MFFL Stories: Edward Andrion
Mavs Season Ticket Holder Edward Andrion and his two kids Jude & Bella share why they're Mavs Fans For Life.
“People pay to sit this high up?”
Edward Andrion couldn’t help but chuckle at the question posed by his curious 8-year-old son, Jude, as they sat in their seats in Section 322 of American Airlines Center. Andrion smiled as he reflected on the days when he and his own father attended Dallas Mavericks basketball games after they first moved to the Metroplex.
He was about as young as Jude and maybe even just as blunt, as he recalls fearing for his life from sitting so high up in Reunion Arena. Andrion still hangs on to those memories made with his father.
“Yes, Jude,” he replied with a laugh, explaining that real MFFLs are willing to sit anywhere for the Mavericks. Even that high up.
Andrion has been a Dallas Mavericks season ticket holder since 1999, but he’d tell you this season has been particularly special. He and his two kids, Jude and Bella, have dubbed themselves the “Charmed Trio” because, believe it or not, when those three have been in their seats at the AAC, the Mavericks have won.
“I’m pretty unlucky as it is, but when they win I’m like, ‘Guys, there’s something to this,’” said Andrion, a veteran in the Navy. “All my friends are like, ‘Dude, send your kids to more games!’”
So, he has, and those game days have become something like an adventure the trio. It begins with a ride on the DART Light Rail, which the kids consider pretty magical. Then the trek from the station to the arena, which Andrion embraces as an opportunity to share life lessons with his kids.
“Going to the games, man, I can’t remember who they play half of the time,” Andrion said. “But, that walk leading up to the arena. Just talking to the police officers and ushers and saying thank you and teaching my kids to be decent people. It’s special.”
It gets even more magical from there. The AAC roars with energy and excitement when they walk through those doors. And boy, do they feed off of it. From shopping for new gear in The Hangar, cheering on their favorite players, snacking on their favorite treats, to even participating in a karaoke challenge on the court.
The latter happened during what Andrion declares one of his favorite games of all-time.
It was the last Sunday in November of 2016, and the Mavs were up against the New Orleans Pelicans. It was also Bella’s seventh birthday. Andrion’s account rep arranged for Bella’s name to flash across the jumbotron for her big day. Her facial reaction was priceless when she saw it. She was also pretty excited about their seat upgrades for that game. It’s the little things.
Meanwhile, it came time for Andrion to prep for the Coca-Cola Karaoke Challenge. He’s no stranger to the microphone; the guy can really sing. He has background in opera singing and he currently sings in the Prince of Peace Catholic Church choir.
He was more than ready for this moment.
Andrion sang Garth Brooks’ hit “Friends in Low Places,” even inserting a country twang for the cherry on top. Bella said the crowd went wild for her father, but emcee Chris Arnold crowned Andrion’s opponent the winner. It was all in good fun, and Andrion returned to his seat relishing in the experience. That was until he saw Jude’s face.
“You lost,” Jude sullenly said to his father, his competitive nature making an appearance.
Andrion couldn’t help but laugh at how disappointed his son was following his defeat. He gave Jude a quick lesson about winning and losing, and before long they were back to enjoying the Mavs’ big win.
That was Andrion’s favorite Mavericks game. Because of an exciting victory over the Pelicans, yes, but also because of the precious memories he made with Bella and Jude … Continuing a tradition that first started in the nosebleeds of Reunion Arena.
“Bringing my kids now to watch, whether they fall asleep because it’s a late game or they’re antsy and we have to go in and out of our seats,” Andrion said. “It’s those moments and teaching moments as a dad and the experience of going to the games, whether they win or lose, that mean the most.”