Feature on Angela Curley (Travis LaBoy’s Mom)

MIJ = Marin Independent Journal

MIJ Note: “When the confetti rained down on the Glendale, Ariz., football field after the Arizona Cardinals earned a berth in the Super Bowl two weeks ago, the 56-year-old mother of Cardinals defensive starter Travis LaBoy ran on the field with the other families. That’s when the Larkspur resident saw the young son of one of LaBoy’s teammates playing in a pile of the red-and-white stuff. Curley couldn’t resist. She took the plunge next to the little boy, spread out and moved her arms and legs back and forth – making snow angels in the desert.”

About making snow angels after Arizona won the NFC Championship game, Curley said:
“I’m ridiculous.” (MIJ)

Asked how she felt when her youngest son (17-year-old Preston) showed her a written account of how she acted after that game, Curley said:
“I thought, ‘Oh, no. Travis is going to be so embarrassed.’ ” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “It wasn’t the first time Curley has wondered if she did anything to make LaBoy shake his head and roll his eyes. Yet, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end/linebacker knows and appreciates that there are few mothers so involved in their children’s athletic endeavors, so passionate about them, so opinionated and expressive. Now Curley and the rest of Travis’ family are taking their support to the biggest stage of all: the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.”

MIJ Note: “She stood behind Travis and his older brother CJ when they were down on their luck and homeless for three weeks, living out of a van in Hawaii. They went to the drive-in theater for entertainment and parked at the beach to sleep. Curley vowed to her preschool-age boys that there would be better days ahead.”

About Curley, her son CJ said:
“Without her, Travis and I would have had a completely different life.” (MIJ)

About how she taught her sons to prevail over challenges, Curley said:
“I knew my kids were going to have to be tough to survive. It was more about preservation and how are we going to prevail. I’m going to show everybody that we can do this. We can win. We’re going to be the best. I’ve always been a charger.” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “Curley, who was a cheerleader and competitive swimmer in high school, always has been beside Travis when he needed a pep talk during critical stages in his life. She was there in kindergarten when Travis was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Curley told her son that the initials ADHD stood for “athletes determined to dominate.” She added that the “h” is “for staying happy while you do it.” Curley backed Travis when, as a 9-year-old who was big for his age, he was banned from Dixie Little League by parents who decided he was a physical threat to other players after a competitor’s leg was broken by a sliding LaBoy.”

About how Travis felt when he was banned from football as a 9-year-old, Curley said:
“He was crushed – devastated. I told him, ‘One day all those people are going to be calling your name.'” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “Who knew then that LaBoy would someday make the starting lineup of a Super Bowl team? It wasn’t easy. Travis was not a starter on the Marin Catholic High squad as a junior until his older brother, a defensive tackle, convinced his coach, Mark Haering, that Travis would do well if he lined him up next to him at defensive end. Travis was not a model student or a teacher’s pet either so, after he flunked out of Utah State, Curley literally marched him over to College of Marin to take summer classes to get his grades up so he could walk on and play football at the University of Hawaii. By his senior year at Hawaii, LaBoy was the Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the year and was picked in the second round of the NFL draft in 2004. He joined the Tennessee Titans and his mom joined the NFL Moms on a Mission Squad with mothers of other NFL players. Curley still does charitable work for the squad and for her son’s foundation set up to combat autism.”

About how Curley’s personality, her husband Art Curley said:
“She’s the ultimate cheerleader. That’s part of her personality. She’s a get-it-done type person.” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “Curley’s charitable work has taken her to four Super Bowls, but this is the first time she will go to cheer on her son. Each player in the game is allotted 15 tickets, so Curley, along with CJ, Preston and Art, flew on a team family charter flight from Phoenix to Tampa.”

About how his Mom is loud during Travis’ games, CJ said:
“No matter if Travis is on the field or not, she is trying to be the loudest, most obnoxious screamer in the stands. She is nonstop, full tilt from the moment she gets to her seat to the second the game is over. It’s amazing how much energy she has on game days.” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “Curley has a large white pro-Cardinals sign with red lettering – “NFL’s new pecking order” – that she brought to the stadium for the NFC title game two weeks ago. However, at the players’ entrance she was asked to unfurl the banner and it was determined it surpassed sign size limits. Curley asked the inspector to check the sign manual and, when the inspector’s back was turned, Curley handed the sign to her ex-husband, Cliff LaBoy, who sneaked it into the stadium.”

About her enthusiasm during games, Curley said:
“I bring a sense of energy and optimism and a certain amount of dynamics. Maybe it’s because I’m (the astrological sign) Leo and a leader. (Cardinals family friends) need someone like me as a catalyst.” (MIJ)

About how Travis appreciates the support his family has given him, Preston Curley said:
“He will never accept the (notion) he got to the NFL on his own. He says, ‘You all got me here.'” (MIJ)

MIJ Note: “But LaBoy persevered. He had a rough childhood and a lot of things went wrong for him. But this season everything has gone right. He was an unrestricted free agent last summer and his brother CJ, now an NFL players’ agent, helped him choose the Cardinals, believing they had enough talent to make the playoffs. Aside from injuries, life couldn’t be better for LaBoy and his family. Two weeks ago, his mother seized the moment and made sure he knew that.”

About what she said to Travis during the wild celebration on the field after the NFC Championship game, Curley said:
“You’re 27 years old and you’ve reached your dream. You did it.” (MIJ)

Travis looked into his mother’s eyes and responded:
“Yeah, mom. We did it.” (MIJ)

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