Hopefully, he won’t grow up to be a sports editor

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Sports Editor

A letter to my newborn son:

Dear Colin,

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When you were born, my first instinct was to rush right out and buy the ball, the bat and the glove.

The football helmet.

The basketball goal.

I look into your eyes and think I see the future. I see you scoring a touchdown or knocking down a three-pointer. I see you pitching a no-hitter or beating the throw to homeplate.

I suppose it’s generational. I suppose it’s only natural that a father dreams of seeing his son compete on a baseball diamond, or 100-yard football field, or a polished, hardwood basketball court.

But I’m not going to push anything. Your grandfather didn’t. I played football until I was 12 and that was it. I loved the games. Still do. Now, I just write about them.

That’s another thing: I don’t want you to be a sports writer. Too many long hours. Too much time spent wracking your brain for ideas; ideas that you then have to translate into print. Your grandfather spent 30 years on a bread truck, from sun up until sun down, so I wouldn’t have to. He was determined to keep me off of a delivery route. He did. Likewise, I’m determined to keep you out of a newsroom.

You need to be a doctor. Or a lawyer. Or a Microsoft computer wiz.

I’ll admit I’m frightened. There’s too much uncertainty right now. Terrorist bombings. Anthrax letters. Little girls being kidnapped right out of their own homes. You’ve entered this world during a time of great cruelty.

This is also an age of great understanding. Technology is advancing with lighting speed. 15 years ago when I was in high school, having just one computer in a class was a cause for celebration. You’re going to grow up in the age of computers.

And the games? The toys? Kid, you’ve got plenty of fun to look forward to. We thought the Atari 2600 was cutting edge back in the early 80s. Today’s Playstations and Nintendoes and X-Boxes make those systems look like horse and buggy. And they’re only going to get better.

It’s going to be fun. Me learning you. You learning me. Somewhat like a cross-country ride without a map; a long walk without a compass.

Now, as to the importance of an education: I was an average high school student. I don’t want you to be that way. I want you to study and listen in class. Having a good education means everything in this world. Your grandparents will tell you, I hated school. Hated math, especially. But I’ll be there to help you out the best I can.

But we’ll worry about those things later.

You’re a baby now. It’s time to just enjoy being alive.

And it’s time for us to enjoy you.