The other day, I asked where have all the gentlemen gone. It’s one of those questions that has no right answer. Why? Because there are still gentlemen out there. Try as certain folks in our society might, gentlemen aren’t going away. Oh, we’re going to have a generation or so where they aren’t as prevalent as they once were. But people, on the whole, do still appreciate manners and courtesy and they tend to teach it to their kids. To those parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, thank you.
Unfortunately, for every ten gentlemen we never hear about we have a few who have a “name” or a “platform” who open mouth and their words go viral. The latest in a long line of “WTH was he thinking?” moments comes from Boomer Esiason. Former pro quarterback and now sports commentator, Boomer opened his mouth the other day and BOOM! went the internet. Specifically, Boomer came out condemning the choice of NY Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to miss Opening Day for — gasp — the birth of his first child.
Yep, you read that right, Boomer — and others — voiced the opinion that Murphy should have opted to miss the birth of his child — HIS CHILD — in order to play baseball. Sports before family and all that.
If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, here’s something that very well make it blow up. It seems Boomer wasn’t satisfied with dissing Murphy for putting his wife and child ahead of a GAME, he had this to say:
Quite frankly, I would have said C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry. This is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.
Wait a minute. So Boomer thinks Murphy should have told his wife to have a C-section so he, Murphy, wouldn’t miss Opening Day. He advocates major surgery — non-elective surgery — so Murphy could play. My first thought was, naturally, WTF?!? My second was to be glad I wasn’t married to Boomer who, obviously, would put a game ahead of the health of his wife and child.
But there is more to it than that. We aren’t talking about Murphy missing 1/8th of the games for the season (which he would have if he’d missed two pro football regular season games). No, the pro baseball season runs for, iirc, 162 games. Murphy missed two of those games. TWO. Sure, Opening Day is important but missing that game and the one after it sure won’t keep the Murphy kids out of college. Two games won’t give the baby “every opportunity to succeed in life.”
I applaud Murphy for wanting to put his family over baseball. In a day and age where more and more companies are starting to grant men paternity leave, Murphy’s decision wouldn’t have caused a ripple of attention if he worked anywhere but in pro sports. Murphy showed what is truly important to him — family. Two games away from the ballpark won’t keep that child from attending college or becoming the best that he can be. The example Murphy has set for the child, the care and concern he showed for his wife, is the example of what a “gentleman”, a caring man, should be.
So, kudos to Daniel Murphy for choosing to miss two games — that is less than a week off, folks — to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Boomer, shame on you and all those echoing your comments that Murphy should have put the game ahead of his the health of his wife and the birth of his son. You, sir, are part of the problem. Your priorities are screwed and you give all men a bad name because of it. Perhaps you should think before speaking from now on, especially if the mic is open and you are on the record.