I was reading a Sports Illustrated article listing 9 things to look forward to watching in the second half of the season. Featured among the great stories is the retirement of Bobby Cox. While it sickens me to think of an Atlanta bench with out the skipper, it is the end of a dynasty. He means the world to me, my family and friends as he has produced so many great teams throughout the years which motivated us and drew us closer together during their games. No doubt, he is one of the greatest influences of my life I have never met: encouraging, passionate, hard-working, a true winner and a great sportsman.
I take Bobby's retirement for what it is. The end to a long, illustrious career. #6 will be retired next year if not at his dedication game and will be cherished for ages. But then there's my girlfriend, who unlike most girlfriends loves sports, especially 'her' Braves. Like most girls who admire the Braves, the main attraction is the rugged likeness of Chipper (or more likely the former Javy Lopez) but she too has a general interest in Cox's last season. She even suggested we go to his final 2 games. I know what you're thinking: "Man, I wish I had a girl...especially one like that." I'm a blessed guy, but what she asked me struck me as odd because I was completely dumbfounded.
"What's Bobby going to do after he retires? I wonder what he is like when he's not at Turner Field? Fish? Golf?"
Of course I knew he has agreed to stay on as a "special adviser" in the front office, but I quickly realized I know nothing about his personal life. Does he have a wife, kids, strange hobbies? What kind of car does he drive and what's his views on life. I always imagined him a family man and I once sat behind a man who looked like his younger brother on Opening Day, who thenightstallion and I affectionately named Tommy Cox, but Bobby...he is a mystery to me. For some strange reason I think I always assumed he lived at Turner Field and slept on the bench, walking around the outfield at night smoking a fat stoggie. When I picture his house now, its mainly wood and filled with the head of many endangered animals he's killed with baseballs, large photos of him on deep sea fishing trips and the small candids of him at the little league park with his son and grandson. The strangest part is I'm the son in the photos...and younger me as the grandson. Is that weird?
Setting all presumptions aside, I sought to settle this simple inquiry the way any other young, sensible American would...I went to the library...just kidding I Googled it. If you have tried searching "Bobby Cox biography," you know the search yields box scores and statistics ranging back to his playing days and "Bobby Cox personal life" supplied me with many broken results. I know, I should have used Bing! (LOS LINKS!!!!!)
The next credible, accessible source would be older Braves fans, but all my sources knew nothing. So I turn to you Talking Chop, my online imaginary friends who criticize everything I say (in love I'm sure.) What do you know about Bobby? I want to know more about the man who inspired me as a young travel team player to play smart and play to win. I want to know more about the man whose passion for his players and the game has led to 14 division titles and more ejections than any other manager. I want to know more about the man behind the chop.