It’s not gonna happen to me, I said. I will always carve out time for myself to watch the game that’s on or I’ll remain active on Twitter, scouring the feeds of insiders so I seemingly have the scoop before my colleagues.1 I’m not gonna be some washed dad who lets the news come to them, who checks the timeline and scoreboard the morning after for highlights or trades, the modern-day equivalent of waiting on the next day’s newspaper to see if Bob Feller got the win in Oakland against those pesky A’s. Then it happened, and of course, I realized how much of an idiot that paragraph was going to be.
November 27th, 2018 at 7:38 pm, Melody River Gerberry made her appearance into this world. Pushing through with a cord wrapped around her neck, as tough as ever, my little girl turned my whole existence around. I was so totally unprepared for the shock she would give my system. Mind you, I had been a “dad” for years, possibly probably forever. I was (am) a worrier who nearly cried when my little sister rode her bike too close to the road at age 7, someone who would half listen to conversations as he would watch children that weren’t his on the jungle gyms for fear they would fall off. It was often said by my wife that if I could have had a baby by myself, I wouldn’t have need for her, I would be so devoted to our little one that it was conceivable I would nurse if possible.2 I was ready. Or so I thought.
The lack of sleep wasn’t as jarring to me as others, as I have had previous battles with insomnia. As stated, the caring about another person, something I had done consciously and subconsciously for as long I can remember, came naturally. Diapers were easy, feedings were taken care of mostly by mom, but dad got a formula bottle in there every so often. No, one of the biggest changes for me was mental: I didn’t really care so much about what happened in the sports world. As someone who most would identify as a superfan,3 to find myself not caring as much about the outcome of a game was shocking. Suddenly I didn’t much care if Jarvis Landry catch was ruled a catch, and I tried to get myself to care about what the Indians were going to get back in the various and multple possible Corey Kluber trade scenarios, but I couldn’t get it to matter. I was smitten with spending as much time as possible with my little one.
Don’t get me wrong, I still watched the games. I carved out some time to make sure Miss Melody got to see her hero Baker on the field before next September. But for now, my fandom is firmly in the “Yeah, I saw a couple plays” section as opposed to the appointment viewing it might have been previous. Will it change? Undoubtedly. As my daughter (and any future children we have) grow up, I’m sure my interest will rub off on them. It will be hard to keep away as the Tribe runs away with another American League Central division banner. Come next season, as Mayfield takes the field with new head coach Freddie Kitchens calling the shots, I’m sure I’ll be glued to the TV with every pass. But for now, especially as we hit the fallow season between the end of football and beginning of spring training, my attention is placed firmly at home…where it should be.
Rant of the week
While I have the space in which to do so, and despite what I previously stated above, I want to complain about something.
I am an avid fantasy sports player. I have been playing fantasy baseball in particular for almost 20 years. I admit the fact that I root for players not on my favored teams can seem a bit jumbled. It makes little to no sense for a diehard Browns fan to be happy JuJu Smith Schuster caught a touchdown pass, but often times, money is on the line and so a celebration when some extra cash comes my way is in order. What I don’t get is players that openly root for opposing players that went to their college team of choice, especially if you didn’t ACTUALLY attend that college. The same goes for booing players on your team that went to rival colleges, Jabrill Peppers being a Michigan alum and a Browns safety being the obvious choice. I’m not trying to tell you how to be a fan, but being excited because a former Buckeye picked off Baker seems wrong to me. I get rooting for former college players on different teams, as Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas on the New Orleans Saints have my cheering interest in the NFL playoffs, but if the Saints and Browns were playing again this season, you’d hardly find me rooting for Thomas, and any Bucknut that was with me that celebrated a Lattimore INT would get tossed out the building.