The Best Soccer Ticket in Town
If you think only IT specialists can profit from a mobile job market, think again — think cab driver.
June 19, 2000
I caught a ride with a cabbie who, as it turned out, hailed originally from Senegal. He started talking about everything that America had done for him. Initially, he had come to the United States to attend college, but soon money pressures made that impossible. He started driving a cab part-time to make ends meet. Then, he and his wife had their first child — an event that only increased the need for the young immigrant to bring home a paycheck. As his family grew, he never got around to finishing his university degree.
Now, years later, he was still driving a taxi for a living. And yet, there was no trace of bitterness in the man. When our conversation turned to sports, he said: “You know, I was very happy to be a soccer coach to my kids as they grew up. We practiced a lot.” After a pause, he added: “Both of my sons are out of the house now, studying.”
I found myself guessing that, because of financial reasons, his sons were probably attending one of the local public colleges. Far from it. As if he had guessed my assumption, my cab driver immediately — and with great pride — volunteered the information. Both of his sons were attending Princeton University, the exclusive Ivy League school, on soccer scholarships.
“You see,” he says, “that’s why I have no reason to feel bad about how this country treated me. I’m just a cab driver, but I still managed to give both of my sons a great education.”
“And,” he asked, “do you know the best thing about it? The soccer season in college is very short. So my kids actually get to study a lot for their classes.”
Knowing the cost of lost opportunities, this was one father that wasn’t going to let his kids get involved in one of those scholarship sports that are long on the season — and short on classes.