Every-Thing Sports

Sports and major events can create lifelong memories with your kids

WreslteMania provided a real bonding opportunity. Jermaine Every


Madison and I in line at WrestleMania Axxess

Sports provide us with a wide range of emotions. They can evoke sadness that

borderlines on depression to euphoric happiness that causes you to forget your life’s troubles. Carried out to extremes, sports can often lead to some crazy times in our lives. However, we can use sports and sporting events to our advantage.

This past weekend, I took my daughter Madison to WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. We had a blast. These are memories we will have forever. She can’t, and probably won’t for a while, stop talking about it. Now I know most people won’t recognize pro wrestling as a sport, but it requires more athletic ability than golf, pool, or poker, and it’s loosely covered by major outlets as a sport so it counts dammit!

WWE Superstar Paige and Madison at Axxess

At WrestleMania Axxess, an event taking place Thursday through Sunday morning, the WWE has a fan expo that has memorabilia displayed, autograph booths, various experiences, as well as a superstore complete with all types of merchandise. On Saturday at  

  Our hands compared to Andre The Giant’s

Axxess, Madi got to take a picture with Paige, a WWE superstar she’s admired for quite a while now. Paige thought I was Madi’s older brother because she said I looked too young to have a daughter that old. She was very nice and took time to chat with each fan that came through her line for an autograph.

We had a great time at Axxess and even won an authentic replica title belt! We also got to see some of the developmental talent from WWE’s NXT brand wrestle live. There was also a presentation for some Make A Wish Foundation kids which was really cool because

Seafood nachos at WrestleMania 34.

they were introduced as wrestlers with their own theme music and costumes. Overall, it was a pretty cool experience, but this was the appetizer to the main course of WrestleMania 34 itself the next day.

Sunday was the big day. After we arrived, found a great parking spot, and got inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome, we went to the concession stand because she Googled the food there and found out they had seafood nachos. The queso had shrimp and crawfish in it. Pretty good, but can be much better. She wanted her root beer in a souvenir cup, so I ordered my beer in a regular cup to save myself a few dollars. I quickly realized the lady didn’t charge me for the beer and felt like I won the night already.

Throughout the course of the near six hours there, I saw the unbridled joy of a child enjoying her time with her dad doing something we both love. Truth be told, I dislike large crowds. Arenas and stadiums aren’t made for guys my size so I get really uncomfortable very quickly. But it was all worth it to see the look on my daughter’s face.

As parents, we need to create more of these moments with our kids. Finding a common ground, such as a sporting event, can often create a bonding experience your kids will never forget. I’m a 37-year old man and I still remember being taken to different sporting events as a kid. And it may not always be a sporting event. My son was ecstatic that I took him to a movie premiere a few weeks ago. It could be something as simple as watching a game or movie or show with them. Giving them that attention can go a long way. Besides, you spell love t-i-m-e.

These days, kids have enough to deal with. Typical teenage angst is amplified by social media. School shootings and other incidents (such as bullying, fighting, etc) add more worry. If we as parents took more time to bond with our kids over a common ground, think of how much better we can make growing up for them? We’ve failed as a society on so many different fronts. Let’s not fail our kids by denying them life experiences we can bond over and strengthen our relationship with them.

 

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

When I landed in Houston, I was John Lander's helper on the Q-Morning Zoo show on KKBQ FM radio. The show was extremely successful, but we always thought, "If the listeners could hear what we talk about while the songs and commercials are playing, that would be the best show."

I moonlight in radio for ice cream and college tuition money. Over the years, I've been on a few shows, once a week with Michael Berry, same with Pat Gray and Lanny Griffith. Same thing: The conversations off-air were always more entertaining than what went out on-air. In "real life" (away from radio), Berry is wildly funny, Gray even more opinionated, and there's no helping Lanny.

That was before podcasts. Now anybody, even people who have on-air shows, can have off-air "shows," too, where there are no rules. The Federal Communications Commission has no control, no authority over podcasts, which stream over the Internet. Podcasters can say whatever they want with no worry. I used to listen to all-night talk radio when I went to bed, now I'm tossin' and turnin' (great song by Bobby Lewis) to podcasts. The Jim Cornette Experience and Jim Cornette's Drive-Thru top my list.

Two weeks ago, Sports Talk 610 (KILT-AM) morning host Paul Gallant left the station after eight years on the air. Now he's off the air, but on the Internet with a podcast called Gallant Says. He unleashes a new episode each Monday and Friday. I've listened to the first two: let's just say this is Gallant as listeners have never heard him before. You thought he had a big mouth and big opinions on the radio? His Gallant Says podcasts are streamed on iTunes, Sticher, Spotify, and other platforms.

I asked Gallant how he was enjoying life in the anything-goes, shackle-free world of podcasts.

CultureMap: How does it feel to have no restrictions on what you can say and how you can say it? Do you have a sense of complete artistic freedom? Is it a weight off your brain?

Paul Gallant: It's hard to not feel a weight on your brain when you're trying to find ways to entertain people. We all tend to get stale after a while, and you never want to be it. I've set some limits as to how far I'd go with things. But it is fun to be restriction-free.

CM: Not only are you free of FCC rules, you are free of 610 rules. What rules did 610 impose on you? For example, were you allowed to talk negatively about broadcast properties, specifically the Texans, or sponsors?

PG: [610] never really set many rules for us. Or at least for me. There wasn't some 'Texans directive' coming from bosses or anything like some people have suggested. They left us alone. The Rockets (when we were their flagship station in 2011-12), meanwhile...

CM: You can use profanity now, and you certainly take advantage of that. Which is the real PG, the buttoned-up guy on 610 or the colorful language guy on your podcast?

PG: I think what's great about this is that I get to be 100-percent honest about myself. I love opening up. So this has been a lot closer to who I am in real life. A lot of people think swearing makes you sound uneducated. They're probably right, but I find they add a lot of oomph to anything you're saying. That said, I think may have dropped a few too many expletives in the first two episodes. My mom sent me a text about it. So I'll probably dial those back a little this week.

Continue on CultureMap to find out where and when Gallant does his podcast.

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