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Fathers and Daughters in Sports

This article is more than 12 years old.
Most of the essays in this collection celebrate healthy relationships between dads and their athletic daughters. These stories provide a fine counterpoint to the many tales of raging little league moms and homicidal hockey dads evident throughout our land.

Rebecca Lobo’s introduction provides dads with tall, athletic children with a good suggestion. “If he was happy that I chose to play basketball,” Lobo writes, “he never explicitly said so.” Obviously Dad was going to love his daughter, whom he nicknamed “the hat with the kid under it,” whether or not she took up hoops.

Sally Jenkins’s makes the case that her dad, sportswriter Dan Jenkins, managed to be “a better father than nine tenths of the ones I knew” despite the fact that he was always on the road. Steve Rushin, aka Mr. Rebecca Lobo, explains in hilarious detail why their daughters are fans of soccer rather than football. Steve Wulf of ESPN discusses the challenges of bringing up twin daughters when one of them is good at sports and the other one is great.

There are a couple of duds in this collection, but they are outnumbered by stories worth reading, perhaps the most surprising of which is Kurt Streeter’s 2008 article about U.S. Soccer Team goalie Hope Solo’s difficult relationship with her father, who decided when Solo was still in high school to live alone in a tent in the woods, but never missed his daughter’s soccer games.

This program aired on June 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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