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

USFLa

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.

Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 054a

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!

Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 061a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 007a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 011a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 014a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 016a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 030a Henry Ford - Jan. 2, 2015 - 029a

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

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

Happy Birthday To My Son KD!

Kory and Cut-Dog_Fotor_Fotor

If you’ve been a regular listener to the CornerstoneDad podcast (if not, check out the episodes), you’ve heard my son KD on quite a few shows break down his thoughts on sports, race, relationships and anything else thrown at him.

Today is his 24th birthday!

When I was 24, he was 3 1/2 years old. I was working at a grocery store and was entering my 5th year there, struggling to figure out what to do with my life. The only stability I had at that time, was my then girlfriend and now wife, oh yea…and my Mustang!

However, there’s one thing I’m pretty confident about, and that’s the impact that young man had on my life.

Without him, there would likely be no CornerstoneDad.com, because it is through our trials and tribulations that made me appreciate my role even more.

Once again I’d like to remind my young dad’s out there to keep pressing. If you’re struggling being a young father while you’re trying to grow up and be a man your own-self, think of this time period out there as a football game:

0-5 yrs. old – 1st quarter

6-10 yrs. old – 2nd quarter

11-15 yrs. old – 3rd quarter

16-20 yrs. old – 4th quarter

Now, which QB will you be? When I was younger, I always knew that Joe Montana could make comeback. Dan Marino could make a comeback. You did not turn the channel because you never wanted to be “that guy” on Tuesday morning after Monday Night Football to hear, “You didn’t see what happened last night?”, because you turned the game off and went to bed because you thought the game was over. Not with those guys, because even if the Niners or the Dolphins would lose, the game would almost always be close in the end.

Will you give up because of the struggle in the 1st quarter or the 1st half? Oftentimes, the 3rd quarter determines the game, so if you have a good lead (relationship), will you relax and lose it in the 4th quarter? Are you a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (the two top active career comeback leaders in NFL history) that are always determined to win, no matter what the early quarters looked like? Are you steadfast on remaining in the game because of your integrity and even if you “lose”, the court system, your child’s mother, your relatives, her relatives will all know, that you’re a fighter? You’ll fight to see or be involved in your child’s life regardless of the obstacles.

Personally, I wanted to throw in the towel in every quarter of the game. When the picture above was taken, seeing that young man at 24 was out of my realm of possibility. I thought the tough times would never end.

God is good,  and was working even when I was not a good father, and I praise him for allowing me to see my son turn 24, and for me to be alive to say, Happy Birthday for yet another year.

IMG_4136_Fotor

CSD Knowledge Nugget: From The Legendary Steve Sabol

“Nothing lasts unless it can be expressed in the terms of a human spirit.”

Steve Sabol (1942-2012)

Steve+Sabol+2011+Pro+Football+Hall+Fame+Enshrinement+_TzBgVXTTqTl

I just watched the NFL network’s, A Football Life: Steve Sabol, with my sons. Steve, founder of NFL Films, revolutionized sports television and to a lesser degree, sports video games such as the John Madden franchise.

Steve’s story is absolutely amazing, but the story and relationship he had with his father is even better.

Check out the video below that Steve put together about his dad, Ed Sabol, for his enshrinement as a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2011.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-hall-of-fame/09000d5d821438ba/2011-HOF-Steve-Sabol-presents-Ed-Sabol

Knowing that Steve’s work has impacted multiple generations in terms of what they watch, he realized it was the impact he had on how people lived their lives that prompted the statement above.

It’s also a good reminder for us dads that it’s not the college fund or inheritance that we leave for our kids that lasts. But the imprint we leave upon their spirit, that will last for generations.

 

CSD

 

2013 Baseball World Series: Where’s Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Jim Rice and Oil-Can Boyd? Actually, Where Have All The African-American Players Gone?

2013-world-series-st-louis-cardinals-vs-boston-red-sox

I met with some clients a couple of weeks ago from South Korea. We talked a little baseball, and one of the gentlemen stated that one of the teams had no Korean players on the team, so he was going for the other. I laughed and told him these days, I’m struggling to find African-Americans on any baseball team either!

This years Fall Classic featuring the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals looks like nothing like your father’s baseball teams.

Thirty- years ago in 1983, here’s the opening day line-up I remember shuffling around. My boy Damon and I battled each other daily at the strike-box we made on the side of the building imitating the batting stances and characteristics of the following players:

  • David Green
  • George Hendrick
  • Keith Hernandez
  • Ken Oberkfell
  • Darrell Porter
  • Mike Ramsey
  • Lonnie Smith
  • Ozzie Smith
  • Bob Forsch

Four of the nine were African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .444, which was very good!

mcgee-photo

Anytime I can get my man Willie McGee in a blog post, it’s a good post!

What about the Red Sox?

  • Wade Boggs
  • Dwight Evans
  • Jim Rice
  • Tony Armas
  • Carl Yastrzemski
  • Dave Stapleton
  • Rich Gedman
  • Glenn Hoffman
  • Julio Valdez
  • Dennis Eckersley

Jimrice

One of the nine would at considered African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .111. Well, Boston was the last team to integrate in the MLB and it’s been said that African-American’s would rather cheer for the opposing team than for the home team (sounds like me actually).

St. Louis, doing well, Boston,…not so much. The Red Sox have always had problems with their racist past (passing on Willie Mays because of his color) but were trying to change things, at least they were 10 years ago according to this article in 2002 (click here).

So how much has actually changed?

The following is an article from the Boston Globe seems to indicate that perhaps the 1983 Red Sox were ahead of the “changing demographic” time. I’m glad that some are still calling attention to the fact that African-American’s are becoming extinct in the National Pastime. Why is that a problem? Because the train will not be returning to the station to pick up the passengers left back. As legendary Father of Sports Sociology Dr. Harry Edwards pointed out in a recent interview, without African-American ball players, baseball is experiencing record profits (check out why Forbes feels it’s more than about ticket sales here). So with the money rolling in, why should that be a primary area of focus for MLB? Bob Costas, appearing on Dave Zirin’s Edge of Sports podcast (listen here), points out that the problem is beyond the changing demographics of teams, but the game itself could face overall irrelevance with future generations. As Costas duly noted, the NFL makes sure that its most important games can be seen by everyone. However, with MLB, the early rounds of the playoffs are nearly impossible to find (in some cases like Detroit vs. Oakland, the game was not on television at all in Detroit!) and the World Series comes on late and lasts long after the bedtimes of its future fans.

Therefore, beyond the extinction of African-American baseball players in the game. Baseball needs to be careful that its current prosperity isn’t the final rally before the Closer (i.e. NFL) comes in to put them away in the game.

Check out this article below from the Boston Globe by Gary Washburn

Feel free to leave comments below!

World Series shows MLB’s dearth of black players

When Adron Chambers was left off the Cardinals’ World Series roster Wednesday to create a spot for the team’s RBI leader, Allen Craig, Red Sox utility outfielder Quintin Berry realized that he was the sole African-American representation on baseball’s grandest stage.

This exemplifies an issue Major League Baseball has been grappling with for the better part of two decades. The participation of African-Americans has been dwindling to the point where there is not one black starter or front-line player in this year’s Fall Classic.

Berry, 28, who was acquired by the Sox from the Royals in August for his speed, is unlikely to even get an at-bat in the Series. It’s a stirring testament to the decline of baseball’s popularity in the African-American community.

MLB records show that just 8.5 percent of players on Opening Day rosters were black. And now, just one of the 50 players participating in the World Series identifies himself as African-American.

Berry, whose father is black, said he is fully aware of the declining numbers and that many athletes of his generation chose to pursue basketball or football, more fast-paced and popular sports.

“Especially being from the neighborhood that I’m from, you don’t see a lot of guys playing this sport,” said Berry, who went to Morse High School in San Diego. “You see them playing football and choosing that alley.

“But I had to go where my body type and my ability was going to allow me to. It was weird, because nobody in my family knew much about baseball. My father was a football player.”

The problem is not a lack of effort by Major League Baseball. It has implemented RBI programs — for “Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities” — throughout the country to encourage young African-Americans to embrace the sport. But MLB in general has done a terrible job of promoting its sport, let alone to African-Americans who admire athletes such as LeBron James and Adrian Peterson.

Major League Baseball has long struggled with self-promotion, and the past 20 years have been a public-relations disaster considering the scandals involving performance-enhancing drugs. Seven-time MVP Barry Bonds was perhaps the most talented player of his generation, yet baseball wants nothing to do with him because of his association with PEDs.

While the NFL and NBA are busy ushering their all-time greats into the Hall of Fame, baseball wishes Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa would disappear.

Part of the issue is that baseball is a classical sport caught up in a hip-hop world. The games last well beyond three hours. The pace is slow. The commentators analyze the game as if they were detailing the government shutdown and not talking about a kid’s game. The sport takes itself much too seriously, and for the casual fan — which most kids are — that translates like organic chemistry.

With the sport considerably less appealing than basketball or football to the novice fan, there isn’t the eagerness for parents to register their kids for Little League. A generation ago, it seemed Little League was a staple of every community. Even if you didn’t like baseball, you played on the local park team. Now? Those kids are playing basketball, football, and soccer, or have become part of the X Games trend.

Former major league outfielder Chris Singleton, now a commentator for ESPN, believes the issue expands beyond the playing field.

“I’m looking at management positions in the game,” said Singleton, who is African-American. “I know we’ve had an issue with the declining number of African-American players on teams, whereas you had teams like Minnesota, which had one player, Aaron Hicks, and then when he got sent down, they didn’t have an African American player, which is kind of a first in a long time.

“You can even look at broadcasters if you want to and say there’s 30 teams and there’s one black full-time play-by-play announcer [Dave Sims in Seattle].”

There has been an influx of African-American talent such as Matt Kemp, Jason Heyward, David Price, Adam Jones (Berry’s high school buddy), and Andrew McCutchen, but many of those players would go unrecognized by the casual sports fan.

Also, one current African-American major leaguer said there’s a perception among African-American major leaguers that the game isn’t as welcoming to them as it is to others when their physical skills begin to decline.

A fundamental problem is that baseball didn’t have to emphasize its greatness, its beauty, and its allure to previous generations.

It was America’s Game. The national pastime. That is no longer the case.

Baseball has to restate its worthiness to a new generation, one that didn’t grow up breaking in new gloves with plenty of oil and a couple of nights under the bed post — for those who don’t remember Bo Jackson scaling an outfield wall or Dave Parker throwing out Brian Downing at third base on a bullet from right field.

Otherwise, the sport is simply selling itself on history and tradition, and as with many other genres, that isn’t good enough for the young folks.

“When I go home and tell my buddies what the game needs, they need guys with speed and athleticism and the role that I am doing,” Berry said, “hopefully that will help them or their kids down the line, maybe push them to try to get them into this sport.

“I am happy I am able to do this and hope people follow in these footsteps.”

Gary Washburn can be reached at gary.washburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at GWashNBAGlobe.

CornerstoneDads and Sons Week 6 Fantasy Update

carnac-the-magnificent

 

Remember last week when I said I would lose to william’s Team this week? All I have to say is; I think I have what it takes to be a fortune teller. Here are the summaries.

The Kansas City Chiefs Defense scored a team-leading 26.00 points to help Father_N_TwoBoys (4-2, 773.32) knock off The Crushers (0-6, 635.68), 120.44 – 111.48. The 120.44 points put up by Father_N_TwoBoys was the lowest winning score of the week and the win was the team’s third in a row.

BaldHeadSlicks (4-2, 730.16) got 27.50 points from Marshawn Lynch and knocked off FluffyKittens (3-3, 720.26), 125.36 – 98.40. BaldHeadSlicks scored 12.3% more points than projected (111.58) and has now beaten expectations for three straight weeks.

william’s Team (4-2, 635.08) picked up the league’s highest score of the week from Cam Newton (30.68 points) and waxed The Best Team (3-3, 693.70), 126.68 – 82.80. It was the biggest margin of victory of the season for william’s Team.

Untitled

I’m hoping I will be able to come back into first place. But for now, I’ll have to do everything in my power to get to that top spot. Unfortunately for me, I hate waiting a week for things to happen.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s update and I’ll see you next time.

Cornerstone Kid

CSD StrongDad Injury Rehab Day 2: Hey, If You Want Give Effort Like AP, You Get Injured Like AP

I was feeling pretty old last night and bummed-out after being injured yesterday. But the more I thought, I remembered a post by Dante Trudel (inventor of the Doggcrapp training program) about getting injured. To paraphrase, he pointed out that if you are really training hard and you get after it in the weight room, you will likely get injured at one time or another. To not get hurt likely means that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Fitness-folk will always treat injuries as if it’s due to irresponsibility of “being macho”, yet in no other sport is being injured considered this way. Groin pulls, hamstring pulls, ankle sprains are all a part of giving your all and part of the job.

Unfortunately when you get older, you don’t have that Adrian Peterson recovery any longer.

AP Collage

Just ask Derek Jeter:

“Jeter, 39, played in just 17 games this season as he recovered from two ankle surgeries. Jeter fractured his left ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series, came back to play in spring-training games, but underwent a second procedure in April. He made his season debut on July 11, but immediately suffered a quadriceps injury, and has been dogged by leg ailments since. Jeter hasn’t played since Saturday, complaining of more pain in his left ankle.

“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play,” Jeter said at a press conference at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, before the Yankees played the Orioles, “especially this time of year. This is when I want to play the most.” 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/yankees/2013/09/11/derek-jeter-yankees-injury-season-over/2801329/

Pre-bed treatment: BioFreeze

A.M. Treatment – Ice bag – 30 minutes / 2x200mg ibuprofen

Noon  Treatment – BioFreeze

logo-biofreeze

Some believe, some don’t, but at least it’s the most convenient way to “ice” in the office that I can think of!

Moderate stretching as I get up from my desk frequently just to kneel on one knee.

Afternoon Treatment – Ice bag – 30 minutes

Tonight – Ice bag – 30 minutes

Good part:

My hips actually feel better than they did this time last week. Shifting the Stang last week was brutal! I could barely flex my legs and had to depend a lot on dorsiflexion to move my feet to handle the pedals.

Bad part:

I’m walking with more of a noticeable limp than last week. Walking and standing without my butt sticking out is very difficult (and I’m not a flat-booty brotha either), but it is actually quite painful to push my hips forward as it stretches the hip flexor muscles. My glutes are also sore as well, because yesterday I had to continuously use them to extend my stride when my feet hit the ground since I could not get my leg high in the air to propel my body. Times like now, you’re definitely remind of what a marvelously integrated-system God designed.

Of course the atheists out there would say evolution did it.  But they would never go out and not have their car start one day and just not take it to a mechanic. But perhaps it has evolved to another state for no reason? Oh, just leave it there for 100,000 years and then it’ll turn into a perfectly running Boeing 757.

But I digress…

Take a look at the diagram below and you’ll get an idea of all of the muscles involved just for us to walk and run (e.g. hip extension and hip flexion are only two motions!)

hip-pain-snapping-hip

In my next post, I’ll introduce you to the best drug/therapy you can use for most injuries, and it’s probably not what you think!

CSD

The Large Professor Guest Post: Should NFL Teams Play After a Tragedy?

ProFootball Today

First, today’s post is not brought to you by CornerstoneDad, this is his son (aka the Large Professor).

What do you think? After a teammate takes his life, should the team play a game the next day? After you have a teammate that might be gone for the
rest of the season and one you will never see again, should the team play the next day?

Saturday morning, December 1st, 2012. Jovan Belcher, one of the starting linebackers for the Kansas City Chiefs, is said to have murdered the mother of his three-month-old child. Belcher then drove to the Chiefs facility, which is where it is said that he took his own life in front of his head coach, defensive coordinator, and general manager.

Now, think about what happened the next Saturday, December 8th, 2012. Early in the morning, nose tackle Josh Brent was driving with linebacker Jerry Brown as passenger, both from the Dallas Cowboys. It is said that they were traveling at a high rate of speed, hit a curb, causing the car to flip at least once. Brown did not survive the crash. Brent was arrested and was charged with Intoxication Manslaughter. This was the second time in three years Josh Brent has been arrested for an offense involving drunk driving.

But after both of those tragedies, the NFL decided to have the teams play as scheduled on Sunday. Some are wondering, why? I agree with the position of Jason Whitlock from Fox Sports:

You may argue that we all grieve differently. You may argue that
playing the game is the best way to move on and heal. You may argue
that canceling or delaying the game would serve no purpose and would be
unfair to the fans who traveled to Kansas City to see Cam Newton and the
Panthers play the Chiefs.

I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are
in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our
insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of
the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.

What are your thoughts? Should the NFL have canceled or postponed the games?

Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for reading!

Large Professor

No, not that Large Professor...although LP and the Main Source said some things to make the listener think as well.

No, not that Large Professor…although LP and the Main Source said some things to make the listener think as well.

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

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

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…

Keith Fitzhugh: Finally an Athlete That Deserves To Be Called “A Man”

Over the last few years, a disturbing trend has been taking place in the American sports lexicon. Larry Johnson is “a man”, Adrian Peterson is “a man”, Albert Pujos is “a man”, and the list continues with each athlete that is hot at time the statement is made. First, no person should just be labelled “a man” because they can carry a football, hit somebody so hard their shoulders clap, or hit a baseball whenever and however they like. All of us should resist having our manhood based on what we do for a living and/or our physical abilities. Second, the trials and tribulations of someone like Larry Johnson prove that “a man” can act more like, “a boy” when it comes to off-field behavior and decision-making. Looks like many fantasy football fans spoke too soon on LJ.

LJ's four arrests and various assault charges against women proves that just because you're a TD machine, doesn't mean your acting like a man.

However, I caught the story of Keith Fitzhugh on ESPN recently, and I felt that this guy is truly “a man”. Keith Fitzhugh had an opportunity to play for the New York Jets this season, but instead chose to stay home, work a “regular job”, and take care of his parents.  The NFL’s minimum salary is $320,000. I assume Fitzhugh would not collect all of that since he would have joined the team so late in the season. Yet, the Jets are almost a sure lock for making the playoffs and each playoff appearance and win would mean more money on top of his salary. It is one thing to turn down a job that would pay you $5,000 more if it did not offer you the security and flexibility you desired. But I never would have imagined someone doing it for probably more than 10 times their current salary and the fame of being a professional athlete. Also, rags-to-riches stories like Kurt Warner’s, are still fresh in our mind. The former grocery store bagger would later win MVP awards, a Super Bowl ring, and make four Pro Bowl appearances.

As a former grocery store worker myself, Kurt's story even inspires me!

May I also add, what does this say about his parents, specifically his disabled father? Can they be more proud of the son they raised and wisdom that goes beyond what most know at 24 years-of-age? Remember, being a CornerstoneDad is about being the anchor of your family. Regardless of age, your life is still a part of who they are, so when you are down, they are down and there to help you. That’s being relevant, that’s being a linchpin in your family, that’s being a patriarch, that’s being a CornerstoneDad. I wonder if Fitzhugh’s dad put work and money above his family? I do not know the answer, but the fact that Fitzhugh chose his father and mother over money and fame leaves a few clues.

 

 

 

 

Source:

Tony Dungee’s All-Pro Dad site: http://www.allprodad.com/

For video of an interview with Keith Fitzhugh, please see: http://allprodad.com/page.php?id=312

FAMILY OVER FOOTBALL

By: Mickey McClean – Worldmag.com

Often when we read about the off-field exploits of professional athletes the focus is on scandalous behavior: drugs, alcohol, violence, infidelity. It was refreshing to read this week about former pro football player Keith Fitzhugh, who gained notoriety for doing something unexpected but commanded of us: honoring his father and mother.

With several players going down with injuries, the New York Jets desperately needed help in their defensive backfield as they looked to make a run at the Super Bowl. They knew Fitzhugh, who had been in their training camp the past two years only to be cut from the squad, so they rang him up with an offer to rejoin the team immediately. Granted, the Jets weren’t throwing tons of money at him or guaranteeing him a permanent spot on their roster; still, what 24-year-old who has dreamed of playing in the NFL wouldn’t jump at a chance to pull on the pads again and possibly play his way into a long-term deal?

But the former Mississippi State standout said no.

“I know the Jets have a great opportunity of making the Super Bowl, and that’s one dream that every child has is to play sports and make it to the Super Bowl or get to the World Series,” Fitzhugh told The Associated Press. “But, there’s a time when you have to think, ‘Hey, you’ve only got one mom and dad.’ They won’t be here forever, and while they’re here, you’ve got to cherish that time.”

After the Jets cut him prior to this season, Fitzhugh decided to head back home, land a steady job, and help take care of his mother and his father, who is unable to work because of a disability. He’s been a conductor for Norfolk Southern Railroad for the past three months.

“I’ve got something now where I know every two weeks I’m getting a paycheck,” said Fitzhugh, who had a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens last December before re-signing with the Jets in the offseason. “I don’t want to let [Norfolk Southern] down or run from them because I got a shot for a couple of weeks. I just feel that that’s not right at the moment. I’m looking more long-term in life right now than the short-term.”

In talking to the press this week, Jets coach Rex Ryan reacted to Fitzhugh’s surprising decision: “That’s one of the reasons why we wanted that kid. He’s a tough guy. He’s a guy with a lot of character. He’s just a really outstanding young man. The decision that he made was a tough one for him, but I admire his decision.”

As we debate whether our children should look to athletes as role models, maybe we need to consider not only the superstars but those like Fitzhugh who make the tough call to put the quest for fame and fortune aside for something that’s much more lasting.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).