Happy 21st Birthday Michael

My darling Michael, today will always be about you, beautiful you. Sending all my love to you on your 21st birthday. I imagine all the things we would be doing together today … hanging the birthday banner, baking your favorite yellow cake with chocolate icing, pulling out the “it’s your special day” plate, sharing one of your favorite dinners, watching you make a wish and blow out 21 candles and, on this milestone birthday … opening a very special bottle of wine that your Grandpere bought to be shared on special occasions with his grandsons. Dad and I will be toasting you, our amazing youngest son tonight as we open this wine and wonder how you and your Grandpere will be celebrating this day together.

Michael, we love and miss you more than words could ever express. The deep pain of losing you is a pain that never goes away and is even more profound on these special days. I want you to know that we are holding on tightly to all the love, joy, affection and laughter that you poured on us for 16 years and 8 months. Oh how thankful we are for each and every second of our time together. Your zest for life, loving ways, passion, courage and gorgeous smile are written all over our hearts and, your beautiful light continues to shine so brightly through the life-saving work of just1mike.

Happy Heavenly birthday my sweet sweet boy. I love you, I miss you and I could really use one of your “BIG HUGS” today sweetheart, ❤️Mom


Michael’s 18th Birthday

October 7, 1999….one of the best and most amazing days of our lives…the day our beloved Michael was born. Today is Michael’s 18th birthday. We could never have known or imagined that we would be marking this important day, the milestone of turning 18 by honoring our precious boy instead of celebrating with him.

Today and everyday, Michael is woven throughout our hearts and minds. He has left a permanent mark on the lives of so many, most especially his family and friends. The indescribable love and the beautiful memories are all of ours, forever.

There’s no doubt in our minds that Michael would have accomplished great things in this lifetime. He had already done that in his 16 years of living on this earth.  He lived his life with love, kindness, gratitude, humility and passion. And he lived every day to the fullest. He taught us so much by his example.

Michael’s precious life continues to make a difference, a big difference in the lives of others through the work of just1mike, the foundation formed in his honor.  Along with Young Hearts for Life and Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, just1mike sponsored an all school cardiac screening day at Hinsdale Central High School. Held on Sept. 7th, almost 1,900 students were given a free EKG test and with 13 abnormal EKGs, five of which diagnosed definitive heart conditions that are associated with sudden cardiac death. We know lives were saved that day. Michael’s life, making a life saving difference for others.

Today and every day comes with a heart ache like no other. Our hearts will forever be broken without our sweet boy. But we will continue to celebrate all that he was, all that he did, the incredible love that he shared and how he will continue help save the lives of others.

Happy 18th birthday in Heaven sweet angel, we love you more than we could ever put into words…we will love you forever and ever ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.

Michael’s Memorial Foundation – just1mike

The joy, laughter, inspiration and LOVE that Michael brought to our family is truly beyond words. He blessed us daily with his passions….his passion for life, family, friends, animals and his wonderful passion for sports. Not a minute goes by that we don’t deeply miss our beautiful son and brother. Michael’s life will forever be our great gift and blessing.

While only on this earth for 16 years and 8 months, Michael touched many lives in so many wonderful ways. Our family is committed to honoring Michael’s beautiful life, his passions and continuing the kindness he showed to others through just1mike, a 501c3 non-profit foundation. Lovingly named after Michael’s blog, just1mike.com , our foundation will work to raise awareness and fund testing for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in teens as well as provide AED equipment, training and emergency preparedness plans for a sudden cardiac event. We will also work to offer scholarship opportunities in Michael’s name.

In our lives and in our hearts there is truly just…1…mike and as one of Michael’s friends from Culver said in a letter to us,

                                         “my life is better because of his” 

So, we will continue to help make a difference in the lives of others for Michael and will start with an important event at Michael’s high school, Hinsdale Central, on September 7, 2017. We have partnered with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and the Young Hearts for Life foundation to offer a school wide ECG cardiac screening. The Young Hearts for Life (YH4L) cardiac screening program is the largest teen program in the country and has, to date, screened over 150,000 students for common cardiac conditions that can lead to sudden death. The program will be funded by just1mike and Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital so that each student can receive this quick and simple test free of charge. This is a day that will be devoted to the health and wellness of all students at Hinsdale Central as every child, not just student athletes, will have the opportunity to be screened through an ECG test.

Online registration is open now for parents to register their students and we strongly encourage every family to participate in this important day. Hinsdale Central parents will receive more information on the screening from the school. You may also find additional information on this type of screening on the YH4L website, YH4L.org .

We need volunteers!

Parents, friends and community members, we hope you will help us make this a successful day by volunteering to help. Anyone can volunteer! The screening is held during the school day on Sept. 7th and all volunteers must attend one of the training sessions which will be held both late afternoon and evening on Sept. 6th.

Registration details for student screening and to volunteer are listed at the end of this post.

                                                        Thank You!

So as we start this new journey in our lives, we invite you to join us in this important work. We also want to thank our family and friends from the bottom of our hearts for your love, support and continued prayer. We feel the love and are so grateful.

And Michael, you have changed our lives forever with the amazing love you gave us and continue to give us. We know you are with us every step of the way. You shared your life so completely with everyone who knew you and we will carry that gift with us always as we honor you, spread your joy, work hard for you and love you always.

The Brindley family, forever 5 ❤️

1 Corinthians 13:13(NIV)  

               And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of            these is love.

We will share the website for just1mike when that is complete. In the meantime the foundation is fully formed and accepting donations. Tax deductible charitable gifts can be made to just1mike, P.O. Box 276, Clarendon Hills, IL  60514.

Register your Hinsdale Central Student today by going to  YH4L.org.

1.    From the Registration and Events tab

2.    click Registration and Results

3.    click Chicago Region High School Students

4.    submit the permission form

5.    Enter your personal information

6.    Choose Hinsdale Central as the SCHOOL

Volunteer sign-up is open and online, here’s how  you sign up:

  1. Go to the invitation page on SignUp.com: http://signup.com/go/RDWcVY
  2. Enter your email address (you will NOT need to register and account with SignUp.com)
  3. Sign Up!  Choose your spot and be sure to sign up for your training session as well as the shift you will work at the screening. If you can, please consider joining us for the entire day!



Football and Angels at the Big House

Michael’s love of anything related to the University of Michigan, especially Michigan sports was no secret to all who knew him. He was TRUE BLUE when it came to Michigan displaying his loyalty through a full wardrobe of Maize and Blue, a walking resource of  Wolverine sports facts and of course breaking out in “Hail to the Victors” at any given moment. While he had been to Ann Arbor with his dad and brothers, he had not seen a game in the Big House which was one of his dreams.

When Michael’s story was shared with both players and coaches at the University of Michigan, this dream became the motivation to honor Michael, inside the Big House on November 19th. Thank you Anna Schueler and your wonderful family as well as Henry Poggi for telling Coach Harbaugh about Michael’s passion for Michigan football. And many thanks to Coach Jim Harbaugh for inviting our family to the last home game and to J.T. Rogan who made sure we had sideline passes for pregame warmups and great seats to watch all the action. It was such an emotional, important and very memorable day for our family.

Michael, your family made several trips to another one of your favorite places that day, the M Den and we proudly wore our Maize and Blue for you that day.

Although a little too close for comfort, the game did not disappoint and definitely kept us on our feet. The Wolverines won the game in a snow storm that completely covered the field. A great day for the team and especially for the seniors. A remarkable day for us as the Michigan cheerleaders ran out on the field and made snow angels.  Angels…we could only think of you Michael, our heavenly angel.

The Big House is probably all that you imagined Michael plus more. There’s not a doubt in our minds that you were taking it all in with us. Loving you FOREVER  and rooting for your team…..GO BLUE!

The Angelic Rain Delay!

Just as Michael predicted in April, the Cubs finally won the World Series this year and there is no doubt that all those angels in the outfield played a big part in the spectacular win!

Since this was one of Michael’s dreams, we were there to represent him for three of the World Series games including game 6 and game 7 in Cleveland. It was truly amazing to fullsizerenderwatch this young and talented team head to Cleveland and come out with such a strong win in game 6 to take the series to a final game.


And what a game it was…definitely one for the history books in so many ways and a battle to the end. As we left our seats to seek cover during the 17 minute rain delay, our emotions were running so high and our hearts were pounding. Were our Cubbies going to be able to pull this out and become the champions just as our dear Michael predicted?

As we all know, the answer to that question was a resounding YES but they didn’t do it alone! There’s no doubt in our minds and the minds of many others that the “angels in the outfield” played a significant role in helping this team come back from the rain delay and make it happen.

Ahhhhh, that Angelic Rain Delay!!


We could just see Michael’s smile and hear him singing  🎼 GO CUBS GO 🎼 as the Cubbies won the title of World Champions. After the last out, we rushed down towards the field and sang it for him, at the top of our lungs, through tears and raindrops as the Cubs and their amazing fans celebrated this historical victory.


💙❤️ A love never ending for you Michael ❤️💙

Angels in the outfield? YES indeed!

…Michael’s 17th birthday at Wrigley and the Cubs are going

to the World Series…

It’s happening and Michael wrote about it in his April 10th post after returning from Arizona where he took in two spring training games,

Growing up a Cubs fan, I have been used to heartbreaking baseball. It seemed like every year I would always say, “there’s always next year.” Well, I am glad to say that next year is NOW.

You are so right Michael, NOW is here and your Cubbies are headed to the World Series after a Game 6 impressive win at Wrigley Field.

Cubs postseason play kicked off on a very special day, and that was Michael’s 17th birthday on October 7th. That night was the first playoff game at Wrigley against the San Francisco Giants and Michael’s family was there to honor him and cheer on his beloved team. It was an emotional night filled with tears, smiles and an enormous amount of love for our dear Michael.


This banner is hanging outside our house and was also with us to Wrigley Field that night…it really says it all. Michael’s aunt and uncle came in for his birthday as well as both his brothers. We were there to represent our sweet Michael wearing photo buttons and remembering him with a scoreboard message in the 5th inning.


A lot of love and planning went in to this night but something very unexpected also happened. We were included in a clip on the ABC Channel 7 news that night with Ravi Baichwal, news anchor and reporter, @BaichwalABC7.  Click the image below to watch the short clip.


Thank you Ravi for the opportunity to share Michael and his story on such an important day.

The Cubs won that game 1-0 with a home run by Javier Baez in the left field corner, close to our seats and now they are headed to the World Series. That corner has become known as “Michael’s Corner” in our family. We know our sweet angel is most definitely in the outfield cheering on his team along with so many others, including his Grand Pere who was a lifelong Cubs fan.

GO CUBS GO has taken on a new meaning for us this year as there’s a choir of angels cheering with and right along side of us 😇.

Michael closed his blog post on April 10th in this way,

I am ready for my Cubbies to reverse the curse and FINALLY win a World Series for the best fans in baseball.  GO CUBS GO!

Michael with his brothers, May 2016

Michael with his brothers, May 2016





Michael’s College Football Predictions

One of Michael’s favorite times of year was awaiting after he returned from camp…the start of the college football season. He loved the hype, the predictions, College GameDay and watching all the action.

He was getting ready to start something new on his blog and that would have included some video-blogging. In preparation for that, he spent some time earlier this summer working on a few of his predictions for the season. He completed predictions for eight teams in total, including his two favorites, Michigan and Oregon. We watched Michael work on these eight teams and saw him meticulously balance the wins and losses as he started this process, paying close attention to detail which would have carried through to those teams that he had yet to do.

We will be eagerly watching Michael’s predictions as this season gets underway!

We love you Michael and will be rooting for your teams❤️
IMG_8530Something tells us he would have snuck in a “Go Blue” here

IMG_8537And a “Go Ducks” here





Michael Brindley, just1mike.com a memorial tribute

Known for his kind heart, passion for sports and zest for life, Michael Brindley passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this summer at the age of 16 from natural causes.Michael.Soph.Photo

A rising high school junior, Michael created this blog three years ago when he was just 13 as a place to begin his dream of sports writing and broadcasting. His passion for sports was contagious and he was described by many as having an encyclopedic mind for stats and sports knowledge. Since the inception of just1mike.com, Michael published 110 posts with his last post on June 18, 2016, just days before he died.

IMG_7855Michael’s sports passion started at a very early age and his allegiance to certain teams was no secret. He absolutely loved the Oregon Ducks, Michigan Wolverines, Buffalo Bills, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Cubs. His favorite sports were undeniably football, baseball and basketball. He was also a fierce supporter of his two brothers and their football teams, the Nazareth Academy Roadrunners and the Saint Xavier University Cougars as well as his beloved high school teams, the Hinsdale Central Red Devils.

While this blog was Michael’s main vehicle for writing, he was also a student writer for the Daisy Field Life Magazine in his hometown community, contributing regularly with an “Athlete of the Month” column. After completing a high school journalism course last year, he interviewed for and was brought on staff to start writing this school year for The Devil’s Advocate, an award winning publication from his high school.

IMG_3666 (1)Michael’s favorite times of year were undoubtedly “March Madness” with college football season playing a very close second. His passion for college sports was always electric but caught even more fire during March Madness. His ability to master information on all the teams and his own form of bracketology dazzled us all. What we will never forget is the enthusiasm, big smile and the twinkle in his eye when he was so happily wrapped up in all the excitement.  He shared his bracket and predictions for this year’s tournament on his blog. On April 5, 2016 he predicted Villanova to win the tournament by two….Villanova won this year by three points.

Before Michael left for camp this summer he worked on his college football predictions and had those ready to post at the end of the summer. We will post those predictions before the start of the college football season this weekend.

IMG_0043Attending games and sporting events was naturally one of Michael’s favorite past times and he went to some great events….the BCS National Championship game in 2011 to watch his Ducks take on Auburn, the Big 10 Football Championship in December of this year where we also went to the College GameDay broadcast (his favorite show), some great games at Wrigley Field cheering on his beloved Cubs and several Michigan basketball games, to mention just a few. He missed getting to a couple meaningful places on his wish list….watching Michigan football at the Big House in Ann Arbor and seeing the Buffalo Bills play a home game in Buffalo.

IMG_8520Some very special things in the world of sports took place in the days following Michael’s passing through the help of his cousin Meghan who works in social media. Seth Davis, @sethdavishoops, writer for Sports Illustrated, host of Campus Insiders and in-studio analyst for CBS’ NCAA men’s college basketball coverage tweeted about Michael…


IMG_9797Mike Golic,@espngolic, co-host of ESPN’s radio show Mike & Mike and Adnan Virk, @adnanESPN, an anchor for ESPN’s Baseball tonight honored Michael with a photo holding up Michael’s blog name, just1mike.

On July 1st, the day of Michael’s memorial service, the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts added a just1mike sign to the NBA championship display for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That night, the dome was illuminated in red to honor and remember Michael. We can just see the smile on our boy’s face as he saw these wonderful tributes and the red dome that night.


IMG_8516Michael was all in when it came to sports, but he had another very strong interest and passion as well and that was his team, his company at Culver Military Academy Summer School. This six week summer camp is a unique and wonderful leadership opportunity that draws kids from around the world to the campus of Culver Academies on the shore of Lake Maxincukee in Indiana. Michael had just started his third and final summer of the program in June and would have graduated with a First Class rank from Culver at the end of July. He was in the Naval School and a devoted member of the unit Naval Two, affectionately known as Super Two.

IMG_8525Michael loved Culver and the brotherhood of Super Two. He formed friendships around the globe and became both a leader and a great friend to so many kids from his company and throughout the camp. We traveled back to Culver at the end of July to represent Michael at an important end of camp event and his favorite event, the Naval School Communications Relay. The boys of Naval Two lost a friend and a brother this summer. They are a very special group of young men who dedicated their summer to Michael and honored him in many beautiful ways.They designed a special Com Relay shirt and dog tags which they wore for Michael during the race. We were presented shirts and dog tags before the race by two of Michael’s dear friends of Naval Two which is something that will stay with us forever.

IMG_8474 3We are a family of five and will always be a family of five. Michael is the youngest of three boys and has grown up surrounded by the love of his two devoted parents, his brothers Robbie and Jack along with two dogs, Lucy and Hunter. He brought so much love, joy and laughter to our family. Our house was filled with sports banter, and endless loop of ESPN on TV followed by the countless games we watched together. We have been a divided house when it comes to Chicago baseball with Michael and his mom rooting for northside Cubbies and his dad and brothers cheering on the White Sox. This year though, our family has united for Michael to cheer on the Cubs. We are so hoping that this is the year for the Cubs to take it all…GO CUBS GO!


Michael, was a passionate sports fan with a love for writing and dreams of working for ESPN one day. More importantly, he was a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and dear friend to so many. He was and will always be a gift and tremendous blessing to our family. Our lives are forever changed by the life and loss of our beloved Michael. A bright light to all who knew him, Michael touched the lives of so many people with his beautiful smile and friendly ways. While his life on this earth was much too short, he packed it full of love, passion, affection, laughter and loving kindness.

We love you so very much Michael and know your light will shine forever❤️

Your loving family,

Mom, Dad, Robbie & JackIMG_7328



Let SMU Play in the NCAA Tournament

smuAaron Torres, writer for FoxSports wrote a story yesterday on SMU basketball and nailed it. I completely agree with everything he covered in this article and urge the NCAA to reconsider the sanctions placed on SMU.  I also hope those who agree and want to see justice done for the players of the best basketball team in the country to sign the petition attached to Torres story. Thanks Aaron Torres for covering this so well.

Lift SMU’s Basketball Postseason Ban  by Aaron Torress



College Football Playoff National Champioship Preview

The stage is set and #1 Clemson is ready to face off #2  Alabama for all the marbles. The National Championship is finally here. We are all hoping that this will be a great game, unlike most of the bowl games.
Clemson is the only undefeated team and has been #1 week after week, but once again they are underdogs. This is puzzling because Clemson has been the best team in football 635850100243740361-ACC-Championship-Football-bboatwri-greenvillenews.com-56this year. Alabama is favored seven points, which means the Tigers have them right were they want the. No one has given this team any respect, and this will be a benefit for Clemson. Deshaun Watson has been awesome this year. He is the best quarterback in the country and is already writing his legacy in college football history as a sophomore. In the first half of the Orange Bowl, Watson had to do everything for Clemson. It is remarkable they were in the game at half time, but he is that great. In the second half Wayne Gallman and the other Tiger running backs decided to show up and they ran all over the Sooners. Watson and Gallman need to get the running game going and be creative with their play calls to keep this massive Bama defensive line on their toes.
This may have been Nick Saban’s best coaching job of his career. Many people including me thought this was going to be more of a transition year after loosing a lot of talent to the NFL, but as Alabama does time and time again, they prove me wrong. During their blowout www.usnewsCotton Bowl victory over the Spartans, quarterback Jake Coker had a coming out party. Coker played the best game of his career in the bright lights, and proved all of the doubters wrong. I believe Alabama will go back to what they do best in the Championship, which is to run the ball. Coker had a great game in all, but when you have a 6’3 beast in the back field, who is also the Heisman Trophy winner… feed the ball to him. Derrick Henry is going to have to get a lot of carries and keep Clemson’s high powered offense off the field.
This will be a great game and a Championship to remember. Alabama’s kryptonite has always been dual-threat quarterbacks. Guess what, they are facing the best running quarterback and just the best quarterback in the country. Deshaun Watson will give Alabama’s defense fits and Clemson will win the College Playoff National Championship.
Prediction: Clemson 35, Alabama 34

Deshaun Watson

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws oranges to the crowd after his team won the Orange Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against Oklahoma, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Clemson defeated Oklahoma 37-17. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)