Go Ask Daddy About Gender Roles, Self-Tickling Ivories and Grandpa’s Service to the Nation

photo credit: Abreisefertig via photopin (license)
photo credit: Abreisefertig via photopin (license)

Just the other night, I implored the boys I coach to “play like girls.”

GAD GRAPHIC“Wah Wah WAH!!!” one boy responded immediately. It’s not what I meant. I meant they should not fall to the turf every time the ball hits them at more than .25 MPH. That they should lift up their teammates when they make mistakes.That they should fight like hell, whether they’re up 8-3 or down 8-3.

It was an accidental commentary on the condition of gender in 2015.

This is the first boys’ team I’ve coached. It’s always been girls or coed. I have lofty expectations for the lads. I need them to channel their inner Carly Lloyds and Abby Wambach. I need them to keep like Hope and sweep like JJ.

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What We’d Say Without Fear, in 6 Words

photo credit: Weekend Warriors via photopin (license)
photo credit: Weekend Warriors via photopin (license)

Forty times.

6 words graphicThat’s how many times John Mayer says “say what you need to say” in the song Say What you Need to Say. (Elise and I counted on our drive home from Mars Hill and Lees-McRae for college visits.)

It’s good to speak your mind.

So good, in fact, that a handful of bloggers, friends, strangers and strange blogger friends I presented this month’s 6 words prompt to declined – because they say what they need to say.

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🐛 Go Ask Daddy About Petty Theft, Gigantic Bugs and Space Smugglers on Ice

By William Tung from USA (SWCA - Samurai Stormtrooper) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By William Tung from USA (SWCA – Samurai Stormtrooper) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
All kids have a bit of a thief in them. Right?

GAD GRAPHICOh, just mine? Figures. I didn’t have the best examples in the family as a child, but everyone knows right from wrong. Still, it’s not like I haven’t ordered water at Taco Bell and “accidentally” let some lemonade fall into the cup while I poured my water.

Okay okay … so maybe I’ve also let a little bit of Pepsi Max spill into the cup. But only as far as where the lid goes.

One kid of mine snagged a soccer ball off a field where a team I coached suffered a brutal loss. Retribution, I guess? Another kid of mine loaded her purse with hot cocoa packets during a stay at a Hampton Inn.

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Go Ask Daddy About Dating Celebs, Super Cephalopods and My Day in Court

EP
EP

T-Swift? She’s aight.

GAD GRAPHICThat’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The girls know I’m quick to flip stations when many of her songs come on. That one about “you’re cheer captain/and I’m on the bleachers”? I like that one. But those others, especially the one that she makes a lot of the same noises … I Knew You Were Trouble!

That’s it.

Songs keep artists out of my inner circle. Katy Perry, with “Roar.” Ellie Goulding, with “Love Me Like You Do.” Pretty much anything by Nicki Minaj.

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Go Ask Daddy About the Slammer, Fire Physics and Wally’s Little Brother

jailThe place where I work is a lot like college.

GAD GRAPHICNot just because of the age of most of my co-workers. I’m not sure exactly, but I’d estimate 88% of my colleagues are young enough to be my little brothers and sisters. And that’s fine with me. A campus with a bowling alley, two food courts, bier garden and pool tables shouldn’t be only for the young.

Grace spent time with me recently at Red Ventures, and asked at least 11 questions.

She did the same on a visit to Wake Forest University for a soccer tournament. She dug the fact that you could live, eat, sleep, learn, and play all, right there. Just like at daddy’s work. She asked about everything, from “do college kids have bed time?” to … well …

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Go Ask Daddy About Expectations, Goofy Dogs and American Footy Across the Pond

photo credit: A Little Rancor via photopin (license)
photo credit: A Little Rancor via photopin (license)

I’m teaching my girls that double standards just don’t exist.

GAD GRAPHICStandards are way more than double. There’s a set of expectations, high and low, fair and unfair, that probably existed far back enough that guys like Augustus and the guy who was the Beatles drummer before Ringo Starr had to stop and say, “what’s up with that?”

Rather than model for my girls that a different set of standards is something to whine about, I’ll try to show them the upside of being held to a higher standard.

How’m I doing? Oh, I’ll let you know, in 111 years or so.

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Go Ask Daddy About Corporate Sponsors, Shopping Hygiene and Your Halftime Entertainment

photo credit: Let the best man win via photopin (license)
photo credit: Let the best man win via photopin (license)

Stadiums: They ought to be named after dead guys or geographical fixtures.

GAD GRAPHICThat’s just my take. It’s in the Coach Daddy Almanac, chapter 11, section 2. Some corporate genius wondered aloud whether companies would shell out more cash for naming rights on the home field. I suppose the outfield signs weren’t enough.

Even the radio studio and sports talk email inboxes have corporate sponsors attached.

They even renamed Charlotte Motor  Speedway after a home improvement big box. It didn’t last long. And naming the Denver Broncos’ home field after an investment firm went over like raiders colors in a Rocky Mountain Super Bowl party.

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Go Ask Daddy About Dinero, Pantalones y El Raton Mickey

EP
EP

I’m lousy at this Spanish thing – and I get reminded all the time.

GAD GRAPHICIt doesn’t help a bit that I can order cheese enchiladas in Spanish. Or that I know enough to be flabbergasted at a kid’s word choice when he insulted a girl on Elise’s soccer team during a contentious road game.

No, my Spanish is so rudimentary I’d be better of acting out the sentence. The girls even have to help me out sometimes – with help from Dora.

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17 Years Later, Plenty of Parenting Left to Do

photo credit: Where's William Shatner? Star Wars VI via photopin (license)
photo credit: Where’s William Shatner? Star Wars VI via photopin (license)

I hated when TV networks did it.

They’d roll the credits near the end of the NFL broadcast, to give thanks to everyone on the crew and declaring that “any rebroadcast of this telecast without the express written consent of the NFL is strictly prohibited.” Go stuff it, Dick Enberg. Kiss it, Bob Trumpy.

It ain’t over, for my team, at least I hoped. Because at that point, they were usually behind.

Even down two touchdowns with 42 seconds left, it ain’t over. There’s still ball to be played. It’s like that with parenting, too. Even when your kid is 17 – especially when your kid is 17 – there’s still much parenting to do.

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Challenge: Me, in 5 Words, and Why

EP
EP

My friend Tammie Brown of The Graying Chronicles challenged me to describe myself in five words.

The idea brought on the twitches. It’s that uneasy feeling I get when people cram file folders and binders into a tight backpack. (The idea of) paper/folder/binder cuts make my skin crawl.

The problem with a five-word challenge: I’m a multiples-of-three kind of guy.

That’s a thing. The whole three-posts-a-week, 6 words, hat-trick life suits me. A five-word challenge juts out like a hamburger in a hot dog bun. Like soccer on a football field. Like a price check at the dollar store. As they say in Stanly County, “It don’t fit.”

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