Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Friday, June 18, 2010

Timed for Papa's Day: An excerpt of Rebecca Lobo's Introduction to "Mike and Mike's Rules for Sports and Life/ Fathers & Daughters & Sports"

In fifth grade, my teacher told me that I needed to dress more like a girl and act more like a girl. She didn't approve of my Giants jersey or my playing with the boys at recess. When I got home from school that day, I shot hoops until my parents returned from work. Both teachers themselves, they were appropriately angry when I told them what had happened. Mom had me removed from the classroom. Dad and I just continued to play catch, our therapy — or at least mine.

Perhaps he didn't know what to say to his six-foot, sixth-grade daughter. Six-four if you counted the hairdo. This was the Heyday of Hairspray, the eighties, the Golden Age of Metal Bands. My school photos looked a lot like Eddie Van Halen in drag. Then again, at the time Eddie Van Halen looked a lot like Eddie Van Halen in drag.

From the decription of the book:

Thank heavens for Title IX. That dusty piece of 1970s legislation not only made an entire generation of American women fitter and stronger and more self-confident, but it also gave fathers throughout the country a greater opportunity to bond with their daughters.

The evidence fills the covers of this collection of essays by a stellar roster of sports journalists, champion athletes, and celebrated writers. In the Introduction, basketball star Rebecca Lobo recalls how her dad’s advice continued to ring in her ears long after she last played hoops with him on the gravel driveway of their Massachusetts home. Sportswriting legend Dan Shaughnessy celebrates his daughters’ eye-opening softball exploits. Chris Evert recounts how her tennis coach father, Jimmy, taught her coolness under fire. Bill Simmons proudly bequeaths his love of the NBA to his preschool-aged daughter. Doris Kearns Goodwin explains how the not-so-simple act of filling in a scorecard for a father can be an act of love. Mike Veeck, minor-league team owner (and son of baseball’s great impresario, Bill Veeck), writes about the terrifying disease that blinded his daughter, Rebecca, and how they learned from his own father’s example in dealing with disability.

It's a beautiful day so I shouldn't be snarky and suggest someone purchase this book for Mr. Pearlman. Or shake my head at the irony of entries by Bill Simmons and Dan Shaughnessy....