“J——, this is your pastor. Now having heard your
confession on the air, will you stop by to receive
penance instructions about being a better father and husband?”
It’s just too easy to weigh in on the comments of Mike Francesca and Boomer Esiason about Daniel Murphy’s decision to take two days to be present for his baby’s birth.
Of course, we live in a time of sportainment. More and more, as politics becomes hopelessly unresponsive and global problems impinge on every part fo life, sportainment is the way we escape–from real life. Except that ultimately isn’t an option.
One day I listened in on sports radio–I admit, it’s a guilty pleasure on the way to the hospital or a meeting, in part because I will always laugh at something pretentious, silly or absurd. And much of what is discussed is fun to consider. A husband caller complained to Paul Finebaum about a player’s tweet after Alabama lost its bowl game that “it’s only a game.” His argument was that it isn’t. He went on, passionately, to say that though he was a member of a church and loved his family, that during the football season he spends more time and money on the sport than on his wife and kids or his church.
My jaw dropped since I am a minister, but why should it? I like to imagine that I might follow up crazy calls. What would I say? Disguised voice: “This is Dr. Hapner Wogwillow. I am a marriage therapist. I treat his wife for depression and recognized him in the call. He needs to go home. She just left for good with the kids. I will tell him their names if he’ll call me. BR-549.” My other idea was to, “J——, this is your pastor. Now having heard your confession, will you stop by to receive penance instructions about being a better father and husband?”
During the bowl games I was getting intense about a game. I saw my wife, whose theory is that her disinterest in sports leaves large brain regions available for other things, watching me. Here is our conversation:
Me: “It really is silly, isn’t it, all these people behaving so childishly?”
Me: “Well, at least, it serves some social function. If they weren’t here, many of them would be getting drunk and killing each other.”
Vickie: “Are those the only two choices?”
I get that Boomer and Francesca are all about stirring up the pot. I hope that’s what it is. Otherwise, I would suggest purchasing a hat large enough to cover a protruding knuckle. I thought Murphy’s response was just right.
When you come to die, no one will talk around your bedside about whether you lost the Super Bowl or played every game. The people closest to you will say, you hope, “He was always there for us.” Or not.