As many of you know, my wife, Rebecca, and I had our first child three weeks ago.
John Chandler Brown was born Sept. 15 at 4:53 p.m. and weighed seven pounds, 10 ounces.
It amazed me how I could just automatically love this little person whom I'd known for a few seconds. I just got the feeling that I'd die to protect this child. I find myself wondering every minute, "Am I doing the right thing?" or, "Will I be a good father?"
Also, I find myself making lists of all sorts of things I'd like to do as John Chandler grows up.
So I began compiling a list of things I'd like to teach my son. All the mushy stuff was on the list - things like always remind him how much his mother and I love him, teach him how special and wonderful his mom is, and always tell the truth.
Of course those things are all important. But I found that a lot of things on my list are - surprise - sports-related. So I narrowed my list to 10 things I want to teach my son about sports:
1. I'm a big Florida State fan, and his mother loves Georgia. I want him to know that I hope he will choose his own college team to pull for. Whether it is UGA, FSU or any other school, it is up to him. I'm a lifelong Steelers fan, and when it comes to the NFL, he'll pull for the Steelers or be locked in the basement until he worships Bill Cowher and the boys.
John Chandler Brown, born Sept. 15, will have lots to learn as he grows up - including hating the Dallas Cowboys as much as his father does.T
2. I hate the Dallas Cowboys as much as I love the Steelers, so No. 2 is an easy call. He is simply not allowed to pull for the Cowboys. Brainwashing is not out of the question on this one.
3. Football, basketball and baseball are sports, and soccer is a communist plot to overthrow the government. I may be able to get away with this for only 11 or 12 years, but hopefully he will have a good understanding of my stance on soccer by then.
4. Bud Selig is the devil. This former used-car salesman is now running America's pastime. Yet he won't open his team's fiscal books (he's the Milwaukee Brewers' owner). Also, he broke numerous rules and has had many ethics violations as an owner and as commissioner, but with a straight face he can keep Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame.
5. Terry Bradshaw isn't a god, but he is close. I worshipped Bradshaw growing up, and I want my son to know what a winner Bradshaw was during his days in Pittsburgh with four Super Bowl titles.
6. He should hit a golf ball right-handed and hit a baseball left-handed. The left-handed swing is truly a thing of beauty. Plus, there are so many right-handed pitchers that hitting left-handed is definitely a plus.
7. The top athletes of all time are as follows:
Greatest hitter of all time: Ted Williams. He lost nearly five years because of two stints in the military, where he was branded a hero by everyone. He still managed to hit 521 home runs, hit .406 in 1941 and hit .388 16 years later in 1957.
Greatest golfer of all time: Jack Nicklaus over Tiger Woods. I'm a huge Tiger fan and he's the greatest amateur ever, but as a pro he still has a ways to go to catch Nicklaus.
The greatest athlete is easily Michael Jordan. With apologies to Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe and a few others, Jordan is the best athlete to ever lace up a pair of sneakers.
8. March Madness should be a national holiday. This is the greatest sporting event on the planet. Seeing the Davids beat the Goliaths, so many clutch plays and big shots - it doesn't get any better.
9. Bryant Gumbel and Jim Gray are pigs. Gumbel bashes the Augusta National every chance he gets, yet he belongs to an all-male golf club. No person in America makes me want to puke more than that guy.
Jim Gray is a petty little man whose handling of the Pete Rose interview at the 1999 World Series should have earned him a pink slip. Good question, but the timing was inappropriate.
10. No. 10 is a little mushy, but it is important. Why not give your best? After every practice, game or any activity he does in life, I hope he will ask himself whether he gave his absolute best. If he didn't, why? Hopefully, he will take this with him throughout his life. Whether it is in sports, school or business, I hope he always gives his best.
In all seriousness, there are many things I want to teach him - and I'm sure he'll teach me a bit along the way.
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