Monday, April 7, 2014

Calling Foul on Sportscaster's Parenting Advice

I don't normally follow sports, but my husband does (I think he does anyway...I kind of tune out the sports talk.  It all kinda sounds the same anyway.  Sorry, Honey.)  But I did pay attention when he mentioned New York Mets (baseball, right?) second baseman (Yeah...definitely baseball) Daniel Murphy missing the first two games of the season in order to be with his wife during the birth of their first child. He took his league sanctioned paternity leave and headed on home to be with his family. Seems reasonable and noble and legit, right?

Apparently not to some insane sports radio commentators, however.  In a flagrant display of machismo arrogance, sports analyst and radio show host, Boomer Esiason criticized Murphy's family-centered decision.
"I'm misogynistic a**hole, Boomer Esiason!"
"Quite frankly I would've said 'C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I'm sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we're going to live our life, this is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I'll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I'm a baseball player,'"

And for a minute, I wondered if this guy was for real...but of course he is.

The thing is, Mr. Esiason, kids are pretty inconvenient, so Daniel Murphy should just start getting used to that.  Birth isn't the only inconvenience in raising children, after all.  They don't sleep when we need them to sleep.  And they'll blow out diapers at the worst possible times.  And later they'll have to pee 27 times on a three-hour road trip.  They will destroy things and throw tantrums in the middle of the grocery store.  They will utter embarrassing family information to perfect strangers...or to their grandparents.  And they never let you shower in peace.  Highly, HIGHLY inconvenient, those little boogers.

But yeah...I get it.  It was OPENING DAY!  How could he skip out on his team right when they needed him.  There are only 160 games scheduled in the regular season.  And they had to play TWO without a second baseman...No...Nope...that's not right...seems a very competent Wilmer Flores stepped in to cover second.  The game actually went on without him.

And another thing, Mr Esiason, there's more to raising a kid than making money to pay for extravagant expenses and college educations.  Money is no substitute for an absent father.

Also let us not forget that C-sections are major abdominal surgery.  This is no short little out-patient procedure.  There are dangers to mother and child, both physical and emotional.  But what difference does a little extra danger of severe hemorage or life-threatening infection or pulmonary embolism make in the grand scheme of the Major League Baseball universe?  Early elective C-sections might be something to be a tad less cavalier about, Mr Esiason.

But it seems Boomer Esiason wasn't alone in his criticism of Daniel Murphy (who was only cashing in the paternity leave that Major League baseball affords all of it's players).  Esiason's co-host Craig Carton had this to add:

"To me, and this is just my sensibility, assuming the birth went well, assuming your wife is fine, assuming the baby is fine — 24 hours, you stay there, baby is good, you have a good support system for the mom and the baby, you get your ass back to your team and you play baseball."

Great showing of your "sensibility" there Mr. Carson.

And from another opinionated radio host, Mike Francesca:
"I don't know why you need three days off, I'm going to be honest. You see the birth and you get back. What do you do in the first couple days? Maybe you take care of the other kids. Well, you gotta have someone to do that if you're a Major League Baseball player. I'm sorry, but you do … Your wife doesn't need your help the first couple days, you know that"

I suppose maybe I was forgetting that Murphy is a Major League Baseball player. His team NEEDS him!  The fans need him!  The sponsors need him!  Forget this Flores guy.  Nobody can cover second base like Daniel Murphy.  The world just might stop spinning without him. I'm kind of surprised the whole country didn't suffer economic collapse or some sort of social upheaval or political power implosions while Murphy was out for his 3 days of paternity leave.  We could have suffered major catastrophic consequences! There may be nothing in this world more important than Major League Baseball.

Except that there is.

I'm no super hard-core baseball fan, but I stand up and applaud Daniel Murphy.  In the face of all the nasty criticism he has just quietly explained that he was where he needed to be.  He already understands that there is more to life than Major League Baseball, which might be pretty difficult to see when Major League Baseball signs your big fat high-paying contracts.

But how do you put a price tag on the experience of holding your newborn son?  Or being there to offer support and love to the woman who just went through Hell to birth that precious, yet highly inconvenient baby?  Sure Murphy could have hired nurses and nannies and housekeepers to make her life easier.  Baseball has lined his pockets with enough dough to buy all the physical support the world has to offer.  But you can't buy the kind of support a loving father can give to his wife and child with nothing more tangible than his physical presence.

So up yours, ignorant arrogant sports casters!  There are things that money can't buy...and things more important than professional sports.  What sad miserable lives you must live to think otherwise.


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