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The Father Factor

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The Other Side of the Story

Just when we thought we were done grieving the loss of several celebrities (well, perhaps the media will never give up on grieving Michael Jackson), former NFL quarterback Steve McNair's life was tragically taken this past weekend.

As people praise "Air McNair" for his electric performances and thrilling stats, there is another side of the story to look at: the four children he left behind.

Sadly, fact of the matter is, he left his four kids - Junior, Stephen, Tyler, and Trenton - behind long before he left this earth. Like too many high-profile athletes, McNair wasn't the leader he needed to be off the field. McNair left his family behind in pursuit of his mistress, giving his children a tarnished legacy, a bad example, and a violent separation from their father.

Not surprisingly, McNair himself was raised without a father. It seems as though history is once again poised to repeat itself, as it does so often with father absence.

Tiger Daddy

This story from the New York Times about Tiger Woods' fatherhood is really amazing. It covers a whole host of issues (marriage, divorce, parenting, father absence, deployment) in a very thoughtful way.

If there is one thing you can conclude from the article, it is that Tiger Woods seems to love being a father. There are several quotes from him that reveal his love for daddyhood. For example:
"I love to teach, and to be able to teach Sam, and as soon as I can, start teaching Charlie a few things, that’s fun. I live to be able to do that."

Perhaps the most interesting question the story raises is how Tiger is going to avoid his own father's mistakes. His father, Earl, had a family before he had Tiger, and, due to his long military deployments, he "lost" that family to divorce. Now that Tiger is away for long stretches playing golf, how will he handle his own work/family balance dilemma? Big question ...

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