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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013 5 years ago

Father's Day and its connection to the sports world

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Father's Day has a stronger connection to sports than most holidays, and for good reason.

BY MATT MENCARINI | SPORTS EDITOR

This Sunday is Father’s Day, a day that has a strong connection for many, including myself, to sports.

Many sons and daughters are first introduced to sports by their fathers. Their fathers were the first ones to place a football in their crib.

I can only speak from one side of this equation, being only a son and not a father. I only know what it’s like to go to ball games with my dad and play catch with my dad and run up to my dad after a little league game.

The father-son relationship is played up in a lot in sports, in movies and the media. This paper is among them, running an article about a father and son and their lives intertwined by baseball in this week’s issue.

I don’t mean to leave out the father-daughter relationship as it relates to sports, because in the last 10 months I’ve seen just how strong that connection can be. I, also not being a daughter (despite my older brother’s taunting when we were younger), don’t know this relationship as much.

Thinking about this topic during the previous few days, I’ve been struck by the universality of the relationship and just how easily writers, directors and actors can find a deep and meaningful place.

Like at the end of "Friday Night Lights" (the movie, not the TV show), the embrace between the character Don Billingsley and his father after Permian (spoiler alert) lost the state championship game.

Their rocky relationship was one that couldn’t be further from my own with my dad. But as I watched the movie and that scene last weekend, I thought of moments with my dad, many of them after games.

I’ve learned a lot from my father in my 26 years. Much of it relates to sports, like the correct way catch a fly ball; how to shoot a free throw; that they’re the Cubs, not the Cubbies; and that Jerry Sloan might be the single most aggressive and fundamentally sound defender to ever play in the NBA.

But there are other important things I’ve learned from my father, like the fact music always sounds better on a vinyl record.

And for that, and everything else, I say happy Father's Day, to my dad and to all dads.

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