I think most fathers have to be reminded that they have a special day designated to celebrate them. I hope most of us look on every day as a celebration, as there are few things more important than making a difference in the lives of your children.
My dad is 82 years old now, I was asked earlier this week about lessons he'd taught me and I'm sure there were many. But over the years the specifics of those lessons have morphed into the general way I live my life. There are times when I say something, either in words or tone that my kids tell me 'you sound just like Grandpa'. I like that.
I have my father to thank for my profession, for it was he who largely instilled and cultivated my love of sports. He was a football coach from the old school, so he was tough, but he was never heavy handed or unfair and he never took himself or his role too seriously, I've always admired him for that.
Balance, depth and diversity was always a big thing with my dad. He looked at the world with a broader view than most, his intellectual curiosity fueling the desire for discovery. Perhaps that was a trait handed down by his father, but dad has always been that way. There are so many things that I have taken from him, but I'm not sure that a sense of independence isn't the strongest. Both of my parents have instilled a healthy desire of self-determination in all of their four boys.
When he was 27, my father packed a young bride and three kids in a station wagon and left his native New England for a job in the Pacific Northwest. It didn't matter that he'd never been to Washington, or that he was taking a job sight unseen, it was the adventure of it all, of starting something new. Of course, that says a ton about my mom too-but that's a story for a different holiday.
No coach in the Super Bowl era was a successful as Chuck Noll. Not only are his four titles the most of any coach, but he won them in a six year span with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's interesting that so few of the testimonials at his passing have anything to do with winning football games. His former players and coaches all talk about the man more than they do the coach. Sure, it's hard to separate the two, but, by all accounts, not allowing himself and others to be consumed by the game was amongst his greatest strengths.
When I think of his Steeler teams I think of defense---the Steel Curtain, but I also think about Mean Joe Green throwing his jersey to a kid in a Coke commercial. There was the 'Immaculate Reception' of Franco Harris and the toothless quarterback from Louisiana who some said couldn't spell the word 'cat' even if you gave him the letter A. Never mind that Terry Bradshaw has become one of the most celebrated analysts in NFL history. Rocky Bleier played with shrapnel in his leg from a wound in Vietnam, a pair of Jacks-Lambert and Ham-were two of the best ever and they played alongside each other.
With all due respect to the 'Niners -the Steelers have the greatest dynasty of the Super Bowl era and the architect of that greatness was Chuck Noll.
You don't bring me Flowers---
The Chiefs have parted ways with corner back Brandon Flowers is a move that should free up space under the salary cap to help with new deals for Alex Smith and Justin Houston. In that, Flowers may make his greatest contribution to the Chiefs, not that he didn't have some nice moments with them, but he's more valuable to them in departing than he would be in staying.
It may not be the World Cup---
---but I'll bet Germany is paying attention to Martin Kaymer's final round of the U.S. Open take a monumental swoon to blow a six stroke lead, but stranger things have happened. The Germans open play in Brazil against Portugal tomorrow, the same day the Americans debut against Ghana. I'm still amazed that we (the U.S.) can be underdogs to Ghana in anything.