Two co-workers at a call center near Dallas both happen to have sons playing in the NFL, one for the Packers and the other for the Steelers. Read about these Super Moms' unusual friendship.
By Jennifer Langston
Moms find great comfort in friends whose kids are experiencing similar things. Whether we’re watching a child apply to college or have a toddler who won’t wear anything but cow pajamas, it’s usually not too hard to find someone in the same boat.
On the entire planet, fewer than 145 moms will share the experience this Sunday of watching their sons’ NFL teams play in the Superbowl. So it’s pretty weird that two of them only have to walk down the hall of a medical collections company in Bedford, Texas, to compare notes.
“As a mother, you just don’t want them to get hurt, and that’s what we focus on,” said Diane Browning, whose son Dorian Brooks is #77 on the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers. “You want them to stay humble and always remember where they came from… and for the most part we just want them to stay strong and healthy.”
Joyce Nance, whose son Dimitri wears #23 for the Green Bay Packers, can relate.
“He’s a running back and everyone’s falling all over him, and it’s nerve-wracking for me as a mother,” she said. “But he loved football more than anything else… and you pray all your life for your kids to succeed in what they do. So seeing it coming to reality is a blessing and a dream.”
The two women, who both work for National Patient Account Service’s Texas call center, met while their sons were playing college football. In 2010, they watched Dimitri and Dorian go through the draft and each make their way into the NFL.
Throughout the process, Nance and Browning have talked about the things they hope their sons will accomplish, both on and off the field: stay grounded, do their best, have fun, save money and give back to their communities.
Now their sons will square off on opposing sides of Superbowl XLV, at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium just a few miles from where the two friends live. Nance, who has not yet seen her son play an NFL game in person, will be cheering in the stands. Browning thinks she’ll be more relaxed watching at home with her large extended family.
And, for the record, the two co-workers haven’t even made a friendly wager on the outcome.
“Both Joyce and I have said it doesn’t matter… because we’re both winners,” Browning said. “It’s such a unique thing, we’re both so blessed and we’re both so happy and we’ve made a friendship that will last forever.”