Dad Grades: Daniel O’Shea – Little Giants

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

With the biggest day in football just around the corner, we’ve decided to take a look back at one of our favorite football movie dads, Rick Moranis in Little Giants. Whoa. Did you feel that? Did you feel something when I said the name Rick Moranis? Strap in.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

Meet the O’Shea brothers. Kevin, left, portrayed by Ed O’Neill, is a hometown hero in Urbania, Ohio. He’s a Heisman Trophy recipient, a Chevy dealership owner, and an all-around crummy big brother to Danny, played by Rick Moranis. Whoa. There it was again. It’s like a modern “cellar door.”

Danny runs a local gas station and has lived meekly in his brother’s shadow since childhood. He’s the single parent of Becky, aka “Icebox,” presumably the first crush of every young boy who wished Topanga Lawrence could beat them up. Icebox tries out for the Cowboys, a local pee-wee football team coached by her decidedly sexist uncle. When Kevin denies her a spot on the roster, she mobilizes a ragtag squad of prepubescent outcasts to form their own team.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

With the team assembled, Icebox and her pals are ready to take on Kevin O’Shea’s Cowboys and prove, once and for all that through discipline, teamwork, and– hey, wait a minute! They still need a coach! But who can possibly tame this rambunctious pack of mouthy social rejects? Who will be their Buttermaker? Their Gordon Bombay? What man has the diligence and determination to turn this troop of timid, unathletic picked-lasts into winners? Who could possibly lead this band of slackers, miscreants, and ne’er-do-wells to victory?

THAT’S RIGHT, BABY. IT’S MORANIS TIME.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

Danny and Kevin wager a bet: One playoff game, Giants vs. Cowboys, winner remains the sole pee-wee football team in Urbania. Personally, I think this is how the Super Bowl should work. Each year, the losing team should have to disband until we ultimately have just one NFL team, at which point we’ll finally have an answer to the question: Can the Patriots cheat against themselves?

Meanwhile, shy, awkward Danny falls for Patty, a childhood crush who happens to be the mother of his cannon-armed quarterback, Junior, who Icebox quickly develops a crush on.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

The logistics of these co-existing romantic endeavors’ future is never discussed. What if Danny and Patty get married? Does Icebox continue dating her stepbrother? That’s weird, right? What happens if Icebox and Junior call it quits? What’s that Thanksgiving like? Movies are weird.

Anyway, it’s now gameday. Icebox quits the team to become a cheerleader in an attempt to woo Junior, as per the suggestion of her terrible uncle. Danny is fine with this; her teammates are not. Kevin, having deviously thwarted an inexorable ass-kicking at the hands of his lovestruck niece, raises the stakes: his Chevrolet dealership, Danny’s gas station, winner takes all.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

The Giants get crushed in the first half. Icebox throws down her pom-poms and returns to the field. The Giants give it their all, close in on the Cowboys, and ultimately execute a Fumblerooski trick play to pull out a 99-yard game-winning touchdown. Everyone kisses. Danny has, at last, earned the respect of his awful, annoying brother. It’s a truly magnificent third act.

The Good
For most of the movie, what we see of Danny’s relationship with his daughter is largely of the coach/player nature. We see he’s exercised fairly permissive parenting since the death of Icebox’s mom, but little else is known. The fact Danny is so eagerly willing to put his dignity (and ultimately, his gas station) on the line just so his daughter and her friends can play football demonstrates that he’s not just a praiseworthy single parent, but an awesome friend-dad. Remember that childhood friend with the awesome dad? That’s Danny O’Shea.

The Bad
I have no problems whatsoever with the character of Danny O’Shea, but Rick Moranis quit acting three years after this film’s release. If you’re reading this, please come back, Rick. We need you. We’re sorry for replacing you with Stephen Baldwin in that Flintstones sequel. We truly are.

The Verdict
Little Giants is a master class in how to not live vicariously through your children. Some of your kids will want to play football. Others will want to become cheerleaders. Some will take a liking to the guitar. Others will paint. It’s important to remember that your kid is their own person. Danny O’Shea understands this. The movie’s most tender moment occurs the night before the big game when he places a cheerleading outfit on the vanity in his star fullback’s bedroom.

(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)

No, YOU’RE crying.

Daniel O’Shea’s Dad Grade: A-

Pee-Wee Football Player Gets Pumped Up on the Sidelines

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

(Getty/master1305/Tom Briglia)

A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails

(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)

Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.

(Instagram.com/cheeksmagee)
(Facebook.com/KellySmith)
(Instagram.com/abbyjmccoy)
(Instagram.com/instagramycohen)
(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)
(Instagram.com/JoyScribner)
(Instagram.com/bullitt.with.a.name)
(Facebook.com/KristenMadral)
(Instagram.com/heatherdtomlinson)

Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.

DAD STRENGTHS

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.

DAD WEAKNESSES

He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.

VERDICT

Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.

FINAL DAD GRADE: A-

Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.