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Honoring the Old Man

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Father’s Day is a great American tradition, made even more appreciable because it coincides with the final day of the US Open. It is a day reserved for the men who have paid our tuition, our dues, and our bail–even when they felt the strong inclination to kick the shit out of us instead. This year, among other things, I thanked my dad for the genetic predisposition to withstand a barrage of alcohol that would cause a lesser man’s liver to implode. We then celebrated that trait together during an early morning round of golf with my uncle and cousin, bashing liberals and Titleists alike while crushing Bud heavy throughout the entire 18-holes. While spending some time on the links with my old man, I thought about all the other things our fathers do for us, and how much more difficult my life would’ve been had my mom been the sole decider in my punishment the many times I’ve come close to shaming our family’s name during alcohol fueled debauchery binges.

One of the great things about both family and fraternity is tradition. The passing of tradition from generation to generation is something we can all greatly appreciate. Each fraternity has not only a unique ritual, but also a tradition of demeanor and gentlemanly conduct that can only be maintained through teaching and learning by example. For those of you who are legacies, you should be thanking your dad for enduring pledgeship pre-hazing laws so you’d have that honor, and the ability to forever hold that fact over the heads of your pledge brothers who weren’t so fortunate. I know I do. In all seriousness, if your dad had been a douchebag, you could’ve ended up a Polaroid sporting hipster, regularly checking the mailbox for financial aid checks. Instead, you get to rage your balls off every semester surrounded by beautiful sorostitutes (God bless their unfortunate father’s as well), going about your life knowing full well if you fuck up there is always at least one man with the merciful financial means to save your sorry ass. He gave you your name, then taught you about family, slams, and politics. He also taught you about sports, and the skill of throwing a tight-spiraled football 40-yards into the middle of a lesser tailgate. Thank him for all of that.

We all have connections because of our letters, but it’s also important to recognize the value of your father’s Rolodex. The guy worked his whole life making sure he could pay your way through at least four years of partying (five if you’re smart and lucky enough to take a victory lap), and he’s met a lot of people along the way who can benefit you greatly when business time kicks in after graduation. While GDIs aimlessly roam, your mind will be at ease knowing at least a few of your interviews will end with “Give my regards to your father.” Thank your dad not only for the inheritance you’ll one day be blessed with, but the hard work he put in to make sure you didn’t end up playing hacky-sack during your break working as a sandwich artist at Subway. You can also go ahead and mentally thank him for every single walk of shame that has been made from your room. It’d just be awkward if you actually verbally said it, but really…if it wasn’t for him you wouldn’t be here in the first place, and if he wasn’t paying your dues then you’d be scrounging the halls for raggedy dorm ass.

So on this Father’s Day, make sure you give your dad a nice bottle of scotch, and the unbeatable gift of another year without the phone call he dreads more than anything: “Dad, I’m going to be a dad.”

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