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Fatherhood and Football

Fatherhood and Football

06/15/2020
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The Pro Football Hall of Fame will highlight Fatherhood and Football all week with daily video stories leading to a final video on Father’s Day with some of the most memorable moments from the Enshrinement podium. And even though members of the Centennial Class of 2020 have not been to Enshrinement to talk about their fathers and being a father, they are busy passing the values of football onto their children as they get ready to be enshrined.

Just this weekend, Troy Polamalu told DK Pittsburgh Sports how he attacks fatherhood like he did football. According to that article, Polamalu, now 39, remains a deeply religious man. Has been for a long time. But he also has seriously taken on his role as a father. When he played, his two boys, Paisios, born in 2008, and Ephraim, born in 2010, were constantly around. And his wife, Theodora, has been a constant companion, as well. He's as dogged about being a good husband and father as he was being a great football player.

His uncle, Kennedy Polamalu, a coach with the Minnesota Vikings said: “Right now, he’s trying to be the best father he can be, and when you say he enjoyed football, he’s attacking it just like he attacked football. He wanted to be the best that he could be. He will read. He will film-study. That’s where he’s at. He’ll do everything he can to be the best father he can. And that’s the way he approached his profession, too.”

Head coaches in football face time and distance challenges. COVID-19 offered Penn State head coach James Franklin an opportunity to reassess his fatherhood. Here are a few excerpts from StateCollege.com:

“If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be that working from home has brought some people under the same roof for longer periods of time than usual. The office is now a few steps from the living room, a goodnight kiss just a brief walk down the hall, no longer a drive across town.”

Franklin used the time to do just that, and it made him reflect how his growing up and now with a demanding high-level football career, he can be a great father.

“And I think that experience that I had growing up probably plays a big part in it, because of how I grew up and how I was raised, having a father around was so important to me and being a great father was so important to me. I actually think being a parent, becoming a parent, makes you a better coach,” Franklin said. “I think until you have your own kids you don't necessarily truly understand all that goes into it. And it gives you just a little bit of a different perspective. So I think actually becoming a parent has made me a better coach. I'm one of those guys where I kind of pick and choose my battles because I'm a little bit of a perfectionist and I want to correct everything, and you can't do that with your kids or you'll drive them crazy. You can't do that with players; you'll drive them crazy.”

One of the Hall of Fame’s most popular programs, “Day Out With Dad,” has taken place the week before Father’s Day for over a decade. Among the Gold Jackets hosting the event were Leroy Kelly, Jim Kelly, Orlando Pace, Randy Moss and last year, Terrell Davis. They came to Canton to join hundreds of fathers with their children in a day of family fun centered around the Official Hall of Fame Character Camp, based on the five core values learned from the Game: commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence. The day also focused on football skills and drills for both parents and children to foster bonding under the watchful eye of a Gold Jacket.

Although Day Out With Day was postponed this weekend because of COVID19, the Hall of Fame has reopened to rave reviews this week – safe and secure without diminishing the museum experience. See video review of the opening day Wednesday:

We welcome you and your children this weekend with a special “Celebrate Dad promotion” to bond and have a great time at “The Most Inspiring Place on Earth.” Cost for “Celebrate Dad” is just $49.99 (the total value is over $100) and includes one adult and up to four children (12 years old and under) plus free parking on Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st. Additional add-on tickets are available for extra adult and children admissions.

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Each day (starting 6/17), the Hall will partner with Haggar to present meaningful stories of fatherhood shared by Hall of Famers from their historic Enshrinement speeches. Tune into the Hall’s social platforms each day to view this series.

Watch our separate video series below for this week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

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