...Charlie Batch & the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Batch considers his mom his hero
May 9, 2003
Happy Mother's Day to all moms from the Pittsburgh Steelers!
By Teresa Varley
PITTSBURGH - If Lynn Settles is smiling today, there is a good reason. Her son, Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, is staying home.
Batch, who signed a one-year contract in June of 2002 with the Steelers after playing his whole career with the Detroit Lions, became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Steelers looked at some potential replacements for Batch and he looked at all the options, but all along the Steelers wanted him back and he wanted to stay.They weren't the only ones."It means the world to me," said Settles. "I am just so elated that he is back here and playing for the team he always wanted to play for.
"I have been watching him so long and it just gets better. I was watching him as a child and now I am watching him as a professional. I am very proud. I have always enjoyed watching him play and he knows that. I can't even begin to tell you. I think I can count on one hand, out of the entire time that he has played, that I haven't missed a game."
Batch is originally from Homestead, Pa., about a 10-minute ride from the team's practice facility on the South Side. Staying in Pittsburgh means life is much easier for mom, who used to make the drive up the Ohio Turnpike to Detroit for all of the Lions home games.
"She went to all of the games in Detroit," said Batch. "I always made sure I knew where her tickets were. I looked that way and waved hi to her before the games, made sure she made the trip safely. I still do that here.
"It's a lot easier now. It eases the mind. You know everything is okay; she is not on the road traveling with family. It's very convenient now for her. It's nice to know too, when I get done with a game on Sunday I have a place to go and eat.
"It's a lot different for her. I have been away for close to 10 years. She always had to make that road trip to come and see me. Now with me being here on a regular basis it's a lot easier. For her to pick up the phone now and dial me locally, that's something different that hasn't been there. Over the past year that I have been here it's been a lot more convenient for everybody. I think it's something she got used to, and with the free agency period she was hoping I would stay here because she got used to it the last couple of months."
While Batch weighed the hometown factor into his decision to stay in Pittsburgh, Settles didn't try to influence the decision. She let Batch make up his own mind, just like she has done with many of the football decisions he has made in his life.
"She told me just let me know where you are going," said Batch. "When it comes to football, she leaves it up to me. She just said make sure I am the first to know and not the last. She was the first."
With Mother's Day on Sunday, Batch enjoys the opportunity to talk about the most special person in his life. His mom is the one who has always been there for him. Their relationship is rock-solid, something he can sum up in one word, but then doesn't mind expanding on.
"Fantastic," said Batch of his relationship with his mom. "I kind of look at it like a brother-sister relationship. I tell her everything. I started doing that at an early age and that continues until this day. I pick up the phone and we can talk an hour or two and not once talk about football. A lot of people don't have that type of relationship.
"She followed me through everything. She was always there. She made sure I always had a way to the games when I was younger, whether she took me or arranged a ride for me to get there. It was something she was always a part of.
"Growing up I didn't have a father. She was my mother and father. Also, she was my hero. All of the stuff she went through and also being able to provide for the family; it wasn't easy. I was the oldest so I understood exactly what was going on at the time. I knew in order for me to better my education I had to go out and get a scholarship. So I knew that at an early age. That was something that me knowing it eased the burden a little bit because I didn't demand a lot growing up."
For Settles, seeing where Charlie has made it brings great joy and pride. But you can tell that she would be proud of him no matter what he was doing. And he feels the same way. Even though there were some stuggles for Settles as a single parent, she wouldn't chance a thing.
"I feel proud that I was there and I was able to do it," said Settles. "I look back and never would have done it any other way."