I’m the last person to indulge in Monday-morning quarterbacking.  I hate football.  My proto-hipster father, author of a cult classic, The Hiptionary, referred to America’s national pastime as a “monster jam.”


So, no, I didn’t watch the game—although my husband and stepdaughter settled down with their nachos in her new apartment to do the deed.  But this year’s game brought a great back story that I couldn’t resist.

How about that Richard Sherman?  Gorgeous, articulate, Stanford-educated—my own Millennial son called him “multi-faceted.” I’ll add enlightened.  After announcing that he and his partner, Ashley Moss, in her ninth month of pregnancy, were expecting a baby, he refused to commit to a decision about the game on Sunday.  “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he told the world via ESPN.  “We’re not thinking about the possibility.”  But, of course, his pre-parental brain was working overtime in preparation for fatherhood.  And while he wouldn’t reveal his decision, he gave us all a peek at the conflict raging within.  Here’s what he did say, of the child to come:

It’s someone that actually depends on you for everyday living.  Everything they do is dependent on you and how you provide and how successful you are.

The man’s got his head screwed on just right. But, wait, it gets better.  As he embarked on the work-family juggle, Sherman had a show of support from his boss, coach Pete Carroll.   In Phoenix, on the eve of the big game, in a final media appearance with New England coach, Bill Belichick,” Carroll had deferred to his player:

He has an opportunity to face a big decision and whenever our players have a personal, family issue that comes up it’s always about family first and they can decide what is best for them and I support that.

The coach also added that he couldn’t wait to see the baby.

Now, I’m not stupid. Of course, all of the above was carefully orchestrated for public consumption.  And the baby cooperated.  But I like my delusions of optimism. Yes, I did notice that the tweet from “Fatherhood Thought Leader” Devon Bandison garnered a measly 6 retweets—one of them my own.  Sprinkled with hashtags, including #WhyFathersMatter, Bandison proclaimed dads the winners of the Super Bowl ads.

I wouldn’t know about the ads, as I was missing in action. Still, I’m holding the glass—half full.  No, we haven’t left the “Mad Men” era yet. We’ve still got work to do.  But we’re getting our sea legs in this massive, and urgent, societal change.  My regrets to Sherman, Carroll and the team. They may have lost the game, but they’ve made a significant contribution to the crusade for a civilized United States.

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