In the annals of parents watching their kids play sports – from a 4-year-old’s soccer game where there are more daisies picked than goals scored to the final drive of a Super Bowl – there’s never quite been a 24-hour stretch like what’s coming for Arthur and Camille Jones.
The Jones brothers at the UFC 145 weigh in dinner. (Courtesy: Tracy Lee)On Saturday night, in Toronto, their middle child, Jon “Bones” Jones will defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight belt against Vitor Belfort. The next day, their eldest son, Arthur III, a defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, and their youngest, Chandler, a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots, will square off in NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
The husband and wife will travel to both events, a chance to take in their children’s great athletic fortunes.
There’s just one catch, one negative twist to the weekend, although the fact the Joneses don’t consider it a negative helps explain how they got here on the eve of parental sporting perfection in the first place.
Camille Jones is blind. She lost her eyesight to diabetes a few years back. So while she will be at both the Air Canada Centre and M&T Bank Stadium, she won’t technically see a thing.
As per her spirit, she hardly cares.
“I don’t let it get me down,” the former nurse from Endicott, N.Y. said. “Life goes on. I go in there and dance and scream. As a matter of fact [being blind] made it more exciting. I don’t see anybody looking at me like I’m crazy. I can scream and act crazy because I can’t see anybody looking at me funny.”
Jon Jones fights Lyoto Machida during UFC 140. (Getty Images)That’s the full-of-life attitude, one that speaks to overcoming adversity, standing up in the face of challenges and finding new paths to success, that her kids credit as a reason one family could do so well.
“For me, making my parents proud was one of my top motivations,” Jon said, citing their work ethic, demanding...