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Sports Editor John Stevens with his dad, Jim Stevens on deck at Wrigley Field in Chicago in June 2011.

I owe 100 percent of my love for sports to my dad, Jim Stevens. Thanks to him, I can’t remember there ever being a time in my life where I wasn’t vastly into sports. Probably because much of my childhood was spent watching SportsCenter with Stuart Scott or pretending to score a game-winning goal, buzzer-beater basket or walk-off hit in the driveway. 

My dad showed me the way into the crazy world of sports and I can’t be thankful enough. He grew up in Chicago where the Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears ruled his world (he moved to Texas before Jordan’s Bulls took over the NBA). As a youngster he played football, soccer, hockey and cross country. But more importantly, as an adult he made multiple sacrifices to make sure I could play sports. 

As I got older he made sure it was something I liked, not just a way for him to live vicariously through me because his career ended in college. Here is an open letter to dad’s everywhere who go above and beyond for their athletes: 

 

Dear Dad, 

Thank you for taking us to our 5 a.m. workouts even though you didn’t get to bed til late last night. Thank you for proving us with the opportunity to play a sport where we can build core values for the rest of our lives. Thank you for taking time out of your day to make sure we’re OK mentally even though things at work right now might not be the best for you. We are so grateful to have your support in every competition. Sure, your love can be tough sometimes, but we all know you just want the best for us. Have a wonderful Father’s Day. It’s the one day a year no one can make fun of you for watching golf on TV. It is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach after all. 

Sincerely, 

Your son/daughter 

 

My father will always be my hero for so many reasons, sports is just something we share a love for. Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere. Thank you for all you do.

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