Today’s CNN.com column …by jrpearlman51 CommentsJune 16, 2011… is on the staggering number of fathers who suck at being, well, fathers. My dad (pictured below) was not one of them. An all-time great … 51 thoughts on “Today’s CNN.com column …” Jared Garrett June 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm Hey Jeff, I very much appreciate your article on dads waking up. Dads who don’t connect with their kids are missing out and I pity them, while at the same time I want to belt them. I’m linking to your article on my website. I have a post going where I’d like to get people to share good stuff about families, particularly dads. Your piece is a good lead-off. Rock on. Reply George June 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm Oh Jeff, this was great. As a father of a now 7 month old, I can’t tell you how much I miss him when I go to work. Its a blast being a dad and now that my first father’s day is coming up, I can’t wait to have a full day with him. I don’t want to miss a thing. Seeing his first tooth and being there for him when he needs me warms me up. More than anything in the world that makes me melt inside is seeing him smile. Knowing that I made that happen is truly a blessing. Reply John Dias June 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm What an AWFUL article! Why is it that every year around Father’s Day, we get some anti-male father shamer, a tool like Jeff Pearlman to tell fathers how bad they are and demand that they shape up? I am sickened by the sentiment. Father’s Day is a day on which fathers should be HONORED, not shamed, not accused of being privileged and lazy, not told to “wake up.” Do you ever hear people demanding such things of mothers on Mother’s Day? Is it so much to ask that fathers be given honor on Father’s Day? These statements in particular really made me want to expel my lunch: 1. “Pay close attention, because, behind your back, people are pitying your wife” 2. “Make Father’s Day less about you” 3. “Really, wake the hell up. Now. I understand that most of you have 9-to-5 jobs, that you leave tired and come home tired and just wanna chill in front of SportsCenter with a bowl of chips. But, seriously, you have no remote idea: Being a stay-at-home parent is exhausting.” I’ve been a full-time stay-at-home parent, and I’m telling you it’s absolutely not that hard. If it is, then you’re doing it wrong. Get organized, stick to a schedule and enforce a routine. Your kids will be just fine because they know what to expect. Then, while the breadwinner is still out earning the money to ensure your survival, you can take a leisurely stroll down to the park with your kids and play with them while your partner slaves away in front of a CRT monitor. Don’t tell me that I have no idea how “hard” it is to stay at home. It’s a privilege to stay at home, rather than a burdensome obligation. And it’s an unappreciated obligation to be a full-time breadwinning provider. So Jeff, why don’t you simply tell all the fathers out there “thank you,” instead of shaming them, and thereafter be on your way. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm wow, John, your kids must really enjoy … Reply Steve June 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm I dig the message, Jeff, and as the father of a 17-month-old, I agree with most of it. But outlawing golf (or any other hobby, for that matter) is ridiculous. Obsession is one thing, sure, but every parent deserves a little time to himself (or herself) every once in a while. Reply John Dias June 16, 2011 at 7:05 pm My son really does enjoy his life — both with me, and with his mother. I devote a good deal of quality time to him in person, whether helping him with homework, building and launching model rockets, taking baseballs and bat to the park, etc. There’s nothing wrong with the quality of my parenting, and everything right about my critique of your article. Nice try at yet another shaming attempt, this time directed at me (i.e., disagree with Jeff and you therefore must be a miserable excuse for a father). But your failed attempt to shame me has now crashed and burned. Instead attacking me personally, or picking on fathers in general, how about you just address my comment on its merits? Reply Jeff Pearlman June 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm John, what in the world are you talking about? I was kidding. R-e-l-a-x. Jesus. First of all, for the three harsh e-mails/responses I’ve received thus far, there have been about 500 ‘Amens!’ So maybe the article wasn’t awful to everyone. Furthermore, parenting is hard. And if it’s not hard and exhausting to you, well, perhaps you happen to be exceptional at what you do (certainly a possibility). That said, to your criticisms: 1. Father’s Day was created by a card company—so it is to one what it is to one. You say tomato, I say … whatever. But why can’t it be used to guilt fathers into changing? Why is that so wrong? Who says you can’t use a holiday to change? People cite Christmas—a celebration of Jesus’ birth—to examine how Christians don’t properly respect/appreciate their religion—is that wrong? 2. The comments you didn’t like … uh, not sure what to say. You didn’t like them—sorry. We agree to disagree. It happens. No offense intended, John. If you took my response harshly, my bad … Happy Father’s Day. 🙂 Reply Steve June 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm John, you do make some decent points, but you do it in such an obnoxious way that it’s hard to take you seriously. Relax. Deep breaths. Reply John Dias June 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm @Jeff: “Furthermore, parenting is hard.” If you’re a stay-at-home parent, then that’s your job; it’s your way of contributing to the family since you’re not earning an income. Jeff, you didn’t ask any stay-at-home parents to come in to their partner’s place of paid employment and do their job. And yet you are shaming employed fathers not only by telling them that they have it comparatively easy, but also telling them that as parents they’re somehow asleep at the wheel. To me, that’s what is obnoxious. “But why can’t it be used to guilt fathers into changing? Why is that so wrong? Who says you can’t use a holiday to change? People cite Christmas — a celebration of Jesus’ birth—to examine how Christians don’t properly respect/appreciate their religion — is that wrong?” The analogy you have used is flawed. Christmas is a holiday that celebrates someone else’s birth — namely that of Jesus. That holiday is geared toward honoring Jesus, and it would therefore seem appropriate to challenge the genuineness of people’s faith at that time. Christmas is not a holiday that is designed to honor Christians. But Father’s Day is a holiday designed to honor fathers. You’ve tried to make Father’s Day out to be a version of the fictitious Seinfeld holiday known as Festivus, where every year the celebrants take the opportunity to tell their family members just how many ways they disappointed them. With your column, you’re doing this to fathers, Jeff. Furthermore, by your own standard, you should also be shaming mothers on Mother’s Day. But you may notice that this seldom happens in this culture; there’s a stark double-standard that cuts against fathers, and your column exemplifies that. According to the conventional wisdom, to shame mothers on their day of honor would be the same as going to someone’s birthday party and then making a speech in front of all their guests telling them that they need to wake up and rediscover what it means to be a decent human being. It would rightly be perceived as appalling, and this is how I rightly reacted to your column’s anti-father attitudes. Again, let me reiterate: on Father’s Day, you should be HONORING fathers, not challenging them, not shaming them, not demeaning them. Say something nice at the time where it’s called for, and save the challenges for all 364 of the other days during the year. Fathers should get one day where they’re simply honored as fathers for all that they do, full stop. Reply John Dias June 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm “Happy Father’s Day.” Thank you! I don’t want you to think that I didn’t notice or appreciate the above positive gesture. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm Peace to you, John. We don’t have to agree on all to have a nice dialogue … be well. Reply Bobby Fetter June 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm Play with dolls and paint your toenails??? Uh-no!!!! I think you can get arrested for that. Order time outs??? I figured you would embrace the Liberal way of disciplining your children. A smack on the fanny sends the right message and does NOT harm the child. No golf on weekends: Seriously???? I see your point about not getting so obsessed with your hobbies that you neglect your children, but dad’s NEED to have hobbies and children need to be taught to pursue their passions.What lesson does it teach kids that Dad has a bag a golf clubs or a guitar that he NEVER uses? A better idea would be to let Dad have one Saturday a month to do his thing. You are EXTREMELY lucky to have a work at home job that allows you unlimited time with your young children. Most dads aren’t so lucky and I think you could have written a better article that honors ALL fathers instead of one with a condescending anti-male father shamer tone. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 17, 2011 at 1:07 am man, bobby, you are one tough motherfucker to please … Reply tonysprout June 17, 2011 at 12:04 am It’s not the article I disagree with; it’s the timing. Are you having such a bad case of writer’s block you couldn’t postpone this a month or two? Really, posting an article shaming dads right before Father’s Day. I’ll bet dollars to donuts the subject matter was requested by a female-feminist editor at Commie News Network. Think about it….did you see anything around Mother’s Day that shamed mothers? I suggest you wake up and smell the feminist dogma: man bad, woman good, over there at CNN. Good article, debatable subject, communist inspired timing. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 17, 2011 at 1:07 am actually, i pitched it to time with father’s day. makes it topical. y’all act as if father’s day is holy. gimme a break. Reply Jim June 17, 2011 at 3:04 am Sure, there are a lot of uninvolved, disengaged fathers out there. I’d bet there are an equal number of controlling, emotionally abusive mothers. Unfortunately in our society mothers are depicted in popular culture and the media as selfless, suffering saints while fathers are generally depicted as bumbling, beer-swilling, ESPN-addicted oafs. Yes, lots of fathers need to be better fathers. Lots of mothers need to be better mothers, too. Reply tonysprout June 17, 2011 at 10:41 am “actually, i pitched it to time with father’s day. makes it topical.” You keep avoiding the second part of the objection. Please point me to a CNN article damning mothers that was posted near Mother’s Day. Are you aware of gov’t stats that show mothers are more than twice as likely to kill their children compared to fathers? Are you aware of the same stat that shows mothers are twice as likely to abuse their children, compared to fathers? Like all leftists, you refuse to acknowledge anything that doesn’t support the group-think narrative. You plow straight ahead with blinders on. Your article generalizes about fathers without pointing to a specific incident. Tricky Ricky does the same thing, “I met someone, I know someone…etc” Jeff, My mother abandoned 3 of us when we were tykes. My ex left our son with me, then abandoned two others with their father. My sister abandoned her handicapped son for another man. From my POV, women make lousy parents. Let’s see that type of article near Mother’s Day, eh? then, let’s see it on CNN. Yah, right! Reply Jeff Pearlman June 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm I avoid nothing … just didn’t think it was worth addressing. But, for you Tony: You’re right—there could be a column on moms written. even on mother’s day. of course. BUT, and this is a big but, I wouldn’t be the ideal person to write it. My perspective is as a father watching other crap dads. I’m quite certain, in the history of columns, moms have been taken to task by a mom on mom’s day. Just do some Googling. Furthermore, I use those specific examples as … wait for it … wait for it … a device to get into the story. There are COUNTLESS examples of shit dads coming home from work and ignoring their kids. Countless beyond countless beyond countless. It’s sad, and very real, and if you don’t see it you either live in a different world; or don’t look. Final thing: Some stats are very misleading. Accidents are 80% likely to occur within 5 mils of home. Why? Because 5 miles from home is where we are the majority of our drives. Same thing, I imagine, with the rate of mothers as abusers. They’re with the children probably 80% more, on average, than fathers. Hence, it’d be weird to have a different conclusion. Tony, like all you Bush-voting Republicans, you have no judgement. 🙂 Reply matt June 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm We have a saying at work: “No man was ever shot by his wife while doing dishes.” Thanks for the reminder(s). Side note: I really liked the article and yet I would have happily voted for Bush again – especially knowing how the last two years have gone. Reply Malcolm June 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm Jeff, a timely article for today’s Dad’s. As a Dad of 3 kids (married for over 10 yrs), I appreciated reading what you wrote. It’s time for us Dads to get off the couches and give a damn about our wife and kids. There are too many kids being raised just by “mom” because dad doesn’t care. Or worse, Dad is never there. Thanks again for expressing your thoughts. Reply Bobby Fetter June 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm @ tonysprout…well said my man, well said. I love how you didn’t even mention politics but Mr. Pearlman assumes that if you don’t agree with him, then you MUST be a Republican. (What an OBJECTIVE journalist) After re-reading Jeff’s article, it’s clear the Mrs. Pearlman wears the pants in his family. Jeff, I hope you re-discover your passion for sports writing because you would absolutely BOMB as a political reporter because you are WAAAAAY to biased in your writing…..unless MSNBC is hiring. Reply Jared Garrett June 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm If you take offense at something, that’s YOUR reaction and YOU are responsible for that reaction. Furthermore, Pearlman’s article is a good piece, although I agree that the target audience is shrinking. There is no doubt at all that a large, possibly vast, number of fathers today are engaged, connected and deeply devoted to their families. I also hasten to agree with the statement that it is a very underappreciated thing today what fathers do. Going to work from 8 to 5, with a commute on each end of that, dealing with people whom you possibly don’t like and in some cases can’t stand, but must work with in order to do a good job, is very frustrating. These fathers give of themselves willingly, 40+ hours a week, and are away from their families, whom they love and enjoy being around. This is a powerful demonstration of love and devotion and it needs to be appreciated. I was a full-time freelance writer for a while too and got to stay home with my wife and kids. I have 6 by the way. That was a glorious time. I loved it. But it’s over now and I work for The Man. My wife appreciates what I do for the family and we decided to sacrifice some of my time with the family for a much better paycheck. Finally, you should not give up your hobbies, but you should not use your hobbies as a tool for getting away from your family. I hike. As my kids get older, they hike with me. I also see movies. The same thing happens. That being said, men need alone time. This is easily accomplished. You say, “Honey, I need some alone time. When I’m done with my alone time, I will be recharged and you will get all of my attention again.” Reply Eric June 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm I loved this article. The people who respond to this with such vitriol need to ask themselves why. “A woman’s place is in the home, but so is a man’s.” –Eknath Easwaran. Reply BloggerFather June 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm Things are changing, and your advice to “backseat dads” could equally apply to career women who are married to stay-at-home dads. My wife does indeed give the kids breakfast once a week, and she takes them out for at least a few hours on the weekend (so she could create memories for her and for the kids, and to give me a break). Great article. Reply tonysprout June 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm ” They’re with the children probably 80% more, on average, than fathers. Hence, it’d be weird to have a different conclusion.” Time is not a factor to someone who has a tendency to kill or abuse. According to feminist extremists, all men are rapists, yet men and women spend thousands of hours together and nothing happens. Put one rapist in the mix and see what happens. I’m not a Republican. I’m a former Leftist that saw the light. It’s called Conservatism. Reply tonysprout June 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm BTW, thanks for being civil and not censoring. I’ll give you that much; you obviously believe in free speech. Reply gregry June 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm As always, people read an “Opinion” article on something and immediately take it as a personal attack on themselves and their own insecurities. Look, I’m sure if you look at the stats you will see that more fathers are more engaged in their children’s activities and every day lives now. But if you escaped your little compound and took a look around a bit more you would see what Jeff and even myself have seen numerous times attending a child function. There are still a lot of fathers that still follow that old fashioned philosophy of “I work and bring home the bacon and the wife takes care of the kids” even if the spouse works too! Personally, It makes me nauseous when I see it and I almost kind of feel sorry for them. I just got back from my child’s pre-school graduation. I took the day off from work and along with my wife (who also works and as a teacher no less a job that I don’t care who you are is the hardest job you will ever have to do) and we enjoyed the morning together as a family. I looked around and you could see not only the missing dads, but some of the other dads with that “1,000 mile stare” on their face like they had to be dragged there, staring at their Blackberries wishing they were somewhere else. Sure the room was packed, no air conditioning, uncomfortable and the ceremony was kind of of silly but you know what?? I wouldn’t of missed it for anything. Could I have missed it, drank my coffee in my central aired cubicle, did my job (while I attended to my crops in Farmville of course), come home and complained how tired I am from “working”?? Absolutely, but at what cost?? My company would of made some extra bucks and my child would of looked out to the crowd heartbroken wondering where daddy was. I get it, the days of sitting in the bar handing out cigars to your buddies while your wife is pushing out your child are long gone. We are in there cutting umbilical cords and expected to step up overall more and more and you know what?? I’m glad. Sure we both have days where we just want to come home, sit on the couch with our laptops and shut off for a bit but you took the challenge and responsibility of bringing a child into this world so put the IPad down, get on the floor, start up that Barbie Corvette pal and hit the Malibu Mansion because when they get older you are going to wish you did. I’ll have plennnty of time to grab the golf bag and hit the course when they are out with their friends as a teen or at the dorm in a college I can’t afford, but will sell my soul to get them there. Sure, we all need those days or weekends of “alone time” or the occasional “Mancation” every so often. Being a parent whether it’s stay at home or not, you need to recharge the batteries sometimes so you can be a better dad, husband or overall human being. But if you can’t cook a meal, change a diaper, bathe your kids or get into a rough and tumble game of tickle torture I’m sorry you don’t deserve a card, a tie or a Fudgie the Whale cake on your special Hallmark Holiday. Hey, I’m not perfect and nobody is. I can be a complete disaster at times but my kids think I’m the shit. It’s not because I gave them a great house or a flat screen in their room and an X-Box. It’s because I was there today clapping loudly while she strutted to the teacher with her cap and gown while I held the camera. My father’s Day is every day I walk in the room after a crappy day at the office and I hear screams of Daddddyyy with the biggest squeeze hug they can muster. Reply Mark F. June 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm Jeff- I read your article about Dads. I agree a lot of men are like that, but thankfully I am not. Yes I work 50 hours a week to provide the lifestyle my family wants. My soon to be ex wife has all the resources in the world at her disposal. Five day a week nanny who is there from 10-6 each day. Cleaning lady twice a week, yard service that handles all the weeding and pruning ect. So here is my argument. After work and on weekends do you think I get a break? Well not in the last 4 years I haven’t. I get up early, I play with the kids, take care of them, let their mother sleep in, try and give her a break. Hell I gave up golf once she was pregnant with our first born. I can go on and on about the sacrifices I have made since becoming a father. The payoff is the kids themselves. I love being a Dad and making all three of my kids smile. Obviously being a good Dad means a lot of overtime, I get that. But here is the BS. When do I get a break? Seriously? It’s easy to say that men go to work and screw around all day but really that’s BS. You think I wanna sit here on my butt all day babysitting a bunch of so called adults? It’s a hundred times worse than when all three of my kids are throwing a tantrum at the same time. Most days the thought of having the freedom to do whatever I want with my kids all day sounds pretty awesome. Fact is, if I had that opportunity I would kick so much booty at it, it would deserve it’s own documentary. See here is the thing that bothers me. You write this article (you are a great writer btw) and it is SO one sided that it kinda makes me sick. How about heading back to the office for a few years and see how much you miss your kids all day? Over time you start to use your scroll wheel to stay filled in on what your kids are doing all day by checking the nanny’s Facebook page for new Mobile Uploads. You lose touch with what goes on all day and the fact that you have to rely on a nanny to do stuff with your kid sucks. You come home and an hour or two later you are putting everyone to bed and there really was no playtime because baths, dinner and bedtime stories take precedence over play time. I practically break my back with how busy my schedule is. Work, meetings, business planning, training, all the hundreds of responsibilities I have to keep up with and that’s just at work! I have two 12 hour days a week where I don’t get to see my kids at ALL! So what am I bitching about? Well first of all my soon to be ex sent me a link to your article. After reading it I was so flipping angry that I had to walk out of my office just to breathe. Why? Well I figure my soon to be ex thinks the article fits the bill for me. Well FORGET HER!!!!! She is a stay at home Mom. She has a full time Nanny, she has other help like the cleaning lady and someone to take care of the landscaping. She pawns the kids off on the nanny and then sits around picking her ass all day watching Days of Our Lives while the Nanny takes our oldest all over the place like the zoo, the museum, the doll hospital, parks, pools, ect. Our other two children are twin boy/girl that are 1 years old. Then she has the audacity to tell me she does not have enough time to get this done or that done, or that it’s so hard being a stay at home Mom? Really??? Oh and for the record, I get guilt-ed into letting her sleep in on my days off because raising 3 kids is SO hard and SO exhausting. Ask me the last time I was allowed to sleep in? How about 3 years 6 months and 9 days ago. Oh wait, I forgot we went to a destination wedding for ONE day and I got to sleep till about 9am. Yippie! Some Dads out there bust their asses. Try juggling the whole damn show when your pregnant wife is on bed rest for 12 weeks and you already have a 3 year old. Now that’s work. I had to do it all! Work, take care of the house, the yard, the kid, the wife, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, EVERYTHING!!! She thanked me maybe 3 times through the whole process. Oh and then during that time Fathers Day rolled around and I woke up to nothing! She did nothing for me on Fathers Day. And this was 2010 btw not something that happened a while ago. So here I am bending over backwards to take care of my family, and doing it with a big fat smile on my face. I felt this great sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of the day and ALSO I now had a taste of what it was like to be a stay at home Dad. Guess what? It aint that hard! I mean I did it all with no problems. It was easy! It was fun! It was like the best job ever! From that point on anytime my wife complained about how hard she had it I wanted to puke. Hence ONE of the reasons we are splitting up today. Top it off with the fact that she is so clueless and sent me a copy of your article? I am a Dad, soon to be a 33 year old single Dad who had a vasectomy back in January thinking all was well in the world. Now I am being tossed out to the curb (by choice) and have to go live my life in a very different way. So far I had to move out of our brand new 4000 square ft house in a nice neighborhood while she got to stay. I had to move back into our old house that’s been on the market for four years, was built in 1953, has a roof that leaks real bad and a foundation with cracks in it. The place is about 1200 square feet and all I have is a twin bed a small couch, a small tv, a couple lamps, a little boombox, my laptop, my toiletries and all my clothes. Oh I guess I have a dresser too. All of which I borrowed from various friends and family. I even had a friend that gave me some Ikea furniture for free! I feel like I am in prison in a way. I can’t see my kids when I want to anymore, I can’t tuck them in every night. I can’t watch my family grow. I get to see them for 3 hours on Wednesdays and every other weekend I get them from Friday at 7pm till Sunday at 7pm. So what is that? 48 hours? Nice, that’s great. Now you may be thinking to yourself “hey this guy sounds unstable, he must have some sort of a problem if this is what’s going on.” Well let me tell you honestly. I am not the one with problems. I don’t use drugs. I drink but only in a social setting and have not been wasted in a while. Never in front of my kids, ever. I don’t beat anyone, I don’t molest anyone, I am not verbally abusive. I never cheated on my soon to be ex or my family. I work hard, treat people good and am completely naive. I got ripped off! So anyways, in closing I am just going to say that while your article was well written, it’s also very one sided. From one Dad to another, -Mark F. Reply Asherdan June 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm Heh, where’s the push to have the spouse’s engage and not put up with crummy teatment? Every time I run into ‘sad mom’ I ask her what she’s doing about it. I have no sympathy for either side, I sent the spouse off on assignment to another country for six months and took on my job and two boys, no crying/no dying we’re fine. But good job, Jeff, you pitched an article and got paid for being a scold. ::shrug:: Reply Jeff Pearlman June 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm ha, actually, asherdan, i did it for free … Reply Bobby Fetter June 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm @ gregry….I actually think the comment you wrote is WAAAAAAAY better than Jeff’s article….(CNN, are you reading this?) Seriously gregry, you have really good anecdotes and metaphor’s in your post. Your post comes across as more honest and humble where Jeff’s post sounds like it was written by an angry woman. Your kids are lucky to have a Dad like you gregry and I think you have a real talent for writing. CNN…hire this guy!!! Reply Jeff Pearlman June 18, 2011 at 1:16 am I agree, Greg. Great post—Bobby’s right. CNN pays 0, but you could do worse for an outlet to be heard. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 18, 2011 at 1:24 am by the way, Bobby, I don’t get you. I really don’t. You’re the jeffpearlman.com equivalent of the guy heckling Weiner at his press conference. If you don’t like my writing, and don’t like my politics, why come here? There are 8,000 blogs that preach your far-right dogma. Wouldn’t they better suit your take on life? Reply jmw June 18, 2011 at 1:09 am As a writer I am surprised you missed perhaps one of the most important things to do with your child – Read to them. Have fun with it. Change your voices for the different characters. Tickle. Most people know “this little piggy”, change it up. “This little pony went neeeiiiggggh all the way home”. Or, “cow went moooooo…” With four kids I took them out individually for fun and a meal of their choice, one on one time. I always remember how my grandfather got me interested in Shakespeare somewhere around age 4-5. We’d make fudge, as we stirred the pot he taught me Act 4 Scene 1 of Macbeth, the witches stir the cauldron. Love to throw in the eye of newt and toe of frog (nuts). Reply Mike Hutton June 18, 2011 at 2:49 am I like your blog sometimes Jeff. Enough to drop in and read it a couple of times a weeks. Some days, though, I just don’t feel like getting lectured. Father’s Day is one of them. I have three kids. I wish I was better at it. I try, man. I really do. It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with it. The worst part of that stupid rant you wrote is that the tone of it made it sound like your some kind of “Super Dad.” For all I know, you could be the greatest father in the billion year history of Fatherhood. The Phil Jackson of Dads. But I really don’t give a shit. Tell me funny, interesting stories about your kids but don’t be a condescending twerp –at least not on this subject. Reply Dan June 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm I have a hard time with the idea of condemning people as a class, be it African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Catholics, the poor, women, mothers, fathers, etc. It’s hard for me to read your article and replace “dads” with any other class and stomach it and read it in any other way than to see it saying, “hey!, look at me, I’m not like that!” Yes, I get that you personally don’t mean all dads by using the sweeping term, uhm, “dads”. You just mean those to whom your article applies. Bucko for you! Yes, people, being people, have an animus against African Americans, Hispanics, the poor, etc. And yes, people, being people, have an animus against men – or TOO OFTEN – as occurs in the “gender wars”, against one man in particular, and they often happen to be adjudicating that animus or living with the horrid results of the adjudication. Seems to me that when you throw a bell curve at fathers, you probably get 1/2 who come in below the mean. Same thing happens when you throw the bell curve at mothers. Gives you a lot of people to malign and a lot of examples worth maligning. No huge achievement really. Problem as I see it is: the fathers you are addressing, probably aren’t listening to you. They don’t care about their kids, they sure as hell don’t care about Jeff Pearlman’s preening musings. I think ordinary African Americans struggle against stereotypes that are flung at them, hatefully and in a mean spirit I might add, when those stereotypes have nothing at all to do with them as persons. Fathers, locked in real-life battles with mothers, face similar stereotypes, stereotypes you have just added your personal microphone to. For fathers to whom your criticisms apply, you have done nothing useful as all. They are too busy avoiding child support payments to read your musings on CNN. For those raising their kids, working full time, and often paying out child support while they do this (talk about dead beat mom!!!) … you have successfully provided one more blunt instrument which will, assuredly, be used against them. On behalf of those dads, thanks Jeff Pearlman. Love you. Spread the love around. Reply Kevin June 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm Good read. I have been ‘that guy’ that got the look many of times when Im the Dad working at the PTA function, the classroom Christmas (err…”holiday”) party, etc. Yet, though I know there are a lot of Dad’s that don’t want to be there, a lot of Dad’s wish they could and can’t because it helps to put a roof over their kids head. I’m fortunate to have some of the flexibility Jeff does, and with all due respect, “Father’s Day” is bullshit to me. Just a day in the same vein as Boss’ Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. Father’s Day is everyday. Reply Lisa June 19, 2011 at 3:23 am I loved your recent article (“A father’s day wish: Dads, wake the hell up)!!! Thanks for not sugarcoating the issue. Real men can handle constructive criticism and good advice. Mr. Jeff Pearlman, if you had a Facebook page, I’d “Like” you, even though I definitely LOVE your writing. Keep up the good work, and thanks for “keeping it real.” It was refreshing to hear this POV coming from a real man. Real men stick around for their kids. I am grateful to have had a good father (RIP) and I get tired of hearing from folks (male and female) who lament about not having a healthy relationship with their father. Keep up the GREAT work Mr. Pearlman! Reply jmw June 19, 2011 at 3:56 am Whoa there Kevin, I’m having Salmon at my daughter’s house tomorrow. That does not happen everyday. Reply Ruth L June 19, 2011 at 4:02 am I just read you newspiece about dad’s being a dad. I have to say it was the best thing that I have read in a long time. You see my husband and I shared responsibly for raising our kids. I worked first shift he worked second shift. We both cleaned, cooked, went o school meetings, sporting events, movies and out to eat with our kids. THey knew how to behave to go out with us. When my husband died my kids said that they are glad that they knew their dad, had time to spend with him. They also said that even tho they did not have their dad long in their lives, at least they knew him and that is more then any other kid can say about their dad. My husband was 47 when he died he was not there for my youngest ones college years, or for my two sons wedings, or for our grandchildren. But my kids aleays tell me that the way dad was with us kids that is the way we are going to be with our kids. People today do not think about their kids or what life would be like without a father in their life, some one to show you how to throw a ball, what it is like to go to a ball game with dad. that is some of the stuff my kids had with their father. That is the memories they will always carry with them. Just like your said in your story, life goes by so fast, your looking at you kids who was just born and before you know it they are 10 and then they are borrowing the keys for you car. Thank you again for reminding me of the good times my husband shared with the kids. Reply Jen June 19, 2011 at 11:51 am As a SAHM, I LOVED your article! Fortunately, my husband is like you. Recently, he took the kids to a farm without me and got looks from mother’s and grandmother’s saying “wow, you’re brave.” But I do that everyday and why am I not brave? Because I’m the mom? You made great points. I think many dad’s that I know are like you, but there are still the idiots who’ll regret being idiots and hopefully they’ll at least spend time with their eventual grandkids. My only complaint is that I found it hard not to crack up at your humor so that I wouldn’t wake my sleeping 4 month old on my chest. My husband always complains when the poop gets on his fingers. Hilarious! Reply Kevin June 20, 2011 at 4:30 am “Whoa there Kevin, I’m having Salmon at my daughter’s house tomorrow. That does not happen everyday.’ Because of you? Or her? Reply Charles Saunders June 20, 2011 at 11:51 am I read your column in CNN on Dads. I loved it. More dads should read it. I spent yesterday taking the kids to mass, then we tried to get one of their paintball guns fixed, then out for ice cream and then spent the rest of the day all working together in our pond putting together a home made floating pontoon. (My kids are two boys, 7, and 8 and a girl, 10.) We finished off the day watching “The Mighty B.” I cannot name the five last super bowl winners, the winners of the world series nor swing a golf club. However, I do have sausage finishing up in the frying pan as I type and am getting ready to take them to art camp while I study for the bar. Someone asked me how I spent Father’s day, I said, “Just being a dad.” That is more rewarding than anything I have ever done. Take care and thanks for your column. I also pity those who are missing out on one of life’s greatest and simplest pleasures. Sincerely, Charles Saunders Reply Bobby Fetter June 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm I don’t understand Jeff….pull out any sentence from 1 of my posts on THIS article and show me where I am “preaching far-right dogma.” You see folks, in Jeff’s world ANYTHING you say in disagreement with him is considered FAR-RIGHT DOGMA. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm bobby, seriously, why come here? Reply Bobby Fetter June 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm Jeff, seriously, why do you have a comment section???? Oh yeah, and answer my question. Show me where in any of my comments on THIS topic I am “preaching far-right dogma.” Hey kids, what did we learn in Liberal Land today? There is only 1 point of view in this world and if you try to argue against that point of view, you are “preaching far-right dogma.” Reply Jeff Pearlman June 21, 2011 at 12:31 am Yes, Bobby, you’re right. In this post you preach no far-right dogma. Truthfully, you’re just a pain in the ass, and I don’t really enjoy you. I write this blog to vent and express myself. It’s therapy for me. Usually fun, usually liberating. I’m a liberal, and I like going off. I’m a sports writer, and I like going off. I’m a parent, and I like going off. It feels GREAT, and this is my spot. Like a big, fat fart. That’s why I started it. And I don’t have the comments section because I love comments—I have it because it came with the blog my web person set up, and 99% of the time I enjoy the exchanges. Exchanges with you, however, I don’t enjoy. I find you obnoxious and juvenile and, often, itching to insult me. And while you can say the EXACT same things about me (and they’d be 100% true), there’s one giant difference: This is my blog. My space. My vent. And your past claims of “denying freedom of speech” and such when I delete your comments are bullshit. You’re free to speak and say whatever you want—but that doesn’t mean I have to post it on the space I pay for. In conclusion: Keep commenting—asswipe. 🙂 Reply TMC June 21, 2011 at 3:33 am Jeff needs no support from me on this one, Bobby, but I suspect the “far right dogma” comment is rooted in the fact that about 80% of your comments involve huge sweeping generalizations about Liberals and Liberal Land and Things All Liberals Do and How Jeff Is A Typical Liberal and so on. I mean, you’re not posting Bachmann campaign slogans, but you’re also making it very clear where you stand politically and how little you respect people you identify as liberals. Which, in the end, makes Jeff’s question pretty reasonable. If reading his short blog posts makes you so angry, why waste your time and his? Reply jmw June 21, 2011 at 6:26 am @Kevin “Because of you? Or her?” Because of life. I just worked 12.75 hours today, she used to work 11pm -7am. When you grow up you have other things going on in your life. I see my daughter often, but dinner isn’t always part of the picture, nor does it need to be. Reply Bobby Fetter June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm If that’s how you feel Jeff, then why did you write https://jeffpearlman.com/bobby-fetter-come-home/ Admit it man, usually when I comment on your posts, you know it’s an EFFECTIVE post because it got people’s attention, whether you agree with what I wrote or not. Think of it this way, if I don’t comment on your post, that means it was sorta….meh…to use a Jeff Pearlman term. Reply Jeff Pearlman June 22, 2011 at 2:37 am Bobby, you’re just a pain in the ass. But do I sorta semi sometimes enjoy your rants? Sure. But you also strike me as waaaay too mean-spirited. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply previousTupac’s 40th birthdaynextPervert!