The other day Jason Whitlock, the Fox Sports columnist, did a fascinating chat with Deadspin readers. Really, it’s an excellent read. Someone asked about my takes on him which, I’ve gotta admit, run hot-cold-hot-cold. Here’s the exchange …
I actually think it’s a pretty strong answer. I’m sure there’s a part of Jason that regrets the life he’s chosen; the loneliness that can come without a wife, without kids. That’s not to say marriage and parenthood is for everyone—it’s certainly not, and I can 100 percent understand that.
However, there’s one area where I think (actually, know) Jason is off. When he writes, “A lot of these guys wish they had my freedom. And by that, they fancy themselves as transparent and willing to deal with the fallout from transparency but they can’t handle it. I don’t blame them. They got wives, kids and real shit to deal with.” Honestly, I can’t think of one minute (one second) where I wish I had Jason’s “freedom.” Hell, I had “freedom” (I’m using quotes, because the meaning of freedom, in this context, means not having a nuclear family) for many years, and here’s what I recall:
• 1,287 shit dates.
• 454 nights of watching a movie at home alone.
• Worrying only about me and my happiness.
I love the idea of, say, jumping on a plane and backpacking Italy. That joy, however, would last roughly 2 1/2 days. Then I’d wanna hear my son blather on about the snowball fight he had at school; I’d wanna watch my daughter play the piano; I’d wanna turn on the electric blanket and hang with the wife. “Freedom” can mean “liberty sans the burden of wife and children.” It can also mean “lonely existence where one only focuses on himself.” (For the record, I’m not slamming Jason as one who only focuses on himself. For all I know, he calls his parents six times per day).
Maybe I’m not a rebel. Actually, I’m quite certain I’m not a rebel.
But I probably never was one to begin with.