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Column on black athletes without dads

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by The Big Ragu, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member


    I just read this. I thought it was slightly overwritten, but I thought he made his point well. I was curious about what others think. I know this kind of stuff has been written before, and I, more than anyone, am suspicious of "excuses for guys not behaving well." But with that said, I actually don't think enough fans consider that a lot of pro athletes have backgrounds that didn't provide a good steadying influence to keep them grounded, which is why so many have problems.

    The only small quibble I have with the column is that there are other factors that might have been pointed out, in addition to whether dad was around or not. All the guys he mentioned (Vince Young, Randy Moss, T.O, Chad Johnson, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury) are high-profile, star (not just guys in their leagues, but best of the best) professional athletes.

    I am betting that when you are better than even the best players, you get so many people blowing smoke up your ass--and from a young age in some of those cases--that it's not that hard to get full of yourself. And that has nothing to do with whether you had a dad around or not, although a good dad can have a steadying influence if he slaps your ass back down when you get out of hand (which was the point with the column quoting Donovan McNabb's dad). But that can turn people into jerks too. We all see it in things outside of sports that don't just involve black guys. Guys get full of themselves and turn into jerks.

    In the case of Marbury, for example, he was being treated like little royalty in Coney Island when he was 9 or 10. He was already being told he was going to play in the NBA and he had the Sonny Vaccaros (and people like that) giving him stuff when he was that young. You start getting treated like that when you are 11, and it just gets more and more out of hand as you get older, and maybe it isn't a huge surprise that you turn out to be screwed up as an adult (and maybe not having had a dad around really doesn't entirely explain it)?

    I still thought this was a pretty solid column by Vince Thomas. I thought others might be interest...
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I liked it.

    Talking to your father in private won't get you on Sporstcenter, though. Changing your name to "Ocho Cinco" will. This is obviously a flaw with sports today.

    I would be very interested to see how many athletes (white, black, Asian, Cuban, etc...) came from traditional households and which did not. Do you think there would be a trend in the data?
  3. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    I see it all the time in the college kids I deal with. There is a profound emptiness in those whose parents were not around or who choose to not be available. They fall apart at the slightest sign of adversity. In some ways I would prefer detached parents to just be gone as at least then we can get rid of the pretense and deal with the issue at hand.
  4. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    Having coached football in both a city and suburban-type setting, I can tell you there are just as many two-parent, coddled kids who can't deal with adversity. I think its more of a sign of this generation. FWIW I also know some success stories from kids with one-parent households.
  5. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    No question. I am the product of a one-parent household and like to think I am OK. It's really impossible to peg one thing that can send a kid the wrong way and there is certainly a lot of self-determination in the mix. As a father to a young son, I'd love to bottle whatever it is that worked so well with some of my students.
  6. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Slight threadjack: Has there ever been a generation that didn't look at the next one and seen them as spoiled, coddled and pampered?
  7. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Probably not, although it was probably hard for many who grew up in the early 20th century to ultimately paint the generation that grew up during the Depression and World War II as spoiled.
  8. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but in this case, we're right.
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