with the mother carrying around the yellow umbrella walking by just as Ted Mosby (the show’s protagonist and narrator) turns around. You just never know.

You also never know when it comes to dynasty fantasy football quarterbacks. Year after year it seems that values can flip at any given moment. With the Super Bowl still yet to be played, and still a lot of unknowns at the position, I want to quick-hit on my top-12 dynasty quarterbacks heading into the offseason.

So, let’s do it!

Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) 

Running the best offense surrounded by supporting talent has all the makings of a clear-cut dynasty QB1.

Josh Allen (Buffalo)

Josh Allen has made the jump from promising young talent to fantasy superstar. Being surrounded by the likes of head coach Sean McDermott and Steffon Diggs should keep him fantasy relevant for years to come,

Kyler Murray (Arizona)

Kyler Murray is a great passer, carries a rushing floor in a Kliff Kingsbury-coached offense and is throwing the ball to De’Andre Hopkins. Yes, please. 

Deshaun Watson (Houston)

Questions about Deshaun Watson’s landing spot is the only thing to consider a slight pause. Regardless, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league and has finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five straight seasons.

Dak Prescott (Dallas)

Dak Prescott’s path to a record-setting season was derailed by injury. The only question that remains is what team he will be on next season. Regardless of the colors he’s wearing, he carries rushing upside and a track record of proven fantasy success as he finished as QB2 in 2019 and the QB7 and QB10, respectively in 2016 and 2017.

Joe Burrow (Cincinnati)

Despite the torn ACL, Joe Burrow has all physical tools combined with an up-and-coming young offense that should make him a high-scoring fantasy QB for the better part of the next decade.

Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers)

Justin Herbert was maybe the biggest surprise rookie breakout player as he threw for 31 touchdowns, 4,336 yards and 10 interceptions in just 15 starts. With young-gun coach Brandon Staley taking over in L.A. and Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler alongside, the sky’s the limit for the former Duck.

Lamar Jackson (Baltimore)

While questions remain on Lamar Jackson’s skills as a passer, there is no questioning his rushing ability. He’s had back-to-back 1,000 yards on the ground and is in one of the more stable franchises in the NFL, putting him on the radar as a QB1.

Russell Wilson (Seattle)

Russell Wilson was in the MVP conversation early in the season before a statistical drop-off. A new offensive coordinator further clouds the situation, pushing the chef almost outside the top 10 at the position.

Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)

It’s tough to put a rookie in the top 10 that hasn’t taken one NFL snap. But Trevor Lawrence looks like a generational talent and should have Urban Meyer to learn from, so in dynasty this seems about right. 

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland)

The beleaguered Baker Mayfield has had his ups and downs in his short time in the league. He’s yet to finish a season as a top-15 quarterback, but with a surged offensive line, great weapons around him and Kevin Stefanski running the show, everything seems to be coming together in Cleveland – potentially setting him up for his best season yet in 2021.

Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles)

What a difference a new team can make. Matthew Stafford’s big arm intertwined with head coach Sean McVay makes for an intriguing situation and prompts a top-12 ranking for Stafford who is looking for a late-career resurgence in the blue and gold.

A little empathy goes a long way. Try to make someone smile every day with an act of kindness. Find me on Twitter @GaryZam01 to chat about football, music or really anything.

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