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Father And Son

July 6, 2010
by

Welcome back from a long holiday weekend. I hope you enjoyed a little time off; I know I did. One good thing about the weekend being over is we are that much closer to the start of training camp: 24 days and counting.

As I noted earlier, Brad Childress has been spending time with the troops overseas as part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour. On the third day of his trip, Chilly got the surprise of a lifetime. According to Vikings.com, organizers from the NFL-USO Coaches Tour and the U.S. military arranged for a meeting between Childress and his son, Andrew, who is a Marine. However, Brad Childress was unaware of this arrangement. In fact, he was so surprised that it took him a moment to recognize who was standing right in front of him. From Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

“Honest to God, I had him by the hand and I didn’t realize who I was looking at…”

Zulgad continues the story:

Andrew’s change in appearance — he had grown a mustache — threw his dad. “It would be like if you saw me without a mustache,” Childress said.

This is a nice story to satisfy our offseason fix, and it must of been pretty emotional for the father and son to see each other.

An interesting aside to this story is that the two major newspapers in Minneapolis and St. Paul cite different reasons for Childress not recognizing his son. The following is Childress’ quote via Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

“I’m looking him right in the eye and didn’t know who the hell he was,” Childress said about his son. “He was much thinner. He looked at me with no mustache, no hair, but then I heard his voice and knew it was him.”

I realize this is a small point, and probably doesn’t matter much at all, but nevertheless, someone’s quote is wrong. I suppose it’s possible that Childress said both quotes in a conference call to reporters, but I doubt it. I suspect this is the result of newspaper reporters being overworked and facing deadlines. And I can certainly relate to making mistakes, but I’m a teacher, so I notice these sorts of things. But I digress…

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the sacrifice these troops make on a daily basis. I think Chilly does a good job of putting it into perspective:

Worrying about running an 80-man operation in Mankato (during training camp) pales in comparison to what they have to do to fight a war here.

Well said, Chilly. Kudos to the troops, the other participating coaches, and to the organizers of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour. You’re all doing great things. Thank you and keep up the good work.

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