PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Friday October 31 2014
Leave this field empty.

Bad Dad

PSR Logo
My 4-year-old son, Walker, has become just that -- a walker -- whether he or his preschool teachers always like it or not. Regardless of the weather, Walker and I usually return home by foot from his preschool.

When it’s cold or rainy, I often seem to get that “bad dad” look from his teachers as we trek off to brave the elements as the other kids are being loaded into cars.


What his preschool teachers don’t seem to realize is that no American has won the Boston Marathon in nearly 30 years -- or that we really do only live a few blocks from the school.


No, Walker is not being trained to run the 2033 Boston Marathon or anything like that, at least not officially. But if the stories are true about so many of the great marathon champions from East Africa, who as children had to run several miles to and from school every day, then my kid can handle walking a few blocks.


My wife, Dani, and I are both longtime distance runners, and we have indeed run the prestigious Boston Marathon several times.


Friends sometimes joke that our kids (we also have a 6-year-old son in kindergarten) were born to be endurance athletes. While I do admit to liking the sound of that, I honestly just want my boys to be physically fit. We try to incorporate at least a little playful exercise into their daily routine, as well as fruits and veggies.


But as you know, healthy living doesn't come easily or, in this country, even naturally. One candy-filled holiday rolls right into the next one, Happy Meals do in fact make my kids happy and no one entertains them quite the way SpongeBob does.


A few weekends ago, Walker threw a royal fit as I dragged him out of the house to join me and his brother for a late-afternoon trip to the local park. Walker wanted to stay home with his mom, but the weather was gorgeous and he'd been inside all day. So I forced him to go out and play, even though I felt like a bad dad as I carried away a screaming, crying and kicking boy.


But Walker ended up having a great time with his brother and the other kids who were at the park, racing up and down the sliding boards and playing tag for more than an hour.


I guess sometimes you have to be a bad dad to be a good dad.


If it's cold and rainy at the 2033 Boston Marathon,  maybe Walker will thank me for having him prepared.


Andy Mason is the assistant sports editor at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md.

Perennial regular season leaders rebuild, the West gets stronger, analytics take center stage and the draft is reconfigured. Here are four league-wide storylines to follow as the NHL season gets underway.
Blue LineFeature One
Milan Smith scored a fourth-quarter touchdown and Penn Hills forced a late Woodland Hills turnover as the Indians topped the Wolverines 22-15.
Feature TwoHSUSS2014Press Room
Bethel Park running back Alex Minton ran for 170 yards and two scored to lead the Black Hawks over Baldwin 26-13.
Feature ThreeHSCOGOS2014Press Room
New coaches, an infusion of younger players, a goalie entering a contract year, the makeover of Kris Letang... here are four storylines to follow as the Penguins start the 2014-15 season.
Blue LineFeature Four
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
There were plenty of changes throughout the league this offseason, but most of the movement should only make the West stronger as the Eastern Conference struggles to keep up.
Blue LineCustom 1
Western PA has long-provided the NFL with some of its top-end talent and that continues to be the case. As of the end of the September, 21 former WPIAL or Pittsburgh City League players graced NFL rosters.
Custom 2HSCOGOS2014
There is no shortage of great athletes to come out of the Mon-Valley, but perhaps no single institution has produced more great athletes than old Donora High School (now part of Ringgold). The WPIAL Hall of Fame has recognized the following Donora greats.
Custom 3HSUSS2014
Through five games, there are a few teams and a few players who have stood out above the rest.
Custom 4High School