A father rejoices with his children’s success and is there when things don’t go well.
Watching Minnesota Golden Gopher mens basketball is a long standing passion of mine. I have been a fan ever since I can remember. At the age of 9 or 10 I used to record myself announcing a televised game into one of those old tape recorders. Last night I was able to watch the Gophers play long time Big Ten rival, Indiana. Indiana’s long standing tradition as being one of the best basketball programs year after year and historically throughout college basketball always made the Minnesota-Indiana game special to me. We were almost always the underdog. Though this year the teams are evenly matched and Minnesota had beaten Indiana at Indiana, it’s still a big matchup when Indiana comes to Williams Arena (“The Barn”) to play the Gophers. So, I was enjoying watching the Olympics with my wife while I had the Gopher – Hoosier basketball game playing on my iPhone. It was a tight game.
Rick Pitino Shows Us Great Fathering
As the game drew toward the end and the lead changing hands, the Gophers hit a big basket and the cameraman aimed his lens into the crowd and who did I see high-fiving a younger man next to him and clapping wildly? Rick Pitino, the coach of the reigning NCAA men’s college basketball champion, Louisville Cardinals. Why was he watching a Golden Gopher basketball game with his younger son Ryan (dressed in a chicken outfit in the photo above)? He’s not a long time Gopher fan like I am. He coaches in a different league so he could’ve been scouting. But a man scouting a team doesn’t show the emotion he showed because the team scored a big basket. Well, I know why he was there. The scheduling must have favored his ability to be in attendance to watch is 31 year old son, Richard, coach the Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball team.
The Gophers hired Richard Pitino to be their head coach last spring and he’s now the man in charge and tasked with turning a once proud program back to respectability and hopefully, championship form. Rick Pitino was celebrating his son’s success. He came to watch his son and as his son’s team was on the verge of a victory he was nearly giddy as a dad. In fact, I wonder if he didn’t get as much or more enjoyment and satisfaction in seeing the success of his son’s team than what he receives when his own team wins. That’s what dads do. They revel in their children’s accomplishments. They cheer wildly when their kids do well. They applaud the effort and cheer them on even if they don’t win. It’s our modus operandi. It’s how we are wired.
His Reaction Is God’s Reaction and Should Be Our Reaction
I sometimes envision God cheering us on as Rick Pitino did his son. Encouraging us when we do the right thing and are obedient but ready to receive us when our life is in disarray. God is the ultimate father, there is no denying that. Every good and perfect gift has come from Him. Like our Heavenly Father gives us good gifts, so Rick Pitino gave his son a great gift last night. He was there. In the midst of coaching his own team, he took the time to be there for his son. He cheered with great enthusiasm though he wasn’t the coach. His excitement came because he was a dad.
How great is it to be father. Lifting our arms high and shouting with joy when our kids succeed and encouraging them with open arms and loving words when they don’t. Thank you, Rick Pitino, for reminding me what a joy it is to celebrate our children.
Find something to cheer about in your children today, dad, and then go crazy nuts in telling them you love them by being there, cheering them on and letting them know you knew they could do it!