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The Father Factor

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A Tiger in the Rough

There are at least two myths that are generally accepted as truth within the community of men. The first is amusing. It’s that fantasy football is real. Look, I know some guys who prepare for the “real” fantasy football season with the determination, focus and secrecy of General Eisenhower planning for D-Day.



The second myth is that men have mastered the art of “compartmentalizing” their emotions so that they don’t affect a guy's performance. Well, if you have been following Tiger Woods play recently, this myth is being dispelled before your eyes. Tiger is indeed in a "rough" and it’s going to take more than his trusty sand wedge to get him out of it. Make no mistake that men are “whole” people and what happens in Vegas never stays there. The consequences always follow you home.



That said, I think that the writer of this article makes some valid points when he suggests that Tiger needs to focus more on straightening out his fathering than trying to hit a straighter and longer shot from off the tee. Ironically, fathering is a lot like hitting a tee shot on the PGA tour. There are no mulligans. You only get one chance to get it right.

Like Father, Like Son?

Caution: What you are about to read can only be fully appreciated if you are a Jets fan.

Last night, the New York Jets football team crushed the Cincinnati Bengals to earn a playoff berth, their first since the 2006 season.

Aside from my sheer excitement – due to the fact that I am a long-suffering, but very devoted Jets fan – there is an actual “fatherhood” reason behind why I am writing about this.

If you know anything about the Jets, it is that they often find the cruelest ways to let their fans down. Just when they are on the verge of victory or greatness, they find an infuriating and depressing way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This has been the case ever since Joe Namath – The Legend – led the Jets to their only Super Bowl win in January of 1969.

You are still wondering what the fatherhood connection is…

Well, one of the Jets coaches in that miraculous 1968 season that ended in their Super Bowl III victory was Buddy Ryan. The Jets head coach this season is his son, Rex Ryan.

Rex has said repeatedly this year that these are not the “same old Jets” who will let their fans down. Like his father, Rex is a no nonsense guy who says what is on his mind. His bravado is evident in the way his teams play – a tough, blitzing defense and a hard-hitting running game. His father was the same way – a defense-first coach whose “honesty” with his players, the refs, and the media often got him in trouble. Rex, in his first year as a head coach, is already showing signs that he will be the same way. In fact, three weeks ago he told the press that the Jets would not make the playoffs. Good thing he was wrong…

But for us Jets fans, let’s hope the similarities between father and son don’t stop with their “throw caution to the wind” personalities. A second Jets Super Bowl Championship would be the nicest “similarity” of all.

To Fantasy Football or Not to Fantasy Football

A great proportion of "guydom" (and a good number of women as well) are about to enter into a fast-growing fall ritual - Fantasy Football. A recent article in Time magazine notes that it has become an $800 million industry! Wow.

Just the other day, the guys here at NFI had a debate (argument?) about whether or not it is "safe" for a dad to get involved in a fantasy football league (one that does not require payment, mind you). Our debate was not about the monetary risk, but the "time" risk - if you become obsessed with fantasy football for four months, where does that leave your family?

One group of dads argued that it is something that you can do with your children, allowing you a great opportunity to spend time with your children and even teach them basic math skills (in calculating scores).

The other group of dads said that you will inevitably end up spending a load of time tweaking your team without your children around, or you could also get your children obsessed with fantasy football to the point that they focus on nothing else but your team (rather than homework, chores, moms, etc).

Where do you fall on this debate? Play fantasy football and get the kids involved or don't play fantasy football so you can focus on your family more?

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