Tonight is Monday Night football night. The San Francisco 49er’s face off against the Arizona Cardinals, with both teams not living up to the pre-season expectations. The 49er’s coach, Mike Singletary, is even on the “hot-seat” accord to many in the media.
Most remember fiery Singletary for his intense gaze as he patrolled and led the Chicago Bear defense from 1981-1992. In fact, one of my favorite all-time teams was the 1985 Bears that won the Super Bowl that year against the New England Patriots. Singletary lead a defense that some consider one of the best in history.
Yet, Singletary’s biggest contribution to this world was probably not on the football field, either as a player 20 years ago or as a head coach today. Mike Singletary is the cornerstone of his family as he and his wife have seven children. The Coach has written three books: Singletary One on One, Calling the Shots, and Daddy’s Home at Last. When Singletary first arrived in San Francisco, he snatched highly-talented tight-end Vernon Davis off the field for not being a team player (check out his classic press conference speech below). If there was ever a “daddy moment” during the game for all to see, that was definitely one. Any father that ever had to discipline his child on the field for their antics or any child that has been the recipient of such rebuke could certainly relate. But Singletary’s decision that day earned him the respect of 49er leadership, the rest of the team, and most importantly, Vernon Davis himself. Singletary is a man that knows how to lead men.
Perhaps you are a dad that stepped into a situation that requires you to lead a team that, well… let us just say, “your guys” aren’t on the team. Meaning, you may be a step-dad of children who seem to be set in their ways and you continually think, “If I would have raised you, you would not be acting this way”. You may be a dad who has been in the military and away from your children for large periods of time, and they seem to ignore your discipline when you are home. You may be a dad who has been there, but you have sat back and let your wife handle the discipline because you want to be the “fun-dad”. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you need to be that cornerstone for leadership and discipline inside your home.
Like Singletary, we must be willing to not just lead in the boardroom, factory, or on the field. But in the living room (and not just the bedroom as that tends to be the only room in the house many men want to lead in), our kids classroom, and the chapel. Our kids are waiting and I wish I could say our wives are waiting, but many are not any longer, they are leading and laying down the discipline without us. What a shame. If you do not lead your young men, who will? Is the street capable to lead them? How about our daughters? Will we allow another man to lead them?
Coach Singletary may be on the hot-seat for the 49er’s losing record this season, I would be willing to bet the team’s record does not reflect the impact he has had on the men’s lives that he has coached in less than three short seasons. That is what being a CornerstoneDad is all about, being essential in the building and character of your home. To be anything less is not being a cornerstone, but pet. Maybe that’s why so many men are said to be dogs.