Happy Father’s Day, now let’s be good fathers

It’s Father’s Day.  The early-midsummer Sunday that serves as the perfunctory bookend to Mother’s Day.

While it’s an occasion for the dads out there to take a load off and watch some golf (try a Red Bull if the goal is to stay awake) or the NBA Finals (since it’s Game Five, try a Five Hour Energy to make it to the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter), it’s also an opportunity to renew our commitments to our families.  Any man with the properly functioning body parts can father a child, but being a father requires much more than that.

And it’s not just to our own children.  Nephews, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and players on the teams we coach.  They look to us for protection, guidance, and inspiration.

We should strive to be worthy of it every day, without thought.  On Father’s Day, we should take a minute or two to consciously embrace for another year the duties that go along with providing for the safety, the shelter, and the future or anyone who relies on us.

We also should honor those who have done the job well, selflessly and at times with significant sacrifice.  My father died nearly 15 years ago, and I still spend a lot of time thinking about the lessons I learned even when he wasn’t trying to teach them, along with the things he enjoyed.  He watched Sanford & Son religiously.  And Hogan’s Heroes.  He loved Chris Berman and Mike Lupica, cackling at pretty much anything they said, even the stuff that wasn’t intended to be funny.

It’s important to make sure the fathers in our lives know we appreciate what they do, even though the truly good ones don’t need to hear it.  The man in the picture is my wife’s father and my son’s grandfather, still going strong at 76 despite more surgeries than Rob Gronkowski, a Type-A personality that would make Mike Ditka say, “That guy needs to relax,” and an appetite that would impress the average offensive lineman.

He treats me like one of his own, brags more than my own father would, and watches nearly every episode of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.  And he really likes it when I give Kuselias a hard time.

So Happy Father’s Day to Joe Oliverio and to all of the fathers in our lives.  And for all of us who are fathers, let’s do earn that label, today and every day.

28 responses to “Happy Father’s Day, now let’s be good fathers

  1. Happy Father’s Day to all you guys too – and that includes Florio and the gang. This is a great day – enjoy it, celebrate it, for what it’s all about.

  2. Here’s a football analogy for the fathers out there:

    If you do a bad job with your family then you are no better than the typical lousy GM that keeps making excuses for why their team isn’t equipped to make the playoffs. Do you want your kids to grow up to be perennial losers, or do you want to raise a champion and a HOFer? It’s every father’s free choice to make, so make it a good one and a decision that you can live with.

    So what’s it going to be, are you going to raise a good leader or follower, or crowd the world with yet another variety of cancer like as if we don’t have enough already?

    Make your selection; you are on the clock right now.

  3. Very well said. I spent yesterday with my young son and my father who is not well. It was priceless. Watching my 7 year old go off the diving board my father grabbed my arm and said that was you just yesterday it seems. Don’t let it fly you by. And just try and improve on me. I’ll try to do both. We all should. Almost any male can make a baby but it takes a man to be a great father.

  4. I’ve followed your posts for years, and I have to say while I have appreciated most and disagreed with you on many of them, this is one on your best yet. You have have helped put things in a relevant perspective for what Father’s day is really about.

    BTW, I felt strongly enough about your post to actually go create an account..go figure…

  5. I usually only comment when I strongly disagree with something Florio posts. This one took me over 15 minutes to read because halfway thru my mind wandered to times with my own father. Good job Florio!

  6. I enjoy your Father’s Day post every year, thank you. I read it to my wife and daughter. Thank you for the all the post and the site. Well done!

  7. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been enjoying watching Fifa’s football throughout the day on ESPN. In plain english, that would be “soccer” to all of you. 🙂

  8. I miss my Dad. If you’re fortunate enough to still have your Dad around please never take it for granted and spend as much time with him as you can.

  9. So someone actually likes you Florio? Tiki is flabbergasted.

    Happy Father’s Day. RIP JFD. I miss you yelling at me to change the oil in the car when I wanted to play basketball. And making french toast on Saturday mornings. And your complaining about free agency in sports. And Yea Dad, I know Max has to go to the park, give me five minutes. And No Dad, I wasn’t smoking anything in here.

    I miss it all.

  10. Antonio cromartie was going to comment, but he’s busy fielding calls from 14 different states…..

    seriously though, great read Florio. awesome post and good perspective.

  11. Balancing fatherhood and football during the NFL season… easier said than done.

  12. I have a good dad who is very patient and who taught me how to be a better person. Now that he’s almost 85 and on the down side, I try to be as patient with him and as good of a person as he is. It’s tough, and I appreciate it all the more knowing he did this with me. And I surely am not as good at it as he was.
    So happy Father’s Day to all.

  13. That was a great post Florio. I’m 34 and lost my father 13 years ago, and my father-in-law a year ago. Both are dearly missed, and both were lost suddenly. Don’t take a minute of being with them for granted, for you never know and are never prepared for when their time comes. Being a father of three boys myself really makes me want to do good by them and raise them to the best of my ability. Happy fathers day everyone.

  14. Why be a father when we can all just be gay lovers? Who needs all that messy consequence sex?

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