First (unofficial) Father’s Day

Does your kid have to actually be born before you can celebrate Father’s Day? Oh my, no.

I’ll celebrate anything, really. A good quinceanera, your kid getting a 1 on his trombone solo, Friday, Father’s Day despite my son still incubating for a while… I’m there.

I got a few gifts, including a sweet new dad hat this Father’s Day. I also got a kind card signed with two names that filled my heart to the brim (though at the brim, nothing spilled over -don’t worry). Getting something from my wife and son (kinda) already made for a fond memory of my first Father’s Day.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I am very pumped about being a daddy-o. I am confident in my ability to only screw up a few times a day.

A good dad, like mine was/is, seems pretty perfect most of the time. Growing up, they are one of the strongest, smartest, and fun people that you experience. Despite the probable, daily screw-ups, Dad’s don’t have to try hard to stay golden in a kid’s eyes.

Father’s Day serves as little more than a reminder to give a shout-out to your pops. Much more necessary than many may think. Not everyone has had a great dad or even a dad at all. Those of us that have a good one, need to take this time (and other times) to thank them profusely.

My Dad was also my coach, protector, and friend. I am supremely thankful for him. If I can be half the dad that mine was for me, then my son is in an enviable position.

Dads (or whoever fills that role for you) are special people, certainly deserving of their own day. I look forward to joining their ranks.

 

 

Terrors of Fatherhood

Am I terrified of becoming a Father? No. Do I occasionally have irrational fears brought on by the concept of raising another human? I guess so, yah.

Okay, those things sound pretty darn similar. But, I am not afraid of becoming a father. I embrace the challenge of raising not just a baby/kid, but a young man. I am confident in my ability to teach him right from wrong, how to conduct himself, and how to be an effective member of society.

It is the ability to keep him alive and fully funded that spooks me. It is the cost of college, the watchful eye, and the ability to fulfill his every need that I am a touch nervous about.

The thing that I am the most confident about in my life is my marriage. I have the utmost confidence in the example my wife will set, as well as the example we’ll both set as a happy and loving couple.

Just a couple hours ago we had dinner. We shared a pizza, though she had a salad and a water besides, while I had a Blue Moon or two. We were enjoying each other’s company so much that we walked a block down to a pub where I had a couple or three more drinks while she had an O.J. She can hang in the weirdest situations and has been a great sport through this – above and beyond, really… and I could not be more grateful.

Anyway, back to the kiddo

There have been a few unexpected side effects of this pregnancy on me. I had a nightmare about the world ending, which may or may not have been related.

I was working for a company in a high-rise office building. My coworkers are made up of mostly strangers, but also a few high school classmates. Classic dream. There had been talk on the news about a cataclysmic event, but no-one believed it.

Sure enough, we all gathered around the window, and the world was ending. Water was rising and I saw some unusual stuff, even for a dream. The Sydney Opera House appeared in the distance, then the Eiffel Tower. The Roman Colosseum popped in as well as a a few other historic landmarks as the water rose.

As the final wave crept over the sky-scraping office building, I remember thinking “It’s too bad I couldn’t be with Emily in these final moments.”

It turns out world-ending dreams aren’t uncommon for expecting parents, or so the internet says.

This strikes me as a little hilarious, but also a little meaningful, as one chapter of life quickly closes and another begins.

I am excited and prepared for our son in many ways. I am also anxious and apprehensive about the unknown. Weird times that many of you have been through and the rest of you will likely experience for yourselves.

Nervous as I am, I am excited. Weird-ass, smart-ass, however he turns out (likely ass-related I would wager) this will be the best part of my life and I appreciate you being along for the ride.

What I’ve been up to: Basketball writing

Hello! It has been a while – my bad. I have been writing, I promise!

I keep saying that I will start posting on here more, but it keeps turning out to be a terrible lie. Don’t worry, I have actually been writing more than ever! You just have to know where to look.

As I’ve mentioned before, I write articles for Thunderous Intentions, a Fansided website that is dedicated to the OKC Thunder. I do a couple of articles per week on average.

My articles vary from grading the player’s season performances to giving them all Avengers alter egos. To see everything that I’ve been doing for T.I., click on the link below!

Wil Harrington – Thunderous Intentions

The site that takes most of my writing time currently is the blog for The Basketball Movement. T.B.M. is a hoops training facility in Nixa (formerly Fox Hollow).

I am the sole contributor for this blog, so everything you see there was done by yours truly. I try to crank out five or so pieces per week. Most are about news from high school to the pros, motivational pieces, or T.B.M updates.

To see all of my blog posts, hit the link below!

The Basketball Movement – Blog

Per usual, this is the time in which i try to convince you that I will focus more on uploading content for my personal blog. You may not believe me any more, but I’ll see what I can do anyway. Follow the above sites and keep checking in to stay on top of my wring adventures. Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and follow me on Twitter @WilHarrington

Baseball fan then and now

I grew up in the days of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds. Things are different now and so am I.

The Harrington household was definitely baseball-first in terms of sports. Aside from Dad recording Chiefs games to watch on his own time, Cardinals baseball was the dominant sport on our television. In some ways, it seemed like those were baseball’s glory days. Turns out it was mostly steroid’s glory days.

Juicing does not really bother me like it seems to bother a lot of people. It was legal at the time most of them were doing it, so of course the top athletes turned to something like roids to set them apart. Anyway, the point here is that everyone was hitting homers like crazy, especially my childhood hero, Mark McGwire.

As the steroid era closed and McGwire faded away, the Cardinals brought up a new HR champ. Albert Pujols stepped up to fill the void McGuire was leaving with some of the greatest hitting the sport had seen. Long underpaid, Pujols left to chase money out west. Again, I do not blame him in the least. I’m still a huge fan of both Pujols and McGuire.

Photo from NBC Sports

Once Pujols was gone, the game quickly stopped holding my attention. The World Series wins in 2006 and 2011 were the pinnacle as a Cardinals fan. Yearly trips to the playoffs were exciting, yet eventually just routine.

Regular season baseball is ridiculous

When the Cardinals are not in the playoffs, I struggle to take note of anything going on. The regular season is so long that it cannot hold my attention. The games themselves are already crazy-long. I am not going to spend dozens of Summer nights sitting on my couch for hours on end hoping that the Cards get to bat soon.

Going to a game is different. The ballpark atmosphere is a blast, filled with tradition, a sense of Summertime, and delicious, expensive snacks and brews. Making it to a game and having the money to spend is an obvious issue. Dropping empty peanut shells onto my carpet at home just isn’t the same somehow.

I tried fantasy baseball for a while in high school, but it is easily the most tedious of the major fantasy sports. Your players play almost daily, so you need to determine who starts and sits everyday, keeping in mind pitching matchups, stadiums, and weather conditions. For the casual fan, it is too much.

I like the sport, so I’m going to give it another shot

Recently homerun hitting has been on the rise again in Major League Baseball. Hitters like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are bringing the long-ball back. Numerous hitters last year had 30+ homers, which is my kind of baseball if it’s going to keep my attention.

I’ve said before that fantasy is the Rosetta Stone of sports. Playing fantasy forces you to learn a bit more about the players and get more familiar with trends in the sport. I’ve joined a public fantasy baseball league with strangers this year so that I can have a no-strings-attached window into the MLB. My team is extremely Cardinal-heavy 🙂

I’m going to do my best to get back into the sport this season, especially on the StL Cardinals side of things. Maybe baseball could be just the thing I need when I’m rocking my new son to sleep many nights. Or maybe it will continue to bore me and I won’t want to risk falling asleep and falling over onto the little fella. Time will tell!

Being a dad that loves video games

Photo from entertaimentfocus.com

Possibly the most important issue facing fathers today.

Okay, okay, it is already time to backtrack a little bit. I am aware that this is a very minor issue, especially in the important scheme of fatherhood – don’t get your Wranglers in a wad. The important issues of fatherhood revolve around growing your child into a respectful, helpful, hardworking, loving adult. See? I get it.

Being a Dad that plays games is just an interesting aside to fatherhood that I would like to take a moment to think about. I have already been playing games less and less as life has gone on. Will that desire just evaporate completely once all the new responsibilities arise? Will I just play one night a week once the kids is asleep, or will exhaustion take precedence?

In the early going, sleep will likely be deemed more important. Let’s be realistic.

I love video games and will probably never stop playing completely. There will need to be balance though as I also want to set correct examples for my son and any other future kids. There is nothing wrong with spending free time doing something fun and relaxing like playing a video game. Knowing when those times are appropriate will be important lessons.

These gloves seem cumbersome, but I love where their heads are. Photo from Atchuup.com

Also, it isn’t like a three year old is going to see you playing a fun-looking game and just continue on his merry way. How early should games be introduced? I got a Game Boy at 6 and got a console (GameCube) probably around 10 or so. Those ages seem reasonable, but our son will grow up with game systems already in the house.

I think that many video games are excellent for critical thinking, problem solving, vocabulary growth, and competition. I also understand that reading, exercise, and imaginative play are more important, especially in the early stages. Finding a balance will be an interesting challenge. Maybe the little fella will not even like video games; who knows.

Not everyone gets it, but it is more than possible to create great memories playing games. My Dad and I played NBA Live against each other for multiple hours each week. Those were great memories, but so were playing Frisbee, walking in the woods, and hitting off the baseball tee and playing catch. Balance is possible.


My own desire for gaming, my son’s, and the progression of how my son will choose to consume media and entertainment will all be very interesting going forward. Just one very small aspect in the very large future I will share with my son. I just cannot be more excited as every aspect of our family’s new life unfolds.

Dad behavior: We have news!

Things are really changing in my life so I thought the blog needed a bit of an update.

If you didn’t already know (or are bad with clues), Emily and I are expecting a baby on August 2nd! We are already about halfway through the pregnancy. We were anxious to find out the gender, so we shelled out for an early ultrasound at an independent facility at around 15 weeks. Once we knew that was an option, we could not help ourselves!

It’s a boy! We would of course be happy either way, but a little fella is a new and exciting experience for our family. Emily has two sisters that have blessed us with three nieces. We were starting to think that her side just didn’t do dudes (say that three times fast). Somehow, we apparently found a way!

Celebrating in different, but equally blue ways.

Our news came on the heels of other big family happenings. With my sister’s recent engagement that we are all very pleased about, it has been a hilariously emotional time for my Mother. When we first told my parents, I took advantage of the situation as often as possible – entering rooms and announcing “Daddy’s here!” to make her burst into tears. Maybe that’s terrible, but what are sons for?

Wait… karma is going to be intense isn’t it?

New name, largely similar blog content

For the most part, this blog will be used for the same stuff. Sports, video games, strange adventures; these are fatherly things, yeah? Of course now there will also be Dad/parent-specific stuff as well. I’M GOING TO BE A DAD. Sorry, I’ve been blurting that a lot lately.

You remember my first time riding a bike? Well I’ve yet to have my first time changing a diaper too, so… yeah. Look forward to that.

The dork in this picture somehow got this girl to stick around long enough to become parents together at 26. Babies havin’ babies.

Emily and I are wildly excited, terrified, and antsy to have this little guy. It is going to be an experience unlike any other, but our lives have been building to this point for a long time and we are ready. Probably. Maybe.

I have already been privately noting some of my thoughts, fears, and excitement, so there will be some interesting Dad behavior posted here soon enough. As usual, thanks for coming along for the ride. Wish us luck!

Grown Gaming – Single Player Vs. Multiplayer

Photo from Imgur.com

As you may know – When I write a video game thing, I send that thing over to Grown Gaming.

Growngaming.com is just what it sounds like. It is a website dedicated to providing video game content to the “grown” gamer. I identify with this group of individuals who are at the stage in which video games do not come first.

The site has reviews, news, and opinions about everything related to gaming. My most recent article is about the player preference between single player or multiplayer gaming (solo vs. playing with friends). Being grown gamers, there is not always time to play everything you want. Would you rather use that time to immerse yourself in a single player adventure like Skyrim? Or hop online to play Call of Duty with friends/internet folk?

I had a little trouble formatting on the site and adjusting some headers, but hey I’m human. Forgive me? Good. I break down the options in this article and give a touch of my own personal preference towards the end. Check it out…. HERE.

Uber Adventures

Image from Phys.org

I teased you a while back saying that I had some good Uber experiences to share with you. I apologize for keeping you waiting.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I am not the most driven of drivers (just assume that all of my puns are intended). I only give a few rides a month, usually on my lunch break when I don’t have anything else to do. Somehow, I still manage to have some very interesting individuals each time.

Perhaps if I drove more often, I would become numb to the weirdness. Maybe that’s reason enough to do it sparingly – the weirdness provides solid writing material.

We have had Uber in Springfield for over a year now, but many people are still new to the ride-hailing app. I’ve had a few first-time users and they always ask: “Should we tip you?” The answer I give is very humble and polite, but of course my preferred answer would be “40% is pretty standard” or something
like that.

Usually I am honest and tell them it is optional, but tips are not included in the base fare. Tipping is rare, but always appreciated.

Driving ladies in my Charger since the mid/late 2000’s

One ride that caught me off guard happened pretty early in my driving tenure. I picked up a young woman visiting from Florida at a sushi restaurant and she sat in the front seat. Usually the only individuals that go for the front seat or solo male riders, but that isn’t what caught me off guard.

“Can I use dat auxiliary cord?” I obliged and gave her full control of music duties. We bumped to some pretty heavy rap the whole way to her destination. Not the weirdest ride I suppose, but it was certainly unexpected.

It wasn’t nearly as stressful as driving a very pregnant lady to her job. Again, not the strangest ride, but I went through so many scenarios in my head that involved me delivering a baby in my backseat. Such are the fears of the Uber driver.

I realized another fear of an Uber driver when the app took me to wrong destination during another ride. I had picked up a couple of gentlemen at the mall, once they figured out how exit the building. One was Polish and the other was British – they were in town for a conference.

The app does not do a great job of telling you your destination, but I eventually deduced that we were headed for the airport. We talked on the way about European weather, currency differences, global communication for business, and the like. I was enjoying the conversation and just blindly following the route, even though I know how to get to the airport…

It took us to a locked gate at the very back of the airfield. It required a 10 minute detour to get back around the whole thing. Luckily they didn’t seem to be late, so it wasn’t a big deal, just a tad embarrassing. I stopped charging them of course once I realized the mistake. They still gave me the most
generous tip I’ve ever received. Long live the Queen.

Foreign individuals make up a decent demographic of the daytime riders. I took a fellow Uber driver from Chile to get a haircut. He thought I spoke Chilean because I said “gotcha”. Apparently “cotcha” essentially means “cool” in Chilean. I’m more worldly than I realized.

There is certainly local flavor as well, from known radio hosts to a pair of Springfield Cardinals headed for the pool, after Brown Derby of course. Only one spoke English. I assume they both made it to the big leagues since then.

I have a couple of my most interesting trips still in my back pocket. They are long, so they will likely require their own blog post each. Stay tuned, people. Check out some of the stuff below to see what I’ve been up to and why my posts have been more sporadic recently. I’m going to try and ramp it back up, so thanks for checking in and I hope you’ll be back!

The Basketball Movement

I have taken over the blog for The Basketball Movement

I’ve spoken about this previously, but you may have noticed that there have been less and less articles posted here. I am preparing to get this blog back on track and produce more original content.

Video game articles I write have been going towards Grown Gaming and Thunder articles I write have been going to Thunderous Intentions. These are both on a volunteer basis.

I am now writing basketball-related articles of all kinds for The Basketball Movement as the sole contributor to their blog. My services earn me a little compensation, so I am now a professional writer!

The Basketball Movement is based out of Nixa in what used to be known as Fox Hollow. They are striving to be the top basketball training service in this part of the country.

I write for them about their services, news from prep to pro, and motivational pieces for athletes or anyone striving to improve their craft.

I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to continued collaboration with The Movement.

As I mentioned, I am looking to ramp up this site again as well, so keep an eye out for new stuff. Thanks for your support! I love you.

Thunderous dunk contest

Photo from businessinsider.com

NBA All-Star weekend is near. The dunk contest is a personal favorite. The Oklahoma City Thunder are another personal favorite.

What if the Oklahoma City Thunder squad held a dunk contest just between themselves? Would Westbrook’s ferocity be too much for the other players to overcome? Paul George has some real dunk contest experience that could be beneficial.

I do my best to come up with how this contest would go in my latest feature for Thunderous Intentions. It is a strange narrative that I think you will enjoy! Just click… HERE.