Stories I tell, my first prediction
It was my first prediction, and I was on the money.
I was six ...
Six days old, that is.
You see I was the first-born to a sports writer with an overactive imagination. Larry Stephenson would do about anything to get attention in his predictions columns. Newborn Michael was the perfect vehicle.
And not to show up Dad, but did I mention I was on the money?
His column headlined "Baby Talk" with my first byline, "Michael Todd Stephenson, Six-day-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Stephenson," published 50 years ago today, Feb. 26, 1967. I couldn't type yet, so Dad faithfully transcribed my interview of the day before, including: "Seriously, fathers are atrocious. Take my father. You know Dad, the blond headed guy up there in the corner who usually writes garbage in this spot ..."
You may have heard that basketball is a big deal in Indiana where I'm from. Hoosier Hysteria, they call it.
So because he had that sleepy fog of parenting a newborn thing going, I slipped this past him toward the end: "Don't tell Dad I'm doing this but I want to go on record as saying North will win the regional championship."
Not only did the North High Huskies when the regional, they went on to win the Indiana state championship.
I've got the signed stuffed dog to prove it. It's a bit faded, but on on top of its head, it says "Michael Todd Stephenson" and on one ear:
"Ace Basketball Prognosticator."