Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux is a stand-up comedian who has been featured on Fox and IFC and has made national radio appearances on The Bob and Tom Show, SiriusXM and BBC Radio. As a writer, Mark has contributed to ESPN.com, CBS Digital, The Baltimore Sun, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Chalifoux Family Christmas Newsletter. Mark is the father to a beautiful and amazing daughter and her sister.

A Tribute to Sports Dads, The Raptors, The Blues and Big Papi

Raptors are Champs
(Twitter/Raptors)

It’s only appropriate to take some time on Father’s Day to raise one to all the sports dads out there. Someone has to set up the soccer goal in the back yard, teach the finer points of hitting a fastball to a kid who can barely hit off a tee, and scream belligerently at the refs during a high school basketball game (OK maybe not the last one).

Like most sports fans, I picked up my love of sports from my dad. One of my earliest sports memories was being woken up on a school night because he thought I should see the Stanley Cup presentation (and he was right). He coached my hockey team when he couldn’t skate much better than the sixth-graders on the ice, and years later I got the assist on a goal my dad scored when we were playing on a rec-league team together (when I gave him a pass so perfect even he couldn’t have blown it).

We weren’t even together for one of my favorite memories. As huge college basketball fans, there was one March where our favorite team made the NCAA tournament by blowing out the No. 1 team in the nation. Immediately after the win, my dad called me from the sports bar where he was watching the game and asked if I saw it. I told him I not only saw it, but I had skipped one of my college finals for an impromptu road trip to see it live. I was a little worried he might turn full dad on me for skipping a major exam, but his reaction was one I’ll always remember.

“Oh man, college is the greatest time of your life!” he said.

So here’s to all you sports dads, who truly have your priorities in line. If you’re looking for additional Father’s Day #content, USA Today has a great collection of athletes with their kids and the U.S. Women’s National Team shared some memories of their dads before their big game Sunday.

USWNT Dad Memories
(Fox TV Stations)

Check out the USWNT video tribute here.

Speaking of the USWNT, many were clutching their pearls after the 13-0 win over Thailand earlier this week. There were far too many “pundits” taking the team to task for running up the score and celebrating too much, and whining about “winning with class”, which is such an old man take. Or is it a fair question: did they score too much? Were the celebrations overboard??

No. No, they were not. I’m sorry, but it’s the World Cup, the highest stage for soccer, it’s not exactly the stage where you worry about the other team’s feelings. I could understand the sentiment if this was 11-year-olds playing in a rec league, but this is the World Cup. Most of those players will only get to play in one, so I’m fine with celebrating their moment however they want. Besides, Thailand should be honored, as they were part of the game that broke the record for most combined goals. Sure, they didn’t score any of them, but that record couldn’t have existed without them.

The Toronto Raptors got to celebrate this week as well, winning the NBA championship over a depleted Warriors squad. I’m not one of the people beating the asterisk drum, but it was such a bummer to see Durant go down in the manner he did and to see Klay Thompson not far behind him. They put up a valiant fight, but those were catastrophic injuries to overcome and it is a sad note for the Warriors dynasty to end on.

That being said, Kawhi Leonard had an insane finals and it was great to see players like VanVleet and Siakam get a championship. Even aged veteran Jeremy Lin, who averaged only a few minutes more than I did in the playoffs, made history, becoming the first Asian-American player to win a ring. So, the Raptors deserve to celebrate.


Rounding out a championship week, The St. Louis Blues capped off a dramatic turn around to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. It’s hard not to get behind stories like that, as the Blues went from dead last to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. And huge props to the bettor who turned $400 into $100,000 by backing the Blues when no sane person would. He had many chances to hedge that bet but he stuck to his guns, and it must have been a wrenching game 7 for him. He should probably give a considerable chunk of that to Jordan Binnington.

Deadspin had a great video of Blues fans going crazy on local news. This is one of the best parts about a championship-starved franchise finally crossing that line. The pure jubilation when your favorite team wins a title is a level of bliss you experience a couple of times in your life (if that, I’m still waiting for the Bengals to win a Super Bowl.

Blues Fans on the news
(DeadSpin)

Check out the footage here.

And in less than celebratory father’s day news, David Ortiz is still recovering in intensive care. The Red Sox great was shot last weekend, and his daughter took to Instagram with an emotional post about his recovery.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I would like to formally thank everyone who has reached out so kindly to feed us, transport us, and support us. Those who have extended prayers, thoughts, and love, I thank you. If there is one thing this world should know it is the admiration I have for this man, my father. I find myself complaining on a daily basis yet chaos has struck but my dad hasn’t complained once. I promise on my life he has not once looked for pity, tears, or even indicated how he feels in his current state. He may be hungry (he’s eating only ice right now) and he may be tired but you know what he said not more than 3 minutes ago? “Even the toothpaste tastes good here.” I hoped to share a bit of optimism in a time like this. People keep asking: [if] there is anything [they] can do. There is one thing everyone can do. Anytime you want to complain or feel sorry practice David’s method and turn that sorrow into optimism. #myRemarkableDadDavid #IceChipDiet #ThankYouDoctorsDominicanandAmerican

A post shared by Alexandria Ortiz (@alex.veda.ortiz) on

An 11-Yr-Old Girl Was the Star of the Stanley Cup Celebration

Laila St Louis Cup
(Twitter/NHL/ESPN)

The St. Louis Blues won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup on Wednesday and while the city rejoiced, it meant extra to one Blues fan, 11-year-old Laila Anderson. Throughout the season, the Blues have drawn inspiration from the support from young superfan Anderson, who is battling an extremely rare autoimmune disorder. After they clinched the cup, the Blues brought her onto the ice for the celebration.

“Being here for this, it’s everything I imagined and more,” she told ESPN. “I don’t even know what to say. I love this team. I love them so much.”

ESPN did a great feature on Anderson earlier in the playoffs. And last night, Anderson, who was only cleared to travel weeks ago, was the star of the postgame celebration.



An awesome sports moment on top of an incredible Stanley Cup playoffs.

David Ortiz’s Dad Says He’s Going to be OK as Emotional Tributes Pour In

Tributes to Big Papi
(YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Twitter/45PedroMartinez)

The sports world was given a shock when news spread that former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Big Papi is going to be OK according to his dad who spoke to reporters on Monday.

A spokesman told CNN that Ortiz was shot in the back late Sunday night at a nightclub. The Boston Red Sox sent their team plane to bring Ortiz, who is in serious but stable condition, to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Red Sox held a moment of silence before their game Monday.

Former teammate Jason Varitek was emotional when speaking about Ortiz.

And Pedro Martinez checked in on Twitter with good wishes for Big Papi.


Many in the Boston sports world and beyond were pulling for Ortiz in a big way, as few figures loom as large as Big Papi over the last few decades of Red Sox baseball. The Bruins, The Patriots, Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski were among those sending love on Twitter Monday.

The Shove Heard Round the World

Raptors Shove
(Twitter/cjzero)

We are four games into the NBA finals and I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen the moment that will be talked about the most from this series. The infamous “Shove Heard Round The World” when a Golden State minority-owner sitting courtside shoved a falling-out-of-bounds Kyle Lowry.



It’s partly because this series is hurting for plotlines, as it seemed like the Warriors were a lock before half the team got hurt and Kevin Durant got sad, and now it’s completely the opposite (I’m ok with that as I’m still riding that Raptors bandwagon! It’s only fair that a Canadian team wins the NBA finals since their beloved Stanley Cup has spent the past few decades in the U.S.). But I’m still surprised at how overblown this story became.

I will concede that this could’ve been a much worse story if Kyle Lowry wasn’t able to keep his composure as well as he did, but it still seems like the way this played out is the rare time in sports where everyone did what they were supposed to.

Should the guy have shoved Lowry? Absolutely not, total garbage move, everyone agrees. The league denounced the fan, Warriors players and head coach Steve Kerr apologized on his behalf and also denounced his actions, the shover released a lame apology written by a publicist, the NBA banned him from games for a year and fined him half a million dollars, and he’s reportedly going to be forced to sell his shares of the team. Everything that should have happened in the aftermath happened almost perfectly.

I suppose it’s part of the sports ecosystem to have something fuel the hot take machine for a few days, but this seems like an issue everyone agrees on but still everyone is also mad about, which is bizarre.

LeBron James weighed in, much like everyone else, to say the same things everyone else was saying. He demanded action, I demand more videos of LeBron pulling classic summer dad moves like “too big for the pool float.”


Raptors guard Fred VanVleet regrets giving his newborn son credit for his hot streak. VanFleet is having an outstanding postseason, especially in this first six games after his son was born in late May. At the time, he credited his newborn, and now wishes he hadn’t.

“I wish I could go back in time and not tell anyone that I had a kid,” VanVleet said. “So that I could get all the glory for turning around my performance.

Don’t deny that Dad power! Especially when your name sounds like a player from a Dr. Seuss book about basketball.

The Raptors success has cost McDonald’s millions in free fries. As part of a promotion, McDonald’s locations in eastern Canada give away a free medium order of fries every time the Raptors hit 12 three-pointers in a game. After game 1 of the NBA Finals, McDonald’s gave away nearly 80,000 orders of fries (there’s a KaFry Leonard dad joke here somewhere, but it’s just not worth it). Ultimately, that promotion has cost more than 5.4 million dollars, just from the regular season. It sounds impressive, but in American dollars, that’s actually around $72.50.

The St. Louis Blues are close to clinching the Staley Cup, but the Bruins aren’t going down without a fight. Well, at least their fans aren’t.


I know this causes many sportswriters to clutch their pearls, but Boston is gonna Boston, there’s not much we can do about it. Personally, it’s a great consolation to know that no non-Boston fans were injured in the filming of this terrific video. There’s a lot to enjoy here, especially guys trying to randomly work in some jiu-jitsu while laying on beer-soaked stadium floors. This also gives us something fun to talk about besides the atrocious officiating throughout the postseason (although it benefitted the Blues last game, and I’m still riding that underdog Blues bandwagon!).

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway, if soccer is more your thing, and the U.S. team kicks off action Tuesday against Thailand. With mostly morning and early afternoon games, it makes for a fun gambling diversion. If you’re looking for a fun read, as a soccer parent, I enjoyed this deep dive on star midfielder Rose Lavelle and hearing what her parents, trainers and youth coaches had to say about her rise.

It’s Drake vs Golden State

Drave vs Golden State
(Twitter/SportsCenter/mateo_avila25)

The NBA Finals were supposed to be another routine coronation for SuperSteph and crew, but, for the moment, it looks like we could have a series. Kevin Durant is off pouting, tending to an injury that won’t heal, Andre Iguodala could miss game two, and Kawhi Leonard and the surging Raptors pulled off the upset in game one.

Of course, Leonard is fairly robotic, so it took a celebrity superfan to inject this Raptors team with a surrogate personality, as Drake has been parading around the sidelines with the panache of a college basketball walk-on. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had to personally talk to Drake before the finals, and that still didn’t stop him spending big money to troll Steph Curry by wearing his dad’s Raptor’s jersey. And Drake still managed to make headlines for exchanging words with Warriors’ senior trash talker Draymond Green.


Draymond, thankfully, handled the situation about as well as we could have expected.


I was a little worried about Draymond heading into this series, as he had recently adhered the age-old maxim of talking about your kids to help your brand when he spoke about how watching his son made him stop flopping. The last thing we need right now is a toned down Draymond Green because then this series just turns into a waiting game until Durant comes back and Golden State goes back to cruising.

The real story from game 1 was Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, who led the Raptors in scoring with 32 points in another marquee performance during his breakout season. Just moments after the highlight performance, Siakam told reporters “I’m just doing it for my dad.” Siakam’s father passed away while he was playing in college, and writes RIP Dad on his shoes before every playoff game. Learn more about Siakam before game two, just in case we can’t count on round two between Drake and Draymond.

In the other championship series, the underdog St. Louis Blues are fighting valiantly to save our great nation from the nightmare of another Boston championship. One of the sure things you can count on in sports is behind every storybook underdog playing for a championship is a sick kid they are playing for. The Blues are no different, so read this and get on the bandwagon.


John Calipari is the best coach in college basketball, and it must be really special for his son Brad to play for his dad as a walk-on for the Kentucky Wildcats. Except maybe not, as Brad Calipari has entered the transfer portal. That’s gotta make things awkward around the dinner table, when your own son wants to leave your team.

One of the craziest pictures in the sports adjacent world this week was the viral photo of the line to the summit of Mt. Everest. I get mad when I get stuck in mild rush-hour traffic, I can’t imagine what it would be like to climb to the top of the world and get stuck in this.

LeBron tries to protect his son on social media. Like any parent, LeBron worries about how the cesspool that can be social media will affect his son. But, after promising his Bronny Jr. he could get an Instagram account when he was 14, LeBron welcomed his son to the social media world, with a warning to the haters.

Of course, acknowledging trolls is pretty much the best way to activate them. And on cue, a swarm of haters and trolls started commenting. Oh, wait, that’s just Draymond Green again.

This May Be the Best Ceremonial First Pitch of All Time

First Pitch Goes Wrong
(Twitter/FSKansasCity)

The Chicago White Sox let their employee of the month throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game Tuesday, and it immediately entered the discussion for the greatest ceremonial pitch of all time.



I think part of what makes this pitch so great is her reaction. She drills the photographer directly in the face and briefly laughs about it before steering into the moment and celebrating. And she should celebrate, as that’s a one-in-a-million throw.

 

 

I don’t know how the employee of the month is chosen, but it would be a tragedy if she doesn’t win the award every single month going forward. There’s hardly anyone there to see the White Sox play baseball, but people would show up and tune in to see how she might top that with another chance.

 

Historically, there have been some bad ceremonial pitches, as Mariah Carey and 50 Cent can attest to, but I think the leader in the clubhouse was always Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.


Until he was dethroned last night, by the nameless White Sox employee of the month, with a pitch so pure she could probably be in the starting rotation for the last place Royals.

Please Don’t Chase The Referees With a Machete

Be Good to Refs at Your Kid's Games
(Getty/Steve Debenport)

Officiating can be circumspect in youth sports. Yes, they aren’t getting the most well trained, skilled officials for 12-year-olds playing select soccer. Sure, the ump calling balls and strikes in a softball game between eighth-graders may miss one here or there. But the important thing to remember when you’re watching your kid play sports is how bad yelling at the refs makes you look.

It’s not a good situation all around. It’s embarrassing for the kids, the refs obviously hate you, the coaches may be glad you aren’t yelling at them or your kid for the moment, but still don’t care for it, and other parents assume you are either emotionally unhinged or are actively gambling on the outcome.

This isn’t easy for me to say, either, because I have completely been that guy. Not in my own kid’s games, but when my younger brothers were playing high school hockey, I spent good entire periods screaming at officials. That’s not a proud moment, booing the refs at a high school sporting event.

Your kid may run into a game where the ref affects the outcome or misses a big call, but that’s life. Don’t be that guy turning Brian Kelly shades of red, screaming about a missed traveling call.

And for God’s sake, don’t chase the ref down with a machete, like two men in Michigan did recently. Your first thought when you read a headline like “Soccer game ends with man attacking ref with a machete”, your first thought is usually “man, Florida is crazy!” So, congrats Michigan, for entering Florida territory.

I’m not sure how much stock you can put into the man’s claims that the referees made bad calls, because he’s still the guy who BROUGHT A MACHETE TO A SOCCER GAME! That’s not the action of a stable person, it’s not like he was bringing it to slice oranges.

(Machete Kills Movie)

Not all Michigan officials are bad! A soldier returning from deployment surprised his 8-year-old son by posing as the umpire at his baseball game. That would be awkward if you were one of those psycho parents yelling at an ump, and then he was revealed to be a returning soldier.

The Warriors have won the NBA Championship again. No, it hasn’t happened yet, but we all know how it’s going to end. My interest was piqued when Durant got hurt, but then Steph Curry started doing more Steph Curry things and that was that.

I’ve really enjoyed watching the Bucks-Raptors series, but it’s sort of a moot point knowing the winner earns the right to get swept in the finals. And yes, I’m going in very hard on the Warriors in the hopes that this can reverse-jinx them enough to make the finals watchable.

The other series is way more watchable, as Giannis has done some big things, Kawhi Leonard has had a great series, and Raptors superfan Drake is out there giving back rubs.


Sports gambling aficionado James Holzhauer continues his incredible run through Jeopardy, but that doesn’t’ stop Alex Trebek from getting annoyed when Holzhauer gets cute with his wagers.

I’m fully on the St. Louis Blues bandwagon, as they take on the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s the first Finals berth in nearly 50 years for the Blues, and even tornadoes weren’t enough to stop the fans from watching game six.

That is dedication. And besides, the last thing the sports world needs is another Boston championship.

Finally, Detroit Catholic sports leagues are going to stop playing games on Sundays, starting this fall. Of all the things the Catholic Church has taken a stance on, this is far from the most controversial. When I read it at first, I was ready to up and move to Detroit (which is something no one has said in 20 years). It sounds great on paper, a Sunday free, but the reality is they will just start scheduling three games on Saturdays or games at weird times during the week (what, you can’t get your kid to the 4:45 pm soccer game on a Tuesday?). If I’m going to be sitting through something boring on a Sunday morning, I’d take soccer over church.

Dad Breaks World Record for Longest Count to 3

Dad Breaks Record Counting to 3
(Getty/Maskot)

TACOMA, WA- With a blatant disregard for household policy, 5-year-old Joey Luch removed his shoes and carelessly abandoned them in the middle of the floor. That’s when his dad, Ryan, delivered a stern edict to move them before he counted to 3. In the process, he shattered the world record for the longest count to 3, clocking in at 8 minutes and 47 seconds.

“It was intense, I was using fractions I didn’t even know existed,” Ryan said. “Kids need discipline, and I wasn’t going to let Joey slide on this. But I think I counted to two in the blink of an eye, so it was only fair that I started counting by hundredths of a second to even it out a bit.”

The previous record of 7:47 looked safe at the outset, as Joey appeared to be dropping his protest 4 minutes in. Then in a surprise move – rather than picking up his shoes, he walked right past them, sat on the couch and started watching an episode of Paw Patrol.

“That move right there would’ve been the end of it for a lot of parents,” said parenting researcher Alexander Madden. “The three-count would’ve been delivered, the punishment would’ve followed, and the whole thing would’ve devolved into a teary chaos.”

The standoff was finally broken after Ryan interspersed his count with escalating threats about limited screen time. He said his actions made him feel like he’s really earned the novelty “No. 1 Dad” mug his wife gave him years ago.

“Sometimes, as the man of the house, you gotta take a stand,” he said. “I hate to be so strict, but I hope Joey learned a lot about responsibility and taking care of your business.”

This Just In…is The Dad Faking News. Despite being completely plausible to parents, it’s satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Broadcaster Does a Play-by-Play on Himself Catching a Foul Ball

Broadcaster Commentates His Foul Ball Catch
(Twitter/MarcSchwartz26)

Some of the best calls in broadcasting history involve an announcer memorably recounting a play made by a professional athlete. It’s far more rare for the play to involve an athletic feat made the broadcaster himself, which was the case for minor league baseball broadcaster Marc Schwartz.

I worked in sports talk radio and in play-by-play for years, and I encountered very few people with any discernible athletic talent. Not only was his catch terrific, but he didn’t even break stride in his description of the play. It takes a lot of focus to catch a foul ball, and even more to do it while continuing to do your job.

You can’t get much smoother than this: “…swings and fouls it off, towards the broadcast booth, and I make the catch on the foul ball! I am very proud of myself!”

And he should be, with an early contender for catch of the year.

Please Don’t Turn Your Kid’s Little League Game Into a WWE Battle Royal

Parents Brawl at Little League Game
(Instagram/gototheloop)

It’s easy to be a bad sports dad. For starters, you could be the type that never shows up. Almost as bad, you could be the type of dad who gets too into it, spending the games heckling the other team, screaming instructions to your kid, then breaking down the everything they did wrong on the ride home. Or you could be one of those aggressive parents who signs their kid up for everything, charting Brayden around various fields and pools with the certainty that he’s going to get a college scholarship (he’s not). But it’s hard to be worse than fight club dad.

In a perfect world, youth sports parents wouldn’t scream at refs and kids, but is it really too much to ask for parents to refrain from fisticuffs? I can’t imagine what it does to a child when you have to commandeer his postgame Capri Sun to ice the welt on your face from a fourth-inning scrap. The latest of what feels like a regular stream of little league parent brawls happened earlier this month in Texas (big shock!).


As far as parent brawls go, I guess we should give credit to the mom who comes running out of nowhere with a bat. That had a real WWE feel to it and was almost enough to get me to completely 180 my feelings on youth sports brawls.

Steph v. Seth gets settled by a coin flip. The Western Conference Finals feature a pair of competing brothers for the first time in NBA history as Steph Curry and the Warriors take on Portland and Seth Curry. Their parents decide which gets to root for which team via coin flip, despite the fact that they both know Steph is way better and that the Warriors are going to cruise.


While Steph said it was jarring to see his mom decked out in Portland gear in game, we do have to give the Curry household credit for at least picking sides. Far too often, when this happens in college, a mom will go full Pinterest and wear some abhorrently crafted combo jersey.

That being said, don’t give Dell Curry too much credit, as he once tried to get State to pass on drafting Steph. He wanted his son to be taken one pick later by the New York Knicks, the laughingstock of major sports franchises.

Speaking of the NBA, May is when LeBron shines. Sure, James has been watching the playoffs from home, but he’s still taking over games. He went to see his son’s team play recently and security cleared out two rows for LeBron and his crew to watch the game in peace. However, it didn’t take long for the sports dad in LeBron to come out, as he took over the coaching duties.

Generally, I would strongly advocate against parents telling coaches what to do on the sidelines. But when that parent is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, it may wise to defer.

It was a big week for kids of famous sports dads, as Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit his first two career home runs.

Baseball’s most exciting rookie said he would give both balls and his bat to his dad.

Mo Salah’s daughter scoring a goal is the only way to end this. Salah is one of the greatest players in the world, and watching the crowd reacting to his daughter scoring is worth 30 seconds of your time. It’s nice to see she has some of her dad’s soccer instincts.

9-Yr-Old Girl Consoles Joel Embiid After Tough Loss With Handwritten Note

9-Yr-Old Consoles Joel Embiid
(Twitter/OriginalYoni/darrenrovell)

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers saw their season come to a crushing end after a being on the wrong side of some game 7 heroics. Embiid was devastated and his heartbreak was noticed by 9-year-old fan Olivia Djamoos. The young fan sent Embiid a handwritten letter consoling the giant on the playoff loss.

This was the devastating shot that sent Embiid packing.

And his reaction to it:

The 9-year-old wrote:


Djamoos told ABC 6 in Philadelphia that she was sad, but “okay with it, because I’ve won a bunch of games too, and same with Joel Embiid.”

For a 9-year-old, she handled this loss with far more grace and maturity than thousands of adults who spent the aftermath wallowing on Twitter. In this age of technology, I’m generally impressed any time a child commits to written correspondence, let alone one showing this much empathy.

Hopefully, Embiid responds with a letter about “The Process” and other empty sports platitudes.

A Tribute to All the Sports Moms out There on Mother’s Day

A Tribute to Moms
(Twitter/SportsCenter)

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s only fitting to take a moment to recognize all the sports moms out there. No, this is not going to be one of those agonizingly mushy think pieces that make up with empty prose what it lacks in sincerity. It’s not going to be some missive about how women are the true power in the world and men are complete and utter trash. But sports moms, we see you.

We know how hard it is to get a 7-year-old’s shin guards on seconds after getting them off the bus, shoveling something loosely resembling food in their mouths before dropping them off at soccer. We know how boring it is to sit on a rainy sideline, waiting for your kid to do something tangentially related to the sport they are competing in (he kicked near the ball!). We see you juggling practice schedules with the tenacity of an air traffic controller. And we see you on the sidelines, as more moms are coaching youth sports than ever before. We see you, and we respect you.

Sports Moms are also crazy. I respect that too. If you’re a crazy sports dad, either the police are called on you, or you develop a reputation in the community. Crazy sports dads get banned from coaching. Crazy sports moms are just a good time. Of the top five craziest things I’ve seen at youth sporting events, moms have been involved in seven of them. I once saw a mom at a soccer game for second-graders yell at the ref to go f*** himself. The ref was a 12-year-old kid.

Baker Mayfield read a letter to his mom on Sportscenter and it made her cry. What a jerk! While this has been getting a lot of attention, I think his letter-writing skills leave a lot to be desired. I’ll be honest; I was expecting a lot more from him when I clicked the link.


I was raised by a sports Mom, as my mom spent years coaching my youth soccer teams. She didn’t know anything about soccer and had to spend hours going over books she checked out from the library to build our practice plans, but you wouldn’t have known it as we finished in 2nd place. We may have also been naturally very talented though, so who knows who truly deserves the credit?

Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich also wrote a letter to his mom, this one featured on The Players Tribune. He mentioned his mom convinced him to stick it out in baseball when he wanted to quit as a seven-year-old. He was afraid of being hit by pitches, and his mom offered him $5 per pitch he got hit with as an incentive to keep playing. I think we really need to consider the true motives here. It’s probably really funny to see a seven-year-old get hit with a pitch, and for some reason, his mom wanted to see it happen so much she put a financial reward on it. Sure, for the holiday, we can retcon this as a moving gesture by a strong mom teaching her son a lesson about quitting. But it could also be a tired, frustrated mom living vicariously through other kids throwing baseballs at her kid. I know those moms (and dads) are out there.


Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel is one of the best in the country, and he also has a moving Mother’s Day column worth reading.

Now, for a tonal shift, BEES! The Cincinnati Reds had their game delayed this week due to bees, which is just as terrifying as it sounds. A swarm of bees invaded the stadium, stopping play as the umpires and teams tried to figure out what ghastly curse had been invoked on all present.

There was a sciency reason why bees act like that, but this sort of thing might be exactly what makes baseball more watchable. Don’t stop play until they leave, force the players to play through it. Football players sometimes play when it’s a little chilly out, so baseball players should be forced to play as literal clouds of thousands of bees swarm around them.

Jamal Murray is one of the better free throw shooters in the NBA, making some pivotal ones down the stretch in a game four win for Denver.

He credited his dad with being the reason he’s so good at free throws. His dad used to blindfold him, yell at him the way a hostile crowd would, and make him shoot free throws. I’m not sure if that counts more as practice or as hazing. 

The best sports moment of the week goes to hockey, as hometown hero Patrick Maroon scored the game-winning goal in double overtime for the St. Louis Blues, and the reaction of his son is priceless.


And here was the video that went viral a few years back, when Maroon was talking about his son getting to see him score another goal.


I hope Maroon keeps scoring goals, and we get a video of his kid crying into the Stanley Cup in a few weeks.

A Dad Pays Gratitude for an NFL Draft Pick’s Keg Party Heroics

Dad tweets About Dre Greenlaw
(Getty/Icon Sportswire)

The aftermath of the NFL draft is usually spent with analysts grading teams like it’s a third-grade spelling bee, college football fans raging about how insane it is that no one drafted their backup slot receiver, and bored fans criticizing players sartorial choices.

Which makes this story about 49ers fifth-round draft pick Dre Greenlaw a little more unusual. Given the NFL’s very recent history, I was fearing the worst when someone told me a dad was tweet-storming a story about what happened with an NFL draft pick and his daughter when they were both at a college keg party. Keg parties are not usually the best environments for gentlemanly conduct from football players.

As Gerry Daly details it, though, that was exactly the case for Greenlaw as an underage football star at the University of Arkansas. Daly’s daughter was incapacitated after a man slipped something into her drink and tried to leave the party with her. Greenlaw, who went to high school with Daly’s daughter, noticed something wasn’t right and stopped the man from leaving with her. Daly said he never mentioned the incident before because Greenlaw was underage and he didn’t want him to suffer repercussions for helping his daughter.

“Thank God someone was looking out for her,” Daly said. “Thank God that there are good people in this world like Dre.”

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott won a race at Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in his career when he won the Geico 500. His dad, racing great Bill Elliott, wasn’t there to see to his son pull out the win, but he had a good reason: he was winning a race of his own that weekend.

The elder Elliott has won at Talladega twice, and shortly before the GEICO 500, Chase tweeted out this sort of adorable video.

Speaking of father-son duos, ESPN ran a great feature recently on the greatest father-son duos in sports history, and it’s easy to forget how many great ones there were. Props to the Elliotts for winning races on the same day, but that doesn’t quite get them into that upper echelon (Dale and Dale Jr. are certainly in the conversation, however).

Bobby and Barry Bonds are a compelling choice, as the elder Bonds was a three-time All-Star and Barry holds baseball’s record for the most asterisks on a career. Dell Curry was a sixth-man of the year in 1994 and had a 16-year NBA career, and his son is obviously one of the best players in the league currently.

Archie Manning was a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback and his son Peyton was a commercial actor who may or may not have played football. Howie Long and Chris Long could make a pretty good case, as Howie is a Hall of Famer and Chris has a shot to end up there someday. Bobby Hull and son Brett have maybe as strong a case as any, as they were the first father-son duo in the NHL hockey hall of fame.

But, for me (a pretty big caveat for the hundreds of people about to complain that I’m wrong), it’s Ken Griffey Sr./Jr. Senior helped two Reds teams win a World Series, and Junior was perhaps the most gifted baseball player in history.

The White House has become a nice Wendy’s. I’m loath to even mention this, as any #content with even a whiff of politics can be enough to rile up the most delicate snowflakes, but it is sad that the new tradition for college championship teams is for the White House to turn into the country’s nicest fast food buffet.



Sure, college kids DO like food like that. They just like at 3 a.m., after hours of outrageous alcohol consumption. No one wants to put on nice clothes to eat a Big Mac.

And that wasn’t even the saddest food-related sports story this week. This Dodgers fan lost his entire plate of fries chasing down a foul ball. He followed that up later in the game by losing a slice of pizza while making a play for another foul ball.

Simply incredible. I wish more foul balls would’ve ended up there, just to see how absurdly this would’ve escalated. He probably would have been carrying a dozen pies the next time, like some vaudeville clown. A foul ball is cool, but is it worth wasting $47 of stadium food cool?