For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sports fanatic—football in particular. Every Sunday morning growing up I'd wake up, dress myself in my bright red Kansas City Chiefs attire, and sit in front of the television with my dad.
Even after I moved away from home to attend college, I would still drive back almost every weekend to be with my dad and the big-screen on Sundays.
Sunday football binges soon turned into daily conversations, which eventually led to the life I lead now. Not until just recently did I realize that sports have become such a big part of my life.
A typical day for me begins with Mike and Mike in the Morning. At work during the day, I’m constantly checking my phone for scores and news updates. The afternoon consists of Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, and SportsCenter, followed by the best televised game at night.
Somewhere in between, I find time to manage countless fantasy teams and contribute to Bleacher Report.
If I’m lucky, the Iowa Cubs are in town, and I’ll fulfill my part-time job obligation by driving down to Des Moines to score the game.
Before bed comes the late SportsCenter, allowing me to recap a busy day in sports. The next day brings much of the same.
You see, following sports is what I do, and I have my dad to thank for it.
On this Father’s Day, I’d like to take the time to thank my Dad for molding me into the sports addict I’ve grown to be...
Thanks Dad, for teaching me how to run a perfect route.
Thanks for teaching me how to catch the football with two hands, away from my body so the ball doesn’t bounce off of my chest.
Thanks for drawing up plays in the palm of your hand, instructing me how to get open so I could beat Sam deep for a touchdown.
Thanks for teaching me how to tackle. Go for his legs...wrap and drive, I’ll never forget.
Thanks for teaching me how to shoot a jump-shot and a free-throw.
Thanks for teaching me that incredible around your back, between your legs, bounce off the backboard followed by a big-time dunk. I eventually pulled it off on the eight-foot hoop.
Thanks for not getting angry when I broke the kitchen window with the basketball; and thanks for not getting angry when I did it a second time. The ball had too much air in it, I guess.
Thanks for taking me to my first game at Arrowhead Stadium. I was eight, maybe nine years old, and we rode to the stadium in a bus from the hotel. We got there just in time to shout, “And the home of the CHIEFS!!” and see Joe Montana step foot on the turf at Arrowhead for the first time. I’ll always remember.
Thanks for allowing me into your fantasy football league with your grown-up friends, even though I was only 11 or 12. I won the championship in my first year, but that’s mostly because you taught me everything I knew...and because I inherited a team with Emmitt Smith and Cris Carter on it.
Thanks for allowing me to stay up late to watch Monday Night Football, even though Mom didn’t always approve.
Thanks for teaching me about the history of the NFL. You’re the only person I know who can rattle off the teams, the score, and the MVP of any Super Bowl at any given moment.
Thanks for telling me stories about Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete ever.
Thanks for teaching me that Walter Payton was the greatest football player who ever lived.
Thanks for taking me to my first game at Wrigley Field. I’ll never forget walking up behind home plate and seeing the ivy on the walls and the green grass on the field.
Thanks for pretending to like baseball, just so we would have something to talk about during football’s off season.
Thanks for supporting the college I attended, Iowa State, even though you grew up following the Hawkeyes.
Thanks for sitting in front of the TV with me on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, each of the last five years, waiting for Derrick Thomas’s name to be called into Canton; and thanks for buying my ticket when he finally made the cut in February. I can’t wait until Hall of Fame weekend.
Thanks for reading my fantasy baseball articles, even though you don’t play fantasy baseball.
You’ve taught me everything I know, Dad. No matter how old you get, or how much your memory lapses, you’ll always know the NFL better than me, and I’m OK with that.
You’ve molded me into the 23-year-old sports nut that I am today, and for that, I thank you.
I look forward to the day I have a son who I can share all of your knowledge with, and hope he will soak it all up, just as I did.
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you, and thanks for everything.