I’ve long said that if you’re not going to root for the same sports teams as your father, then what’s the point? At the end of the day, sports are just a bunch of people cheering for shirts and colors. Professional athletes move from team to team and never really give the fans a second thought. At the end of the day, sports are hollow. But not when you root for the same team as your father. When you root for the same team as your dad, sports becomes more than a game, it becomes a tradition. It becomes a way for your family to bond. It brings you and your father closer. That’s what sports are all about, and Wayne Williams knows that.
Wayne Williams, a North Carolina man, drove 600 miles back home to Indiana to keep a decades-old promise to his father. Williams’ father, a Navy veteran, died at age 53 in 1980.
“Got a W flag. Not supposed to fly until after the actual win,” Williams said, going over his supplies. His dad, also named Wayne Williams, was waiting for him. “I talked it out with my boys forever. I let them know that I told my dad – we had a pact. When the Cubs – not if, when – the Cubs got into the World Series, we would make sure we listen to the games together,” Williams said.
Williams set up camp in the military section of Greenwood Forest Lawn Cemetery after an all-day drive from North Carolina. “World War II, he was a signalman,” Williams said. “He was at Normandy, D-Day +8. He had not turned 18 yet.”
So not only was Williams dad a vet, but he was like THE vet, having fought in many major WWII battles. True definition of a hero.
It may have been the Navy that made his dad a Cubs fan.
“I think it was because when he was at boot camp at Great Lakes. He probably went to some games, because Wrigley’s brought the guys out there for these things and it was the closest thing to big-time baseball he’d ever seen,” Williams said.
Maybe the best part of the whole story is when WTHR asked Wayne if he thinks his father is up there following the game with him. His answer is nothing short of tear-jerking:
We asked Wayne if he thinks big Wayne is up there following the game with him.
“Knowing him, no. He was a hell raiser, baby. He was a hell raiser,” Williams said.
So here’s to you, Wayne Williams. We’re happy for ya. Thank your father for his service, will ya?