30 Days Of Dad: Day 7 – Attend Every Game, Yes EVERY Game

From T-Ball (which I couldn't find) to 17 (6'1 220 lbs) , my butt has spent far too much time on nylon folding chairs watching my second oldest play baseball.
From T-Ball (which I couldn’t find) to 17 (6’1 220 lbs) , my butt has spent far too much time on nylon folding chairs watching my second oldest play baseball.

We as men simply do what we want to do. I don’t necessarily mean in a dominating type of way, but more in a line-in-the-sand sort of way. Outside of things directly involving the affection of a woman (e.g. prom, wedding, sometimes in-law trips), if we don’t want to go, we don’t go. I think our kids recognize this trait in us guys early on.

So what do our children think when we do not attend their events, whether sporting, choir, debates, etc.?

My mom would say and do things for me just to well, be a good mom. Naturally, while I’ve always appreciated her words of encouragement, they have never carried the weight of my father’s words.

Why? Because I know he didn’t say it just to be “nice”. Or even if I suspect he did, it’s usually followed up with statements confirming or denying my suspicion.

While I stressed the word ‘every’ in the title above, that was just to encourage us to make that the goal. Please make it a rule in the early years, that dad well be at those events if he can. Now the job may hinder you, but quite honestly, that should be about the only circumstance IF IT MUST. Your kids will know that, by default, you are there in those special moments.

Looking back, I remember some pretty embarrassing moments trying to make an effort to watch my kids do their thing. When my oldest, who did not live with me, played high school football, I often had to pack up the other four kids (two of which were in the dreaded double-stroller) and pack for the dropping temperatures, change of clothes and my camera bag! However, the most embarrassing time was when I had to call his school, because I had no idea how much it cost to attend the high school game at that stadium (really, these places are worst than the NFL). We were extremely low on cash and some of the schools charged me for the kids, and some had varying prices. At that time, I was only getting paid once per month, so I didn’t want to embarrass the family at the gate by not having enough money at the posh suburban school.

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Would you believe they never even called me back?

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I look back at those years and while I don’t miss some aspects of them (really, why do you have to spend ALL day at a track meet? Do all of the events in one spurt instead of the final heats last will you!), I hope I set somewhat of a standard that he can carry on with my grandson.

If your kids are adults and/or driving themselves to the games, be sure that you’ve set a considerable cache of your attendance. Most sporting events are meaningless in the grand scheme of life, so if it’s some other kind of event, do your best to get that day off and be there.

While the event may live only in Facebook Flashbacks or on some memory card somewhere, dad’s presence, encouragement and congratulations will stand the test of time.

I hardly remember anything about my high school graduation nearly three decades ago.

But I do remember my dad yelling, “That’s my son!” when my name was called and I was walking across the stage.

I have no idea where that videotape is at to relive the moment though…

CSD

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The Intersection of Sex and Race in America

Are we ready to talk about the role sex played in the terrorist act in South Carolina as well? Like Elliot Rodger, terrorist in CA who said, “Today I drove through the area near my college and saw some things that were extremely rage-inducing. I passed by this restaurant and I saw this black guy chilling with 4 hot white girls. He didn’t even look good.” sexual inferiority plays a major role in racist ideology.

If you are an African-American male reading this, you have known from your early days of female attraction that “the white woman” was off-limits to you. Like me, if you were around them at school, church or perhaps in your neighborhood, you may have followed the “When in Rome, do as the Romans” dating philosophy. However, and probably as your parents held their breath in fear, you may have tried to date “outside your race”. When you did, I’m sure you were met not with open arms (not even with the church folks), but with warnings by the girl or even her parents with statements like, “You can’t come over as my parents don’t like black guys” or something similar.

Now perhaps you’re on the other side reading this. I willing to bet another dollar to the donut that either you’ve heard your parents say the above, you’ve said it to your kids, or you at least know your friends and/or family have laid this rule down.

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This nation has always and continues to perpetuate the stereotype that black men are sexual predators. Many in the dominant-group has or will make it clear that their daughter “better not bring home a black man.” Why would you say that (especially if you call yourself a Christian)? Of course, if you study this nation’s history, you’d see that they have always pinned rape on not just African-Americans, but on the Chinese as well. They claimed that Chinese men on heroine were raping white women, so the drug was made illegal and so were they. Mexicans were said to be raping white woman on marijuana, again, the drug was made illegal and so were they (also note that their labor was no longer needed to build the infrastructure of the country). So once again, we don’t teach the country’s true history, the same tricks work decades after decades…and “hot white girls” are being raped on college campuses so much, they fight to keep the statistics from being reported because it wouldn’t exactly look too cool on the recruiting side (fact check that one…I dare you). Oh, and you can’t blame that one on black men because wez don’t goes to skool remember? So it’s not us doing it…

CSD

If You Ain’t Cheating, You Ain’t Winning or Does Cheating Show A Deeper Problem In an Athlete’s Life?

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Dad’s, with all of the cheating that is going on in sports these days, how do you talk to your kids about this issue?

It’s hardly new. “Back in my day”, I wanted to throw a knuckler like Phil and Joe Niekro and a spitball like Gaylord Perry. Those were fun guys and Joe and Gaylord were cheaters, but hey, it was funny right? Did George Brett really mean to run Pine Tar that far up on the bat?

Come on! Lighten up!

Now this was before we really got serious on baseball cheaters like McGwire, Sosa, Bond (allegedly), A-Rod and the list goes on and on in that sport. But then there’s “Stickum” in football, anabolic steroids, growth hormone in almost every Olympic sport, blood doping in cycling, academic cheating from junior high through college for basketball and football players, car modification cheating in racing…maybe it is true, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!

So we really shouldn’t be tripping out about Tom Brady.

But this article in The Root breaks down that we do view and talk about cheaters differently, I highly recommend giving it a read.

Here are some of the highlights:

“If he were black, people would be calling him a criminal and saying that his behavior reflected some innate values. They would blame hip-hop, single mothers and the culture of poverty. If he were a black player, the conversation wouldn’t be about Goodell or the system but how the lack of a work ethic and morals led him to cut corners, to win “by any means necessary.” If he were black, the conversation would turn to affirmative action and how he was forced to cheat because he lacked the skills needed to excel at this elite level….Brady demonstrates yet again that whites are innocent … until proved innocent. Any evidence to the contrary proves that the system is flawed, that we have a miscarriage of justice.”

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Dad’s when you’re having this discussion with your kids, do you unknowingly talk differently based on the color of the athlete?

It’s something to think about and it’s how we teach our children about so-called race, without ever talking about race in our homes. Then we proudly exclaim to the world, “I teach my kids that skin color doesn’t matter, everybody should be treated the same!”

So do you treat everyone the same in your actions and judgements on who’s a cheater and who isn’t? Perhaps this is a good discussion to have with ourselves first, and then our children as well.

CSD

CSD Super Bowl Sunday Edition

As the kids and I sit around and prepare to watch the final game of the season, we talked about some of the great players and remembered our trips to the NFL’s Hall of Fame exhibit.

Here’s a little photo tour for you and feel free to take your kids down memory lane and the history of the NFL as well!

CSD

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True Capitalism, had the USFL not have pulled fans and athletes away and become serious competition, it might not be where it’s at today.
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In my opinion, the greatest athlete of all time! Bo Knows it’s true.
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It all goes back to Fritz! Too bad we wouldn’t have another black head coach for many decades later.
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Did you actually think I could post something on sports without slipping in my man Dr. Harry Edwards? Come On Man!

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The G.O.A.T.? I think so!
The G.O.A.T.? I think so!

CornerstoneDad Podcast #12 – Say Your Love, Show Your Love!

Catching up after a long break! We talk about where I’ve been and what’s been going on.

Plus:

– Life Action Summit and what it has done for me.

– Which comes first, the sports our kids play or the family?

– Best CSD Driveway EVER…Gullwing, CTS-V, Vette and GT-R!

– Main Topic – Do you tell and show your kids that you love them?

Plus, I wonder why a kid sporting $400 LeBron James gym shoes…is riding the bus!

Check out the podcast by clicking HERE-PODCAST #12

 

Join The CornerstoneDads and Sons Fantasy Football League

CSDs!

Feel free to join our fantasy football league, as we’d like to lock things down and need more teams to draft.

To make things easy for everyone, we’re just going to Autodraft (sorry hardcore folks), but owning a team would be great for you and your son…or even daughter!

The league is hosted by Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) and is called CornerstoneDads and Sons. Just go to the fantasy football join a league page and enter in the league ID: 735939

Hope to see you on the field!

CSD

CornerstoneDad Podcast #11 – Free Labor, Free Education or Just A Lack of Freedom?

Kory Devon and I discuss the latest happenings in the sports world and try to come to an agreement on whether college athletes should get paid (legally) or not. What do you think? Sound off and let us know in the comments section!

This was actually recorded before podcast #10, so please go back and check out that episode if you’d like to hear a continuation of our discussion.

Click Podcast #11 to listen!

Terrell Owens vs. TO; You vs. Your Inner TO – Who Wins In The End?

A friend of mine shot this story to me on TO, or Terrell Owens, or ah, I don’t know…

http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb

I just know he’s the guy that dropped the classic line, “I love me some me!” and had the great pom-pom end zone celebration that seemed much less rehearsed than the weak Sharpie-in-the-sock celebration pulled in Seattle in 2002.

Yes, it’s been that long. Hard to believe, but the San Francisco 49ers finally eclipsed the success they had when TO was there this season, as he departed the team in 2003. Back in 1999, there was Terrell Owens, a receiver that looked like he could re-write the record books and quite honestly, he eased the pain of Jerry Rice leaving for 49er fans as his talent seemed limitless. He was in perfect shape, 6’3 220+lbs, with deep-speed where DB’s could hang with him from 0-40 yards but post-40, “bye-bye”.

But then TO was born.

Obviously TO had a lot of fun. The article states that the he earned over $80,000,000 (1). That number is not a typo. However, now Terrell Owens finds himself “broke” (dude’s apartment is still the size of my house plus he’s in L.A., and I have 6 people with me) after suffering a knee injury without a contract, at 38-years old, with big child-support payments. Turns out that TO made a ton of bad business investments and even blames agent Drew Rosenhaus for not protecting him. Over the years, TO has always blamed a lot of people for a lot of things. I just watch the ESPN-tabloid so I don’t know what’s true.

But who’s to blame for this four kids by different mothers? The article states,

Now he is in court with all four women, whom he lumps together like one big bloodsucking blob. None of them are being fair, he says: “They know I’m not working; they know the deal.” Although he never established regular visitation with any of the children through the courts, he says he sees the eldest three as much as he can when their mothers allow it. So bitter is his relationship with the mother of the youngest child, a son, that he has never met the boy. (1)

Now, before I continue on, you may ask, “Who am I to judge?” Well, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to seek a child support reduction, have a tenuous relationship with my son’s mother and fight for visitation. I didn’t make $80 million dollars, I was making a few hundred dollars every two weeks, worried about the lights getting shut-off, and had to take out a zillion dollars in student loans just to go back to school and re-invent myself because I didn’t want my son working side-by-side with me when he turned 16 years old. So yes, I’ve been there TO.

But TO, you need to start fighting to see your kids, and not just “when their mothers allow it” and you need to find a way to be a dad to the youngest you are yet to meet.

Any other single-dad that’s reading this, let me tell you that you fight. You continue to fight. You never stop fighting. Amazing that a fool is willing to fight and kill over stepping on his Jordans, but will hide like a mouse from our own children. This is not because we don’t care, but because we’re scared.

Scared of confrontation.

Scared of our own emotions and how they make us vulnerable.

Scared of losing because we are not in control of the situation.

But you call yourself “Hard”?

How well do you fight your inner-TO?

I often hear Terrell Owens speak of his grandmother and the impact she had on his life. However, I’ve never heard him really talking about his father. Perhaps it was because he didn’t meet his dad until he was 11 years old (2). In a 2004 Sports Illustrated article, we discover,

“At age 11 Terrell developed a crush on a girl across the street and began sneaking over to flirt with her–until her father told him that he could not “be interested in her” because she was his half-sister. “It took me a while to understand that I was talking to my father,” Owens writes. When he asked his mother why she’d never told him that his father lived across the street, she said that “it wasn’t necessary to explain everything to me.”

TO asks for no sympathy because nothing in his experience has given him reason to expect any. But he is entitled to it just the same, and his critics who read this book might want to lay off him for a while. It’s not hard to understand why a man deprived of his father, deprived of his childhood, deprived of the words I love you, would develop a tendency to call attention to himself when he succeeds.”

 That was Terrell Owens talking right there. A man making himself vulnerable. But TO takes over when that same man, who knows what it’s like to grow up with a father so close yet so far, turns around and continues the same cycle with his children.

If a good man is hard to find, then the impact of a bad father is even harder to get rid of.

Just as Terrell’s dad was right across the street, TO’s image will be just as close for his children as daddy is just one ESPN click, internet page,  and reality show away from them.

For what it’s worth, and not because I’m a 49er fan, I think I’d like Terrell Owens if I met him in person and we hung out. He seems like a guy that I’d get along with and I’d certainly love to hit the steel with him. But it’s TO that I couldn’t roll with, and if the article is true, I don’t think Terrell even wants to roll with TO any longer. Therefore, I hope Terrell steps back up and becomes the man and the father he’s supposed to be to his kids.

Perhaps you’re a single dad or soon-to-be divorced dad and you’re having a hard time dealing with visitation. Don’t stop fighting to see them and having a relationship with your child(ren). It’s not about you and the mom any longer, so don’t let that relationship hinder you.

It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but when you look back and know that you fought for something worth for more than $80 million, then you have reason to celebrate like this:

Remember, you only have one shot at this, so do it right.

CSD

(1) Jeff Arnold, Terrell Owens In GQ: I’m In Hell, http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb, January 2012

(2) Charles Hirshberg, Sympathy For The Showboat, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113703/index.htm, 2004

CornerstoneDad Knowledge Nugget: CNN Cuts Short Its Awkward Interview With John Carlos Because Of Technical Difficulties

 

Last month I purchased The John Carlos Story (http://www.johncarlos.org/JohnCarlos/JohnCarlos-TheBook.html) for my two oldest boys. While I cannot wait for one of them to finish the book so I can start working my way through it, I have been listening to a number of interviews by Dr. John Carlos and David Zirin as they promote and tell the story behind the story.

But CNN (not Fox News) seemed to have another agenda in mind when they wanted to interview Dr. Carlos. Funny how this “mishap” as you will see, is an excellent example of the story of John Carlos and Tommie Smith. As long as they do what the nation and media wants them to do and say, great. Let us paint the portrait and you be the brush.

However, if you know anything about Dr. John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman and Dr. Harry Edwards, you know these guys paint their own portrait, tell their own story, and the truth about America as well.

Click link below to watch this SHORT interview:

http://deadspin.com/5856071/cnn-cuts-short-its-awkward-interview-with-john-carlos-because-of-technical-difficulties?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+deadspin%2Fexcerpts+%28Deadspin+excerpts%29

Dad’s, if you’re unfamiliar with the story of John Carlos and Tommie Smith and their protest during the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City, please check it out and learn more. This was truly a pivotal and misunderstood moment in world history. This is also a tremendous teaching moment for your kids: Will they be willing to take a stand for what is right, if it may cost them their life?

What did Carlos and Smith have to gain by keeping silent and not protesting for human rights? Certainly fame, money, power and privilege and all we have to do is look at the lives of Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt to see the riches that can be gained just from being the fastest sprinter in the world. But what did they gain from their silent protest? Persecution, slander (by their own nation especially), broken marriages (the wife of John Carlos later took her own life), and unemployment.

How would sports be different today if more athletes would be willing to put all of that on the line to help others?

How would society be different today if more parents were willing to give up many of the same advantages to raise our children and do what is right as well?

To hear Runner John Carlos: No Regrets On Olympic Salute on NPR, click link below: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/07/143271325/olympian-john-carlos-no-regrets-on-olympic-salute

Super Bowl Edition of: “What Did Boney Say?”

Any mention of the Super Bowl, deserves a picture of the 1985 Bears!

My two boys love football and because of this, we did’t have the heart to make them go to bed early on Super Bowl Sunday.

The girls on the other hand…well, they just want to stay up to get the boys in trouble, forcing me and mom to send everyone to bed.

But Boney catches on fast.

It’s her bedtime and my wife says, “Come on, lets get ready for bed.”

Boney: No I want to stay up and watch football!

Mom: You don’t care about football.

Boney: But mommy, I do care about football.

Mom: You do? Who’s playing?

Boney: Nobody, but I’ll watch them!

Somehow I’d bet she has a better chance of picking the winner than I would…