Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
The Steelers were decisively beaten by the Patriots. I went to the game and I can tell you it look as bad in person as it did on TV. However, before we run Jeff Reed out of town or, as some of my friends on Twitter suggested, pass on the playoffs let’s remember there is a reason the Steelers have beaten Tom Brady only once in seven tries. New England is a better team and knows how to play the Steelers. There is a reason they throw the ball 75% of the time against Pittsburgh and 60% against everyone else.
Now Sunday wasn’t a total loss. Before the game, I was able to spend time with good friends at the pre-game tailgate. That’s really what football is all about for me: Spending time with friends and enjoying good times and good food. Winning what you want the Steelers to do, but I will have fun win, lose or draw.
Now, my Monday was probably more upbeat than most of yours … because today is my father’s birthday. Wilson Stockey turned 73. It’s easy for me to say that my dad is the best … because every child feels that way about his/her father. However, my dad is more than that. He is my inspiration. He is what I strive to be everyday.
My dad went to school and earned a degree at a time when it was still a challenge for African-Americans to do so. He went onto a very successful career with the Internal Revenue Service. He always put his family first in his career … and his travels.
My father has always been curious. When he wanted to learn how suspension bridges work, he didn’t hop onto the internet. There was no internet back then. He simply read a lot of books. That natural curiosity to learn how things work brought him to read books and build his own model train set in the basement.
My father has always been a great public speaker. He could walk up to a podium and knock out a 20-minute speech about anything. It was a gift that my father left me and while I do communicate for a living, I still have miles to go before I’m as natural and talented at the microphone as he was.
With my mom and dad during the 2008 Race for the Cure in Schenley Park
Now, my dad is turning 73. Gone are the days when he would take my brother and I to the park to play ball. However, the lessons from playing catch and spending time stay with me. The desire to give back to my community, like he did, is part of me. My natural curiosity comes from him.
Happy birthday Dad!