Father’s Day is coming up (hit up Man Outfitters if you’re panicking for a gift) and the day has a bit more meaning to me now that I’ve procreated myself. Once you produce a spawn to be the heir to your bloodline, you start taking stock in how you were brought up and how you plan to mold this youngling. Unless you absolutely hate yourself, you probably want your child to grow up with a lot of the characteristics you possess, and for that you need to look upward in the family tree to your old man.
When you get to the point where you’re appreciating certain qualities about yourself, you realize that you need to thank your pops for quite a few things. There’s the obvious- you know, keeping you alive, making sure you didn’t have to scavenge for food, etc., but this year when I go to give my dad a nice firm handshake and a man hug, I’ll dig a little deeper for a few other reasons.
Not Having a Shitty Taste in Music
We all experiment with garbage music in our teen years, now known as our Dave phase. I had Linkin Park as my walk-up song in high school and it still haunts me. While my taste in shitty or not quite as sophisticated music has mostly fallen by the wayside (with some exceptions; Carley Rae Jepsen is my shit and I don’t care who knows it), the solid tunes I had constantly exposed to me in my youth by my dad set my standard for what I consider good music to this day.
The day I got my first car I instantly raided my dad’s CD collection and took all of my favorites from his collection that I heard throughout my childhood. AC/DC, Skynyrd, Hootie, Van Halen, and Buffett all found their way into my 6 CD changer. My old man could’ve told me to quit mooching and get my own, but I think he knew that it’s important to appreciate the good music in life. While I dibbled and dabbled in the popular music of the time, I knew the words to “Margaritaville” by age 9, and I think that’s pretty damn great.
A Passionate Love of Sports
I’ve already gone into detail over how important I think sports are, but my undying love and passion for sports comes straight from the big guy. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I’m a die-hard/hopeless Cowboys and Twins fan, and that comes straight down the bloodline as most fanhoods do (unless you’re that asshole kid who picks your dad’s team’s rival). How much my dad cares about the game truly resonated with me throughout my childhood, and I can’t imagine my life the same if I weren’t an insanely passionate sports fan.
What I truly appreciate is that my dad is a quality sports fan; someone I’m proud to model myself after. He’s not a heckler, he doesn’t take cheap shots at players, and he respects the game. Don’t get me wrong, he will motherfuck a guy to death for jumping before the snap (Flozell Adams wasn’t the most popular guy in our house on Sundays), but all things considered, he keeps it intense while still mature when it comes to watching his teams. In my continual life quest to be at least half the man he is, I try to appreciate and follow sports in a way that he wouldn’t consider too obnoxious.
He Didn’t Let Me Become a Quitter
The number one thing I hope to pass onto my son is to follow through and never quit when it gets tough. I don’t care whether it’s a shitty job, an activity you signed up for but don’t like anymore (talking to you, 6th grade me who stupidly chased some ass and signed up for band), or a sport that isn’t going your way. Finishing what you started and persevering is as important as anything when it comes to success in life.
I always loved baseball more than anything in the world, but I wasn’t exactly the most athletic or talented guy on the team. I got fewer chances, and I had to be your classic “hustle a lot and try hard” guy (another thing I can thank my dad for). When you’re that guy, there will always be more obstacles. Over the course of middle and high school, I faced a lot of self-doubt and brought up quitting more times than I can count.
But he put a stop to that. Rather than being forceful about it, he instead taught me the value of not giving up on something you care about even if you aren’t the best. It’s the most important value I’ve learned in my life other than you almost always split Aces and 8s. That life lesson is helping me get better at my job and become a better parent. It also helped me spend my college years as a Division 2 occasionally used bullpen guy. Not exactly a superstar existence, but it was an experience that I enjoyed thoroughly that gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment that never would’ve been possible if I had quit.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things I need to thank my pops for (both my parents, really), but I figured Father’s Day week was a good time to start thinking about what I owe him for giving me the ability to pass that onto my own little one. Take some time before Sunday and think about something to thank your old man for before you give him that tie you bought on Saturday afternoon..