Thinking about fathers and sons and affection on Father’s Day. Lonzo Ball’s hilarious Foot Locker ad pokes fun at himself. And an awesome newspaper lede I wished I’d written

Sunday was Father’s Day here in America, and for the third year in a row I got to experience the wonderful feelings of love from my son, who while at 2 1/2 years old is still not old enough to buy me a present or write me out a card by himself, gives me so much joy every day.

(Sunday, while riding in the car to pick up a few things before going to my Dad and stepmom’s house for the day, we called my stepfather to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Two or three minutes after I hung up, out of the blue, a little voice from the backseat said, “Daddy?”

“Yes, Nate?”

“Happy Father’s Day to you, too.”

I about melted.

I sometimes find myself thinking about fathers and sons, partially because I’m now both of those people, partially because “Field of Dreams” is my favorite all-time movie (and the movie contains the best father-son moment ever captured on film), and partially because it’s a fascinating topic. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful, loving father who shows constant affection and has always been there for me, but I know millions of others never had that.

At the risk of sounding like a preachy right-wing Republican (I’m rarely in danger of sounding like that), every statistic and study shows that kids with good fathers who show them love and interest fare so much better, academically, socially and in any other way than those that don’t.

Of course there are exceptions, people like LeBron James who grew up without the presence of a biological dad yet still achieve incredible heights. But having a dad there seems to make all the difference in so many cases.

It’s funny, my father and I are always hugging and kissing and telling each other we love you, but I’ve met so many people over the years who barely speak to their parents, and haven’t said “I love you” to them in years.

I’m very lucky that hasn’t been the case for me. Read this great essay I saw Sunday by Andrew Potter, who unabashedly discusses showing huge amounts of affection for his little boy, and realize that all that talk about “macho guys don’t share feelings” is so much nonsense.

Hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day. I got to spend it with my son and my father, and there’s nothing in the world better than that.

**So since we’re all about Father’s Day on today’s blog post, I thought it would be a good day to run this new Foot Locker commercial that cracked me up. If you’re a basketball or sports fan the last few months you’ve probably heard of LaVar Ball, maybe the loudest, most obnoxious, completely clueless sports parent of all time.
LaVar is pops to three budding basketball superstars, the oldest of whom, Lonzo, finished a fabulous freshman year at UCLA, promptly turned pro, and now will be one of the Top 5 picks of this week’s NBA Draft.

LaVar brings overbearing to a new level, has made so many outlandish statements about Lonzo’s ability that to reprint them here would take hours (a sample: “Lonzo is better than Steph Curry right now”).

But thankfully, it seems like Lonzo is a good kid, with a good sense of humor. So he was willing to spoof his Dad’s ways in this commercial. Very well-done.

**Finally today, as a writer you encounter so many stories with ledes you wish you’d written (yes, that’s how we journalism nerds spell “lead,” because that’s just how we spell it in journalism), and the other day I saw this beauty Tweeted out by Wall Street Journal writer Jason Gay. It’s from the Bangor (Me.) Daily News writer Alex Acquisto, and it’s glorious.

“HOPE, Maine — While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands.”

I mean, come on, there’s no way you’re NOT reading the rest of that story, right?  There’s video, too (no, not of her killing the raccoon, though that’d be awesome.)

 

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