PROVO — “My baby is due today but I couldn't miss Jimmer beat SDSU," said Chelsy Erickson’s shirt on Jan. 26, the night she was due to deliver her baby and the same night she witnessed Jimmer Fredette score 43 points to lead BYU over the undefeated San Diego State Aztecs in Provo, Utah.
“I’m not just a BYU fan or just a Jimmer fan, I’m a sports fan,” Chelsy said. “I grew up playing sports my whole life. I even played intramural softball through the first four months of my pregnancy.”
The night before the game she told her husband Rand he could take his friend to the game because she preferred to stay home and watch it from the comfort of the couch. But on the day of the game she found out it wasn’t going to be televised.
“I knew how big this game was,” she said. “I was feeling really good and started thinking that if I wasn’t having a baby that day, I might as well go to the game and enjoy it.” And if she happened to go into labor at the game, "at least we'd be able to get help from security."
So she called her husband at work, who immediately left a meeting worrying she was in labor. She told him she wasn’t, but instead she really wanted to go to the game. He said that was fine but she had to be the one to call his friend, Tyson, to take the ticket back. “Tyson was so nice and said it was perfectly OK,” Chelsy recalled. “I found out the next day that just 30 minutes before I called him he had turned down tickets from his boss. I don’t think he had the heart to tell the very pregnant girl 'no.'”
Chelsy was an instant celebrity at the game. Everywhere she went people stopped her to take her picture. After the game, as they were waiting to see Jimmer, people were asking her if it was really her due date. “I have no idea how many people had my picture on their phones and cameras,” Chelsy said, “but it was my due date and I was still pregnant so I really didn’t care.”
A friend suggested she should try to get Fredette to sign her belly, but Rand thought otherwise. "I don't care how good he is, he's not touching my wife's belly,” Rand said.
As they were just about to give up waiting for Jimmer, their friend caught up with him in the tunnel and told him he had to read Chelsy’s shirt. After reading the shirt, Jimmer chuckled and said, “That’s pretty funny.”
Eventually Chelsy and Rand's baby arrived. Six days after her due date, baby Emma was born at 8 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long (although several friends have nicknamed her Emmer). Though baby Emma has started her life-long career as a BYU fan, she will likely be caught in a dilemma as to her NBA team loyalties.
Her dad, having grown up in West Valley, is a huge Utah Jazz fan. Her mom, having grown up in Sacramento, is a huge Kings fan. Before the NBA draft her parents figured they’d let Emma decide and only interfere if she wanted to be a Laker fan.
Then that fateful day happened: Chelsy was sitting at home watching the NBA draft with Emma when Sacramento got Jimmer.
“Emma may look more like her dad with his big BYU blue eyes,” Chelsy said, “but when it comes to cheering on an NBA team, like mother, like daughter!”
Aaren Humpherys graduated from Brigham Young University in 2001, is a CPA, emergency preparedness expert, and father of 3. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org