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And a happy Good News Friday to all of you.
Wanted to start today with a great essay written by my former boss at a newspaper in Florida, David Markowitz.
One of the most beautiful things in the father-son relationship is the passing on of great music. Not having become a father myself yet, I can just go off the musical experiences I shared with my dad. He exposed me to some great music (Harry Chapin and Barbra Streisand come to mind) and some “eh” music (the Neil Sedaka and Dionne Warwick tapes he’d play never really did much for me).
Music, like sports, is such an emotional bonding experience for parents, and if you’re fortunate enough to have your kid like the same kind of music you do, then, you’re especially blessed.
Dave has that blessing; his son Sam is a lover of music as well. In his always-interesting music blog this week, Dave wrote about taking Sam to a concert featuring jazz pianist Marcus Roberts.
It’s a beautiful piece about fathers and sons, and how we pass along our loves to those who share our DNA. Well worth your time to read it.
**Saw this in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section and it immediately piqued my interest. A paraplegic in Texas named Shawn Beam did something incredible last week: He bowled a 300, and became what’s believed to be the first person ever to roll a perfect game while in a wheelchair.
Born with a pinched nerve in his neck, Beam has been in a wheelchair his whole life.
What a wonderful example of someone with every reason in the world to fail, succeeding at such a high level.
**Finally today, you may have heard about this story recently, as it’s been all over the news. A former high school football star named Brian Banks was falsely accused of rape when he was 16.
He spent five years in prison, and another five on parole (having to wear a GPS tracking device the entire time), until finally last year his accuser admitted she made the story up. (Tangent here: In college I wrote a column wondering why we always name the accused but not the accuser in sexual assault cases. I took a lot of heat for that column, but I still wonder about the double standard)
Now 26, Banks is putting his life back together, and had a tryout Thursday with the Seattle Seahawks. Far from being angry at the miscarriage of justice done to him, this is what he had to say:
“Look where I am today,” Banks said, motioning his arms toward the Seahawks’ indoor practice facility. “I thank God for this. This is a blessing. The last thing I want to do is be bitter.”
I hope he makes it to the NFL. Falsely imprisoned for five years, few people deserve to run free on a field more than Brian Banks does.