Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Happy Father's Day to all the great Dads out there - especially mine!

Mom, Rach, Dad, Me, and Jim at an Auburn game last year.

I won't be seeing my Dad for Father's Day this year - he's in South Carolina and I'm in PA. But we did get to spend some good time together in Panama, and he and my mom will be heading up to visit in July.

Hopefully he's spending today on the golf course or taking photos. Yesterday he did a wedding in Atlanta - photos should be up on his blog soon.

Check out his blog at Hey Morand! Photography.

I wanted to share the column my sister wrote about our Dad in this week's Auburn Villager. She's the sports editor for the local paper in Auburn and has a weekly column that recently won the award for "Best Local Sports Column" by the Alabama Press Association.

I'm not the avid baseball fan that my sister is, but we do share the same memories that combine sports and our Dad.

If you live in or around Auburn, or are a Tigers fan - please get a subscription to her paper - it's cheap too! Click HERE to go to the website.

Enjoy the column, and again - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DAD!

(This was the latest version my sister emailed me - the print version may be slightly different)

Rachel Morand
The Auburn Villager

I am often asked why, of all the different fields in journalism, I chose to go into sports.  
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I started receiving gold stars on my English work in elementary school and was asked to read my essays aloud during Parents’ Night. But my interest in sports came from one person.
My dad. 
An avid fan of baseball, football, golf, and well, any sport, my dad has two daughters. Needless to say, we were bound to be sports-oriented girls.  
Growing up, my sister Abigail excelled in tennis like our mother, while I took up softball and dabbled in sports like soccer, golf and flag football.
At about age 14, with Abigail away at Villanova University, my dad and I started to have the normal father-teenage daughter issues. At the time, my biggest concerns were where NSYNC came in on that day’s episode of MTV’s Total Request Live or if I was starting at shortstop. Outside of softball and school, we didn’t have much to talk about.
But that changed when I discovered my love of baseball that year.
I’d always enjoyed watching the sport and going to our hometown Florida Marlins’ games. And between Abigail, our dad and myself, we can quote the entire filmMajor League on command. But I wasn’t attached to any particular MLB team.
One night during the summer, my dad, a New Yorker, was watching his beloved Yankees play the Baltimore Orioles on TV. Not having anything else to do, I sat down to watch with him. 
As the game went on, I found myself memorizing the Yankees’ line-up and batting averages while my dad told me about the different types of pitches being thrown and why. I was slowly getting hooked. 
Then I saw him. Shortstop Derek Jeter. I knew the name, but didn’t know much else about him. At 14, one can imagine the ridiculous school-girl crush Iimmediately developed. 
I’ll admit that during the next few months, my main motivation to watch games was because of Jeter. But for every game that came on TV, my dad was right there in the living room watching with me. He was happy to finally have some company, even if that person was planning a Morand-Jeter wedding in her head.
Over time, my adoration for the Yankees was about more than just the young shortstop. My dad and I would holler and high-five every time Andy Pettitte picked off a runner at first base or groan whenever Scott Brosius bobbled a grounder at third. We now had something to bond over.
 Throughout high school, while friends vacationed or hit the beach, my dad, my always-supportive mom and I attended as many Yankees spring training games as the schedule allowed.
That zeal for sports eventually tied in with my love for writing. “I can get paid to watch and write about sports?” I thought.
At 17, I was accepted to Auburn to major in journalism, but wasn’t sure how my quest to become a sports writer would begin. Cue my incredible father. 
He found the e-mail address of the only female sports writer at The Palm Beach Post and suggested I send her a message asking for advice. I did, and a short time later was interning at the sports night desk and covering local soccer games. That small amount of experience assured me of my eventual career path.
Without my dad’s guidance and passion for sports, I haven’t the slightest idea what job I would hold today. 
In recent years, my dad has become as big an Auburn football fan as any alum. Along with the Yankees, the Tigers have presented another way for us to bond. My dad took me to my first Yankees game, and I took him to his first SEC football game.  
He is also a talented photographer and his great action photos have been seen in The Villager’s sports section on several occasions. I’ll often send him rough drafts of my stories for him to look over the day before deadline. My dad continues to contribute and play a key role in my life because of sports. 
We won’t be able to see each other this weekend, but we are having our own version of Father’s Day next Sunday. Where? At a baseball game, of course. Neither of us are fans of the Braves or Detroit Tigers, but hey, its a chance to watch baseball together. That’s all we care about. 
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Now back to the kitchen. Dinner for my Father-in-Law and family tonight.


Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I have the two most wonderful daughters in the world. I (and my wife) are so proud of the way these two ladies have developed over the years.
Thank you, the both of you. See you in Atlanta next weekend Rach.