Watch my kids grow up in a supercut of my Vine videos

I never got around to blogging about Vine, Twitter’s service for making and sharing 6-second videos that loop endlessly. I meant to recommend it to parents as a way to capture moments with their kids, sort of like the moving photographs in Harry Potter.

Parents have plenty of other options now, like Instagram video, Apple Live Photos and the new Vine Camera for Twitter, but the old Vine is going away. For posterity, I downloaded all my old Vines and smashed them together in a big supercut on YouTube. I added some titles to help with context.

What I got was a vaguely arty 27-minute film about the last four years of my life. The best part, of course, is watching my kids grow up.

Continue reading Watch my kids grow up in a supercut of my Vine videos

Congratulations Chicago Cubs, you stupid jerks

I didn’t bother telling my son that the Chicago Cubs had won the World Series as I carried him to bed tonight. Sometime during the rain delay, he fell asleep watching Batman v Superman, an appropriately angry movie for these dark times.

He had been rooting for the Cubs, in part to mess with me and in part because his grandmothers (both now estranged) had poisoned him against reason. My mom told him the Cubs had never won before, which was a lie. The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in 108 years. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won in 68 years, an equally unfathomable length of time to a 5-year-old. Continue reading Congratulations Chicago Cubs, you stupid jerks

Super Bowl 50 and the death of Dadvertising

WANTED: The arms, torso and tail of a spider monkey. I have access to working baby legs, and I know a guy who has a pug. Attack of the Dad is making Puppy Monkey Baby happen IRL.

Why, you ask? I’m hot on social media thanks to brands (Taco Bell quote-tweeted my Instagram). I want to keep this rolling, and being a regular dad just isn’t cutting it.

A year ago, the ads in Super Bowl XLIX were all about dads. Always had an empowering message about how to raise our girls. Dove told us that a well-moisturized man is better at kissing his kids. Nissan had an inscrutable short film about a race-car driver, but Toyota really tugged at our dadstrings.

That day, all the moms and their Chunky Soups fell silent as “Dadvertising” reigned supreme. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 and the death of Dadvertising

Dusting off Dad’s glory days of writing

In the fall of 2003, a panel of Arizona State University staff asked me what I wanted my legacy to be at ASU. I told them I wanted future students to read my school-newspaper columns and think, “That guy got it right.”

The panel didn’t appoint me to homecoming court, and I’ve always blamed that dumb answer. My journalism career quickly beat into me the idea that nobody cares about old opinion pieces.

I was wrong! Today, national sports blog SB Nation noticed that ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium expressly prohibits tortillas. Turns out the definitive reporting on fascist anti-tortilla policies comes from a column I wrote in 2002.

Author Bill Hanstock calls me “a brilliant student reporter” and, immediately thereafter, includes a painful reminder about how old I am.

I’m pretty sure tortillas have been on the blacklist since I was in school, and this year ASU is cracking down on kegs and drinking games at tailgates. No “shot gunning,” a tailgating activity so familiar to me that I would have written it as one word.

See, the point of throwing tortillas at football games in 2002 was to carry on a tradition. That’s probably why I shotgun the occasional beer at tailgates. Thinking these activities are misguided doesn’t make you a fascist.

But the fun police need to appreciate that all these little things add up to a legacy of fandom. Fourteen years of these shenanigans have made me a bigger fan of ASU football than any other sport.

I want my kids to be as passionate about ASU football as I am. I realize that my debauched traditions are slowly giving way to more family-friendly activities. In time, though, the kids will come up with their own wild stuff. That’s a legacy.

Look what I'm doing with tortillas now!
Look what I’m doing with tortillas now!

Arizona State needs legacies like these. Already, the university is forcing students to subsidize athletics with a $150-per-student fee. ASU claims the largest student section in the Pac-12, while student attendance is dwindling at traditional football powerhouses.

Keep “The Inferno” rowdy, and my kids will happily pay to build their little legacies there. I’ll be on the other side of the stadium, riling up the alumni. In a good way.

The perfect sports-team baby clothes

College football season is here, and my Arizona State Sun Devils debut their all-new system tonight. The 7:30 p.m. kickoff is past my baby’s bedtime, but I still want the Champ to dress appropriately on game day.

Let me show you what I’d like him to wear:

Perfect baby sports-team onesie

Here are four simple rules for the perfect game-day baby outfit: Continue reading The perfect sports-team baby clothes

Attack of the beard

I know what I said. Stay-at-home dads should shave every day. Now I’m telling you it’s OK to grow a beard. Just observe proper maintenance:

Small kids need to know that facial hair isn’t scary. My dad never had a beard or mustache to speak of, so my earliest notions of these things came from a handful of mustachioed uncles in the mid ’80s. I remember some of those guys being surly. Others teased me all the time.

Eventually the surly uncles mellowed out. I realized the guys who teased me were hilarious once I got a little older. But it was too late for mustaches. Mustaches were dumb. I wouldn’t even think about growing one until decades later, when indie-rock brainwashing and prostate awareness made it OK to grow a mustache for ONE MONTH ONLY.

That brings me to the next compelling case for scruff: Charity. Anything can be cool if it’s part of a “THON,” and they got thons for everything these days. Dudes have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by playing the (deliberately) worst videogame ever made for days on end.

The Movember mustache-thon is a long way away, so what charity is this dad’s current beard supporting? I’m glad you asked!

I’m participating in the St. Louis Blues Beard-A-Thon. You can pledge my beard here. This very special thon is a great excuse to keep my beard for another month (I hope) because it benefits hometown charities while giving my favorite hockey team extra intangibles for the playoffs. If you have enough intangibles, you automatically win the Stanley Cup.

So please, pledge a couple bucks for my St. Louis Blues playoff beard. You’ll help my baby son grow to embrace both facial-hair diversity and ridiculous sports traditions.

If my beard doesn’t make any money, I’ll probably get all surly and start teasing my boy all the time. And then I’ll have to shave in shame.