Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rebooting Varsity Dad

Varsity Dad is a great idea suffering from benign neglect. Between my work at DanShanoff.com, my daily Sporting News column, my day job and -- obviously -- my kids, time is limited.

But that's no excuse.

Too many great stories to talk about. Too many other fans like me have had kids (or continue to parent their kids) since this site launched -- wow -- 3 years ago.

In fact, when we celebrated my first kid's 3rd birthday in May, I recognized that as an ideal moment for a Varsity Dad reboot. Came and went...

Then there was Father's Day two weeks ago. Great time for a Varsity Dad reboot! Came and went...

Not to mention the birth of my second kid, last October. Perhaps not the best time for a Varsity Dad reboot, given that two kids is a lot more than twice the work. But still...came and went.

The irony is that Gabe is WAY more aware of sports -- playing, watching -- than he ever was before I hit the snooze button on this blog.

He took soccer classes this spring -- yes, at age 3. He loved them, even though they are not exactly in line with this site's mission to raise an all-star sports fan. (Now: WATCHING soccer on TV? Totally in line. In fact, he was home from daycare sick last Wednesday, and I had him on the couch with me watching the US upset Spain in the Confederation Cup.)

Gabe's fandom remains a work-in-progress. We were both thrilled when Florida's Percy Harvin -- Gabe's favorite player (sorry, Tim Tebow) -- was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings; purple is Gabe's favorite color, so the notion of buying him his first NFL jersey (Harvin's purple Vikings No. 12) is absolutely on the table this fall.

He and I went to an outdoor basketball court last week -- again, not so much with the actual sport-playing, versus the sport-following/-watching. It didn't help that he is still way too young to actually be able to grasp (or play) basketball -- or that I am so pathetically out of shape.

This weekend, we did take shots on a 3-foot-tall mini-hoop; much more his speed, and he even showcased a pretty good "mid-range" jumpshot -- I have no idea who taught him this, but he instinctively knew to bring the mini-ball over his head to shoot it. (Could he have learned it from... TV?!?! One can only hope.)

Anyway, it's unnecessary to deliver some unifying theory of this reboot. The mission remains the same: To cover the journey of raising an all-star sports fan, however that might happen.

As before, I want you to share your own stories, pass along your own links to interesting VarsityDad-worthy material and otherwise join in the process.

Otherwise, the proof of the reboot is in the posts, which I will hope to make frequent. I want this to become THE intersection of parenting and sports fandom.

But, as always, NOT about getting your kid to become a sports star, but raising them to be a sports FAN.

-- Dan

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