Saturday, September 6, 2014
ROLE MODELS, JETER & RESPECT: PASS IT ON
I once spoke to Derek Jeter on the phone. I called him Derek. He called me "Sir." I told him it was unnecessary, and he called me Sir anyway. I got it, I respected it and it brought me back to my own childhood.
I have a crush on Derek Jeter in the way that a man appreciates the drive, determination and accomplishments of another man. But there's more to it. I have always known, ever since Derek Jeter played in the Bigs, that the reason why he was so courteous, so respectful, and had such drive, was because of his upbringing. It was because of his parents.
In 2011, I wrote, WHY JETER IS EPIC FOR 1 GOOD REASON. In it, I wrote this:
"So why does he have this incredible drive, this refusal to fail and a positive outlook on life? Amazing parents...Jeet's no tool and I know that because in some interview where Jeter and his family were around him, Jeet gave props to how great his upbringing was and how his parents did it right. My wife said right then that she was impressed. It was genuine...
...Jeter was raised right, he's not some golden boy that had it handed to him. He learned how to earn it through life lessons and it all goes back to his mom and the Doc... As a father, I can tell you, there's no better gift in life than seeing your kid standing on second base after he just knocked in 2 runs and put his team in the lead. The moment the 2 of you look at each other isn't a "Look dad. I did it", it's "Thank you dad, that ones for you."
The message is clear, Jeter appreciates where he came from and through his career he showed nothing but class. You can be a Red Sox's fan and know that. Players love him, baseball fans love him and kids want to be him. That's a role model. That's Derek Jeter.
I give huge props to Meredith Marakovits who asked Derek about his parents in a recent interview. I give her props, because in the daily chaos of negative press and Yankee offense whoas, it's refreshing to hear about how Jeter feels about his parents. While the answer is obvious, the question is rarely asked. Kudos to Meredith. Check this out:
Tomorrow will be an incredible day. It's Derek Jeter day at Yankee Stadium. I can't believe it's happening because I remember Jeter showing up in 1996 and it was exciting then. 5 championships later, his career is over, but the achievements are intact. Once again, I tip my cap to his mother and the Doc. It's solid parenting. It's positive role models in one's life that brings someone to the next level. Jeter achieved that.
There's irony here, you know. I will be attending the game tomorrow. I will be bringing my dad. The guy who raised me and taught me values, and steered me in the right direction. My parents taught me about being determined, having passion and having that desire to climb the mountain of life. My parents raised me right, and it takes me back to that moment on the phone with Derek Jeter years ago. I recognized respect in the "Sir" I received and I never forgot it. Parents are role models. Derek Jeter is a role model. Learn from it... it's a beautiful thing.
I leave you with some words from a piece I wrote on Father's Day:
"These days, raising my own, I can't keep up, but damn I'm trying. Times have changed and I take the advice of my parents to make the right decisions that are in the best interest of my family, but there's always those bad days where we think that maybe as parents, we blew it. Parenting is tough, no lie, but when I stop and think about the situation and take a deep breath, I see it clearer, and have a solution. That's because I was raised right."
Quality values make kids into responsible adults. It makes the average player into a champion and makes a regular person into an achiever. What's more is it's in each of us.
Role models. Derek Jeter is exactly that. You can be too... much respect... it makes the world go 'round.
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