Got that tie picked out? That bottle of Old Spice? Tickets to the Rockies-Giants Game on Sunday? A bottle of bourbon, a tee time, I.O.U. camping trip or the appointment to repair the leak in the sprinkler system?

Not yet? Well, get on it, Mr. (or Mrs.).

Sunday is Father’s Day. And Dad doesn’t always send the reminder; that’s just not a “dad” thing to do. My very own said as recently as Monday, “So, that’s this coming Sunday?”

From the aforementioned list of Father’s Day gifts, I believe I can check off three. (Can you guess which?) I’m not a dad myself, but my best guess, based on observation, is that dads appreciate when something they taught you comes to the surface.


Among many things that are far more important, my dad taught me sports. And aside from teaching me about sports, he taught me a lot of those far more important lessons through sports. I type – now – largely because of my dad’s excellent tutelage in the wide, wide world of sports. How to compete. How to act. How to win. How to lose.

And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing there’s a decent chance you and your dad are like me and mine. Sports is a common bond between father and son, after all.

I like the sports connection between father and son. It can be literal – my dad and I text and talk constantly about “the game.” It can be a vehicle – want to talk to your dad? Go sit through nine innings with plenty of down time. (My dad jokes that “nine innings of good, fundamental baseball is ‘quality’ time. Beyond that, you’re pushing it.”) It can be physical – face it, men bond better when the body is in motion; go play golf, tennis, whiffleball, ping pong or pool.

Some of my favorite moments in sports are tied to “father-son” memories. Like when Darren Baker, the son of Giants manager Dusty Baker, strolled into the batters box during live World Series action and was almost mowed down by a Giants baserunner. Maybe not the best parenting at the moment, but ol’ Dusty must have done something right, the Nationals drafted Darren just two days ago.

I always liked how Michael Jordan shared the trophy and the champagne with his dad, James. His Airness was as superhuman as any basketball player to ever live, but in those moments he was no different than you and I, and his father was no different than our fathers.

As big a mistake as I always thought it was, I suppose I admired how Dan Hawkins stubbornly stood behind his decision to make his son Cody, the quarterback at CU. In turn, I thought Cody always handled a very tough situation – one that his dad got him into – very well. Ultimately, Cody was an extremely classy kid. Regardless of the situation, Dan probably deserves a lot of credit for that. I enjoyed talking to Mike MacIntyre last month about what it means to coach his wide receiver son, Jay. Jay is not a quarterback, so it’s “different”, but still, it’s a balancing act – a tough assignment, coaching your own kid. Perhaps not so ironically, Mike learned from one of the best, his own dad, who coached him.

No matter where you weigh in on Rockies ownership, you’ve got to respect the fact that Walker Monfort, the son of Dick Monfort, and Ciara Monfort, the daughter of Charlie, are working – actually working – within the organization. And it’s not like they’ve been handed cushy, symbolic, high-paying jobs. Walker has worked in various branches of the organization, learning as much as he can about how different areas of the ball club work. Now, he’s become the VP of Corporate Sales. Ciara, who recently graduated from Arizona State, has spent time working in the team’s media relations department. I wouldn’t pretend to “know” either one, but I’ve met them both; both are humble and likeable. If you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t “know.”

The same goes for Nuggets and Avs President and Governor, Josh Kroenke. You can agree or disagree with how he runs the Nuggets or Avs (that’s a timeless debate for sportsfans near and far; that’s just what we do). But what’s not debatable is that Josh chose to take an interest in the role. It would have been easy for him to goof around and – let’s be honest – not work at all, but he didn’t do that. He accepted the job of running the teams his father purchased and developed along with all of the criticism that comes with it. My guess is that he didn’t have to do that. There are plenty of others in similar situations who opted for an easier, less-scrutinized path.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the sports year was watching John Olander Jr. and John Olander Sr. – the head coach and assistant coach of Eaglecrest Boys Basketball respectively – embrace after winning this year’s state 5A championship. Especially considering that the younger Olander was planning on retiring after the game. Could there by anything cooler than a father-son combo riding off into the sunset after winning a state title?

Sure there could be. Like golfing with my dad on Sunday and talking about what the Rockies did to the Giants.