Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Critics wrong to say Sherman failed as a role model

Richard Sherman introduced himself to America on Jan. 19 and it scared the bejeezus out of folks.

By now, everyone has seen the clip of the Seattle Seahawks player putting opponent Michael Crabtree on blast. A few seconds of bluster and bravado made him public enemy No. 1. People can't wait for the Denver Broncos to shut his mouth in Sunday's Super Bowl.

Since then, I've spoken to a number of parents who were furious.

"How could he act like that on national television?" "What sort of message is he sending to kids in pee wee football?" "Doesn't he know children look up to him?"

This line of reasoning has been omnipresent ever since Charles Barkley infamously uttered the phrase "I am not a role model" during a Nike commercial. Fans idolize athletes in our culture, but when one does something that doesn't sit well with us, we lose our collective minds.

Well, at least in some cases.

People didn't seem half this upset when Kobe Bryant cheated on his wife. Or when Ryan Braun took performance-enhancing drugs and lied about it. Or when Jim Brown was arrested for slapping his girlfriend. Again. Or when Tiger Woods slept with countless women behind his wife's back. Or when Riley Cooper uttered a racial slur.

Are any of these offenses more offensive than Sherman's remarks? I would say absolutely. America was quick to label him a thug, but Justin Bieber fits that description far more than Sherman, who graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 grade point average. And I would much rather have Sherman's poster on my kid's wall than the Biebs.

Sports serve as the ultimate reality show. There is endless unfolding drama, huge personalities and an undeniable connection to real life. And just like our reality, mistakes are made and people's true colors are exposed.

But what's with this vitriol toward Sherman and his smack talk?

We want our athletes/role models to be sanitary, vanilla. I told my friends that, like most instances, they could have used the Sherman incident as a teachable moment. A time to have a frank conversation about what they consider to be good sportsmanship. A chance to show children that perception can become reality in a hurry, so choose your words wisely.

Or maybe point out how Crabtree didn't shake Sherman's extended hand after the play.

But as for hating this guy and hoping Peyton Manning shreds him on Sunday?

Nah. I'll be pulling for him. And taking whatever he says after the game with a grain of salt.

Brandon Wright is a married father of one who lives in Seffner.

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didnít even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17

Tell Me About It: Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girlís parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emmaís parents donít let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Boat parades that were planned tonight in South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach have been canceled because of weather fears.Organizers said they will not be rescheduled. Heavy rain is expected to approach the gulf coast near sunset Friday ahead of a stro...
Published: 12/08/17
Fun and profound Hanukkah celebrations around the Tampa Bay area

Fun and profound Hanukkah celebrations around the Tampa Bay area

It’s time to observe the Festival of Lights, starting at sunset Tuesday and ending Dec. 20. Many congregations seem to be having a great time, because Hanukkah celebrations this year are hilarious. There’s a menorah made of fidget spinne...
Published: 12/08/17
From Hogwarts Castle to your home, digital projectors give a real light show

From Hogwarts Castle to your home, digital projectors give a real light show

At night, Hogwarts Castle is suddenly dusted with snow in steamy Florida. It’s not really snow, but light causing this trick of the eye. Projectors and sophisticated software then send ghosts across the castle towers. A turret spins and turns i...
Published: 12/08/17

Tell Me About It: Self-awareness best way to break bad habit

Self-awareness best way to break bad habitQ: I recently had a friend tell me that I have become arrogant since I entered a new career in which thereís a culture of snobbery and one-upping.I was defensive, and would really have liked to believe she wa...
Published: 12/08/17

Tell Me About It: Exís attempt to make amends falls flat

Exís attempt to make amends falls flatQ: My first love e-mailed me out of the blue, after 10 years, to make amends as part of his AA program. The lengthy e-mail detailed my exís love for me, regrets, and urged me to consider a phone call or FaceTime ...
Published: 12/07/17