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.