Some of you had typical, idyllic fathers. Some of us, on the other hand, had Reece Bobby.
Drive with the fear! Our own father put us through the Swindle Tradition "The Month of the Wolf," where we we turned loose in the woods as a five year old to survive or die, and thus allowing the gods to pass judgment on our virtue with life...or death. Fortunately for us, we were discovered by Irish Travelers on day two, passed into a human trafficking ring, and became the houseboy for powerful Guangzhou Triad boss with a predilection for kite-fighting and the works of Gino Vanelli between the years of 1983--1987. Happiness, for us, will always be the sound of kites blowing in the wind to the mellow sounds of mediocre balllads.
So Father's Day's always fraught with emotions, some of them requiring therapy of the professional or the amateur chemical variety. Thus we sympathize a bit with the pressured quarterbacks of the world whose fathers unfortunately turned the spotlight on themselves.
The list of our top 5 malevolent college football fathers includes both the negative effect they had on their son AND the deleterious effects they had on the fanbases.
5. Ken Wright, Miami. There's little documentation of what he was like to his son, Kyle Wright of the Miami Hurricanes, but there's plenty of evidence of Ken Wright completely flipping out after his son's two picks doomed Miami in a game against Virginia Tech and becoming an ugly spectacle of a sports dad on tape.
A Herald reporter caught the whole thing on audio after the defeat.
Click here to listen to Wright Sr.'s back and forth with Miami fans. Amazingly, it's not a zero sum game--everyone ends up sounding like a huge asshole, Wright's father included.
4. Jim Clausen, Sr. A relentless promoter of his children to recruiters who claimed amazement at all the interest in Jimmy Clausen...
"He's just little Jimmy," the elder Clausen said. "He didn't ask for all this."
...before allowing the infamous, nationally-televised monstrosity of a press conference where Clausen announced his commitment to Notre Dame after entering the scene via a Stretch Hummer stolen from a Cash Money video. Oh, and he had his own PR firm by then, too, but we had one in high school, too. (Those damn sexual assault charges can't be fought in the courtroom alone, you know.)
Attention? Heavens, where did that come from?
Clausen Sr. then went off the Coach Weis script by commenting directly on Clausen Jr.'s wonky elbow, announcing that "We've been aware that this was an issue" when Weis insisted Clausen was ready to go for spring.
And at number 4 and still meddling, Clausen Sr. has serious potential for a rise in the rankings.
3. Curtis Leak. Father of both Chris and C.J., and a "domineering" presence in recruiting in both the negotiation phases (handled like Trans-Asian pipeline agreements) and in the promo phase. (Chris Leak's notoriety coming out of high school was as much a product of Curtis' PR campaign as it was Chris' talent.) Tennessee fans in particular tasted the wrath of Leak Sr. when C.J., a highly pumped freshman, couldn't crack the starting lineup and eventually dropped out of the program.
Florida fans thought Tennessee fans were cracked, of course, until Curtis went on talk radio and said he'd been told that "some Florida fans don't want a black quarterback breaking Danny Wuerffel's records." We handily pointed out that this was not because of Leak's blackness, but rather his being Jewish, which anyone could have seen if they'd noticed the Nike Swoosh yarmulke Leak wore on the sidelines. (Duh.)
2. Chris Rix, Sr."My son was made a scapegoat for the offensive ineptitude," said Chris Rix Sr., the father of Florida State's much-maligned former quarterback. "Funny, but the many problems Chris was blamed for are still there now that he's gone.
All true, sure. Rix, Sr. didn't stop there, though. He went as far as showing up in person to harangue Bobby Bowden, an incident that may have gotten him tossed out of FSU's offices by security.
In Dec. of 2003, I found my son was lagging in some of his courses. I talked to the Academic Athletic Support Director at FSU, the President, the AD, the Compliance guy, and then made an appointment with Coach Bowden’s secretary to see him one hour after I talked to the Compliance guy. I got to his office because I was not to pleased when the Academic guy says: "I failed your son, Chris". While I’m cooling my heels, two FSU police show up carrying automatics, and, catch this, say they are here to "escort me from the building", as "per Bob Minnix (the compliance guy I just talked to", due to Coach Bowden’s "bowl preparations".
A nightmare of a parent whose perpetual riddle to reporters regarding his son's role in the FSU offense was "If you've got the keys to a Ferrari, you've got to drive it?" Rix Sr. never realized that his son was more of a well-maintained Ford Pontiac! Fiero caught in one of the worst coaching/parent traps we can remember a player being in ever.
Caught between dad...and these guys. Good luck.
And with no due surprise...
Marv Marinovich. The tale's a bit tired, but here's a precis: Created the planned cyborg quarterback for the future, his son Todd, by controlling his wife's diet during pregnancy (only lean protein!) and continuing the iron discipline through Todd's childhood. Put his son through workouts, reportedly tied his son's hand behind his back to make him left-handed, and put the creatus through a training regimen that included everything but its own Heidelberg scar.
Marinovich excelled through high school, but then fell to pieces with a taste of freedom, picked up a very disciplined drug habit, and fell through the ranks of the NFL, CFL, Arena League, and eventually into a Newport Beach, California public bathroom, where he was arrested for possession of child porn and drug paraphernalia after a short chase on a children's bicycle.
Of course: Marv makes the top spot, and with good reason.