My oldest started high school football practice recently, but we have talked more about his team’s pregame routine than touchdowns or tackles. Instead of X’s and O’s, Yosef and I are commiserating over whether he will kneel or stand during the national anthem. I wonder if other dads of third-string placekickers are spending time doing the same this summer. Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who cost himself millions of dollars and a promising football career after kneeling during the anthem, has been back in the news in recent weeks. And with the ongoing protests and marches in reaction to … [Read more...]
I remember being extra fidgety one Sunday morning while sitting in the stark white Presbyterian church of my childhood. I used to bounce my leg a lot when I was littler -- something one of my own sons does now -- and my dad would pinch my knee between his thumb and forefinger to stop. This particular Sunday, my dad had done this a few times, each with increasing pressure. It was an autumn day and the Cincinnati Reds -- the legendary Big Red Machine of the 1970s -- were in baseball’s playoffs once again, and I was distracted. I really didn’t want to be there. Finally, my dad had to … [Read more...]
On a hot summer morning, I walk stealthily from my car to the covered pavilion in between two rows of tennis courts at the front of the park. I make sure to approach from a particular direction, keeping the small trees and bushes between me and the courts so I remain unnoticed. I sit on a weathered green bench attached to a picnic table. I disrupt a squirrel’s meal and, startled, it scampers away to safety. I’ve given up some things to be a stay-at-home parent — career, money, a large swath of my sanity — but moments like this make the sacrifice worth it. Quiet moments of secretive … [Read more...]
My wife and I were recently given two tickets to an Indianapolis Colts preseason football game. Since my wife, admittedly, pays no attention during games she told me to do whatever I wanted with the tickets. After much debate, I decided to take my oldest daughter. The Colts no longer had Peyton “Nanny” as she calls him, but she was still pumped up and excited to go. We live just a couple of miles from the Lucas Oil Stadium, so it was a quick car ride downtown. I managed to find free street parking, too, and all I had to do was cross four lanes of traffic and cut off two cars to get it. From … [Read more...]
Growing up, there was the constant pop of a baseball hitting a mitt, both mine and my father's, coming from our backyard during the spring and summer. Many times we'd lay bases on the green grass as if to recreate the plays of an actual game. I can recall many a Game 7 of the World Series being won by either striking out the final batter with a high fastball or by the ever elusive walk-off grand slam.
My father coached me from T-ball up through high school, except for one year. It was a source of much frustration for him because, … [Read more...]