Ledecky told Costas that her father first introduced her to Springsteen when she was six-years-old. They would play the Boss on their drives to and from swimming practices. As some of you know, I have a daughter, Allyson, who is a year younger than Ledecky. She is a volleyball player and we have spent a lot of time over the years on long car drives to volleyball practices and tournaments cranking the music of Bruce Springsteen and singing together at the top of our lungs. When our throat got sore I would stop the CD and explain to her the meaning of the songs we just heard. I have no idea if anything I said during these mini-lectures actually sunk in, but I definitely think these experiences taught her patience! 🙂
My daughter is about to leave home. Her first college volleyball preseason starts in a few days, and classes begin at the end of the month. So I must admit that I got a bit emotional when I heard about the way Ledecky bonded with her father through the music of Springsteen. I loved the look on her father’s face when the camera panned to the Ledecky family standing off stage. I could relate.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to more father-daughter bonding on some of the long car rides from Harrisburg, PA to Grand Rapids, MI.
And now for a full confession. I went to bed last night just before the Costas interview with Ledecky. As I climbed under the covers I got some texts from Allyson, who was at a friend’s house. Here was part of our exchange:
Ally: Dad, OMG, ARE YOU HEARING THIS?
Ally: DAD ARE YOU HEARING THIS
Me: No, I’m getting in bed
Ally: SHE LOVES SPRINGSTEEN
Ally: KATIE LEDECKY
Ally: SHE LOVES SPRINGSTEEN
Ally: HER DAD PLAYS IT IN THE CAR FOR HER ON THE WAY TO EVERY PRACTICE AND RACE!
Ally: SINCE SHE WAS SIX YEARS OLD!
Ally: THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT “GLORY DAYS”
Ally: HER FAMILY LOVES THE BOSS!
Me: It’s a sign of YOUR future Olympic glory!
Ally: And she’s also 6’2
Me: Yup–there you go.
OK–with the emotional father-daughter stuff out of the way I will now write the rest of this post as a serious Springsteen aficionado.
If you watch the end of the interview, Costas says that Springsteen’s song “Glory Days” should now be on the top of Ledecky’s playlist. Obviously, Costas has never listened to the lyrics of “Glory Days.” It is a song about a guy who was a good high school baseball player but never really made it. Now he sits around as “time slips away” sharing his “boring stories” of Glory Days.
Hardly the song that Ledecky wants on her playlist right now. Somehow I also doubt that it is a song she will relate to thirty years from now. “Time” will definitely “slip away,” but the stories she tells her kids, her grandchildren, and the people she meets in bars will hardly be “boring.”
To put it differently, I doubt Katie Ledecky will become another Uncle Rico: