Sibling rivalries taking a national stage seems to be a thing lately.
In this year’s Super Bowl, Philadelphia center Jason Kelce and Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce played against each other when the Chiefs beat the Eagles. They never lined up head-to-head, but the Nola brothers did in last October’s National League Championship Series as San Diego catcher Austin delivered a key hit against his brother Aaron, a Philadelphia pitcher. It helped the Padres win the game, but the Phillies took the series.
There will be no such consolation prizes on Sunday.
Afterward, the brothers’ parents, Patrick and Eva Ariko, and their two young sisters, Abigail, 10, and Anna, 8, will take turns comforting the loser and celebrating the winner, just as they did a year ago. They have tickets for Sunday’s game in both the San Diego State and Creighton sections, just as they did last year when they switched seats at halftime.
“This year, we may just go neutral,” said Patrick with a laugh. “Plain white T-shirts and go sit way up in the bleachers.”
Patrick immigrated to the United States from Uganda in the mid-1980s because he no longer felt safe after a change in power. “I was identified as someone who could be groomed to work against my tribe,” he said. Having settled in the Los Angeles area, he met Eva at a Ugandan community wedding. By then, she had two boys — Adam, with whom she was pregnant when she came to the United States from Uganda in 1998, and Arthur, who was less than a year old.
“I was smitten,” he said.
“Patrick and I were meant to be,” said Eva, who married him in 2008, and moved to Dallas and then near Phoenix, where they now live. “For him, it’s always been, ‘I take you with everything you come with.’”