Happy Father's Day Weekend to all of you Dad's out there. I hope everyone has a special day tomorrow with your families...for many of us, hours spent with Dad often meant something to do with sports. Probably all of us Dad's spent some time doing what we see here...teaching a son or daughter to hit & throw. If not that, then to shoot a hoop and play some sort of defense or maybe play "horse" or a lively game of one-on-one on a driveway hoop. A lot of Dad's put in the extra hours as a youth coach of a baseball, basketball or soccer team. If you haven't done it yet, you should give it a go. Yes, you have to put up with pain in the ass parents who think their kid is going to be the next LeBron James, but when you look back on it, that's not what you remember. You remember being there as your son or daughter made a play that they will never forget. A lot of Dad's spend many hours watching youth baseball games...I kept score for my son's games up through Legion ball. That was a lot of hours watching often tedious games go on forever...and I wouldn't give up one minute of it. I coached basketball for my sons and daughter...watched lacrosse (no expertise there), did a couple of years of baseball as a coach before I decided I was better suited for the scorebook. Now, I am trying to get them on the golf course - actually my daughter and son-in-law are taking me out next weekend - because it is still one game I can beat them at!
In my view, Dad's and sports are forever linked. We teach them how to play, get them to the game on time and then teach them who to root for. (My brother-in-law who is Redskin Fan #1 has failed at this - his daughter has embraced the Ravens...nothing wrong with picking a winner!). Now I can commiserate with my oldest son after another Caps flame out and we can debate the merits of RGIII playing too soon. It's a tie that binds. So we celebrate Dad's this weekend and we celebrate their connection to Sport. So thanks Dad for taking the time to play catch, watch my games, take me to the ball park and the Redskins games and for buying Caps season tickets in 1974 (we were in the seats for Game 1, and we are still suffering...and no, you are not the reason that they lose. No single fan can jinx a franchise!). Thanks for playing catch with my kids, too...they will never forget the wiffle ball home runs over the fence or better yet over the house.
Happy Father's Day to All!
Other sports news of the week....
U.S. Open has Phil Mickelson at the top of the leaderboard after 2 days at Merion.
First things first...what is the deal with the wicker basket on top of the pin? Nobody seems to know why they use them - only that they have been around for a long time. It would seem like flags would be more helpful providing wind information, etc., but there you go...something unusual to think about.
So Phil has the early lead and is one of a couple of guys at -1 after two days. The U.S. Open is really a battle of attrition. Somehow even this incredibly short course at Merion is proving to be a match for the field of long hitting pros. A bounce off the fairly and you are hitting out of 5 inch rough. If you have never played in those conditions, you have no idea what a huge penalty that is. I played two courses - Pebble Beach and Oak Hill - at tournament time and I have nothing but admiration for these guys that can actually get the ball to the green out of that grass. For most of us, we need the one club not in the bag - the foot wedge - to get back into play.
Tiger is at +3 and four shots back, which does not seem like a huge problem, but on a course like this those strokes will not come easy. My guess is that +4 will win the Open so that there is a lot of drama and players in contention starting tomorrow morning. If you made the cut, you have a shot. How about the amateur kid from Taiwan...he is even par?! That would be something! I'll root for nice - guy Phil and his beautiful family on Father's Day!
NBA Finals...for everyone who was hoping the Spurs were going to pull off the upset, I think Dwayne Wade stole that idea away with the big game 4 performance. Now we are guaranteed of games in Miami and I do not see San Antonio pulling off the big upset on South Beach.
Stanley Cup Finals...I wish I could say I could stay awake through 3 OT's the other night, but I can't. I woke up about 2 AM and had to flip to the NHL channel to get the final score. That is a great start to these final between two classic NHL franchises. Going back to the Original 6 days though, they were hardly dominant back in the day. It was all Montreal all the time, and when it wasn't the Habs, it was the Leafs. Sure the Bruins, Hawks and Red Wings popped in there and then there was the fluke Rangers win in '40, but for the most part, nostalgia about the Original 6 when it comes to Cups lies North of the Border. For this series though, it is up for grabs right now.
Everyone have a great weekend!