Great Sporting Rivalries: Barcelona vs Real Madrid

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For the first installment of our new Great Sporting Rivalries feature, TheDad heads to Spain, to find out more about one of the greatest soccer rivalries of all time, Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico.

To fully understand the rivalry between these two sporting giants, it’s important for us to have a teensy bit of a history lesson. Throughout the middle part of 20th Century, Spain was ruled by the military dictatorship led by General Franco. Franco’s rule was about Spanish nationalism, representing the interests of the country’s elite. This meant marginalizing some of the smaller autonomous communities and repressing their cultural identities. Now, this is important because Real Madrid are based in Madrid, the country’s capital, and are extremely pro-Spain. They were Franco’s team. Barcelona, on the other hand, is the largest city in Catalonia, in North East Spain. You may have heard about Catalonia recently as they held an independence referendum in the summer of 2017.

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Anyway, throughout Franco’s reign, there was some pretty serious favoritism going on from the General. Real Madrid were afforded a lot of support from the government, whilst Barcelona were… not so much. This was particularly evident in the transfer saga of Alfredo di Stefano. To cut a long story short, Barcelona had signed the player, and then “something” happened involving Franco and, suddenly, he was a Real Madrid player. The equivalent of that would be like if Trump decided who traded to what team, regardless of the league decision.

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Anyway, the point of this history lesson is to demonstrate that there are historical and cultural elements to this rivalry. When you then throw on top of that the fact that they are the two biggest and most successful clubs in Spanish soccer history, you have a bit of a fractious relationship.

So, keeping that in mind, let’s talk about Luis Figo. Figo was a superstar of world soccer in the 1990s. He was a star forward for Barcelona and the Portuguese national side throughout the decade, arguably one of the greatest players of his generation. He played for Barcelona for five years from 1995 to 2000, when, yep, you guessed it, he transferred to their bitter rivals. Figo isn’t the only player to have played for both clubs, but he is probably the most high profile player to have transferred directly between the two. Let’s just say, it didn’t go down that well.

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When Real Madrid played Barcelona in October 2000 in Barcelona, Figo was pelted with bottles, lighters, mobile phones. Despite usually taking corner kicks for his side, he didn’t take any in that game, because he couldn’t get that close to the supporters for his own safety. But it was his second return to Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium that really defines the hatred between the two clubs. As Figo went to take a corner kick at the stadium in November 2002, he was, again, pelted with missiles from the crowd. The game had to be postponed for 20 minutes while they calmed the crowd. During that break in play, cameras picked up the defining image of the rivalry: a pig’s head had been thrown at Luis Figo. (It’s on the floor between the steward and the corner flag in the picture below)

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Now, if Barcelona vs Real Madrid doesn’t qualify as a great sporting rivalry, I don’t know what does.

Tweet Roundup: 10 Funny Tweets About Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid

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Day going too well? Leather interior of your car looking too pristine? Why not round up the kids and give them a nice coating of sunscreen? Here are 10 hilarious tweets from parents who we assume are counting down the days until fall.

First, a fair warning.

First tip, get a head start the night before.

There are ways around having to do it…

…but remember, you signed up for this.

Your kids aren’t gonna like it…

…even if you let them do it themselves.

Just be sure to rub it in.

Sure, they’ll return the favor…

…but in their own brutal way.

But if all of this seems overwhelming, remember, there is one way out:

20 Heartwarming Photos Of Dads Seeing Their Daughters In Wedding Dresses For First Time

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Get your tissues ready.

Whether she’s a toddler or a fully independent adult, a daughter is always a father’s little girl.

So when seeing her in a white gown on arguably the biggest day of her life, things are bound to get emotional.  Here are 20 of our favorite photos featuring dads who couldn’t help getting a little emotional upon seeing their daughters on their wedding day.

Father Figures: Emotional Rescue

“I’m not an emotional person.

I’m never overly excited, don’t yell at the TV watching football, none of that. But when it comes to my son, I’m an emotional trainwreck.

I’ve always battled anxiety and never confronted it. After my son was born, I had no choice. My anxiety is death and health-based, and my biggest fear was always dying. Well, now my biggest fear is not being there for my son if I do.

It got to the point where I actually sat him down and said “Hey bug, when i’m gone you need to take care of mom…” He was 3 at the time. I would lay at night and cry, never talking about it. After that day, I knew I needed help!

All parents’ greatest fear is not being there for their children. My father was a huge alcoholic, so I never had a role model; I just knew I wanted to be nothing like him. After I opened up to my wife and family, I got help and life has been so much better with ‘Bug’ since.

We quit smoking – FOR HIM, we go on Disney cruises – FOR HIM, we live – FOR HIM. He is my best friend, my greatest accomplishment, and my biggest challenge.

As men, we’re taught not to confront our issues, but as a man, stand up for your family by confronting your demons and becoming a better person, husband, and most importantly, father. It’s the greatest gift in the world!”

– Adam Giere

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

Parents Surprised When 6-Year-Old Creates Lucrative Business After A Simple Lesson About Money

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When 6-year-old Emmett told his parents he wanted a bike, they viewed it as an opportunity to teach their son about financial responsibility and earning something himself.

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“He got some old toys and stuffed animals together and put them out for sale,” Emmett’s father, Jered, recalls. “He ended up making $70 that day. He made enough to get his bike. The next day, we happened to be walking around Sam’s Club and saw this snow cone machine. He asked if we could get that instead of the bike so he could start his own business and make more money.”

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Emmett’s parents agreed to loan him the extra cash needed to buy the machine on one condition: He had to sell snow cones every Saturday for at least one hour. So, with one bag of ice and three flavors, Emmett’s Snow Cones was established.

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“His first time out he made $12, then $17, then $25 and he’s been hovering around there ever since,” Jered states. “He’s responsible for tracking his supplies and knowing when he needs to buy more, spending the money for all future flavor purchases, repaying us for the other half of the snow cone machine, and paying ‘taxes’.”

According to his parents, Emmett is saving most of his revenue for college; but little does he know, the “taxes” he has to pay are already going into a college fund for him.

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Emmett has since graduated from three to twenty-one flavors and even gets invited to local events around town to sell his delicious wares.

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“We would like our son to follow his passions in the future,” Jered says. “Our only expectation for him is to grow up to be a good person who contributes to society”

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Father Figures: The Little Things

“Our daughter was born at 34 weeks and spent 29 days in the NICU.

Those 29 days were the most emotionally draining days I have ever experienced. Every day was filled with good news, bad news, hope, despair. I cannot describe the emotions I experienced when we got the call that our daughter was ready to go home.

Fast forward to today. Our daughter is almost 7 months old and is the happiest baby in the world. She is such a bright light in this dark world and my wife and I love her to death.

I know I would have probably felt the same way had she come straight home from the hospital, but those 29 days of visiting her and holding her when she was connected to monitors and tubes taught me to appreciate the little things.

The little things are the best things. Every laugh, every smile, every bottle, every time she looks at me, every milestone she reaches; it is all so wonderful and is greater than anything I could accomplish professionally.

In today’s world, you are considered a good dad if you are simply present. I understand it is difficult to do more for some people, but if all you are doing is simply being present, you are missing out.”

– Trey Scott

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

Mom Asks Daughter If She Can “Keep A Secret” From Her Father And Things Escalate Spectacularly

(Twitter/Himynameisnoor & Getty/ljubaphoto)

When your mother calls asking for your help in devising a plan behind your father’s back, you’re bound to be a little bit curious.

So when Twitter user Noor received that very call, she followed the rabbit hole until it was too late to turn back, which resulted in one of the most amazing live-tweeted family adventures the internet had ever witnessed.