In light of the profile we did of Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket reporter Patrick O’Neal four months ago (linked here) — which included a poignant discussion of his work from his dad, actor Ryan O’Neal — comes this 2,137-word guest column on the Huffington Post (linked here) called “In Defense of Dad.”
Hang onto this one if you need something to read on Father’s Day.
It starts off with some boxing references, a sport Ryan O’Neal keeps close to the heart:
“I’m sick of the low blows, the kidney punches, and the shots after the bell and on the breaks. I’m sick of all the trash talking. From Vanity Fair, The Today Show and The View just to name a few. From mean spirited bloggers who say my father is an awful man, and would be better off dead. … All this nasty criticism you throw at my dad reminds me of the guy that throws the sucker-punch. The weakling that hits someone when they aren’t looking, and then disappears into the crowd because they’re scared they might get punched back …”
“I haven’t been a perfect son or brother. I have been busy trying to be a good father to my girls, and do the best job I can as a broadcaster. I haven’t always been there for my dad or my brothers, sister, nieces and nephews. For that I’m sorry. I believe in family, and I believe in our family. That’s why I wrote this, it’s about FAMILY. I love you all. And Dad, thanks for everything you have done for me over the years. I’m sorry I disappeared from time to time. I was trying to make my way in this world — not always easy. I made mistakes, and hurt your feelings along the way, and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry you are going through a tough time right now. I know you miss Farrah and you’re dealing with some physical and emotional pain. Please hang in there because we still make a good paddle tennis team, even if I have to carry us. Team O’Neal forever!”
Read the comments posted here as well. It’s worth it.