Being a dad is pretty cool. I enjoy being a father and a leading figure in my child's (soon to be children) life. It takes the best parts of me to be a role model and a parent who prepares my son for life as an adult. I also enjoy coaching my son in recreational and competitive athletics. But there comes that dynamic that exists with every father-son coaching scenario. There are times when my son just tunes me out at practice for no other reason than because I am his dad.
I wonder if Blake ever said, "Grandpa, you don't know..."
It's funny. I grew up around pro sports and pro athletes. My son has had this exposure as well, but to him, Venzina plaques are just cool looking bronze awards to identify the goal line in basement knee hockey. He listens very well when I explain D-Zone coverage, the breakout, or any team aspect of the game. When it comes to individual skill improvement, its the age-old "Dad, you don't know" attitude that kicks in. The path of least resistance is foreign in my gene pool so he comes by it honest. But, there was one day last September when I became a hero to my son.
Columbus was alive with the buzz of playoff promise. The Blue Jackets had signed party girl Jeff Carter and deadline bait James Wiesnewski and those two players alone meant NHL playoff berth. Was I the only one able to see through this? Two new players does not a playoff appearnce make. I was baffled that folks could think this was the answer? One day sitting in rush hour traffic with my son, I was listening to My Guys, Common Man and the Torg, on 97.1 the fan. Torg was gushing about how good the CBJ were going to be. I couldn't stand it. Sitting in traffic, I dialed up the call-in number. I was a little nervous because I hadn't been on the air since the 80's and hadn't had much time to rehearse. What if by the time I was on air, they were talking about three balled elephants? I was on hold for about 30 minutes before the screener picked up the phone and hustled me to make sure my response was good for radio. I got on air, told Torg that Carter and Wiesniewski were not the answer and I didn't see them fixing the fundamental issues the CBJ have had since day 1.
Torg was great, he politely disagreed, and said (in my best Common Man impersonating the Torg voice) "You can't tell me this team is not better by adding Carter and Wiesnieski." Torg, you're my guy, but sorry. They are not. For reference, see 2011-2012 Columbus Blue Jackets. I still listen every day and I love the show.
As I got off the phone, my son was staring a me like I just did some super sweet Army Ranger ninja special forces move on 16 GRU operatives. He couldn't believe I was on the air talking to Common Man and the Torg. Of all the cool things a father can do for his son, this one 60 second phone call propelled me into stardom in my son's eyes. He talked about it at school for weeks. He told everyone he bumped into that his dad was on Common Man and the Torg. I don't know that elementary schools are the target audience for Sport Talk radio, but my son was pimping the Show for like a month. He is still so proud of me for getting on the air. Nothing else I've done has impressed him nearly as much as getting on the air. He still talks about it and asks me to call in whenever they discuss hockey on the show.
Do you think that my new found celebrity has influenced my son to listen to me in order to improve his individual skill on the ice? Of course not. So Common Man or Torg if you're reading this, please call my son and tell him to listen to his coaches, please? Because If I see him try to stickhandle for 60 minutes using only one hand at camp again, I'm going to throw him off a cliff. It's painful to watch, help him live. Save the children, please.
This comes up on page 16 when you google "Common Man Torg Images"