Sports dads are the best dads, we all know it

Everyone gets their love of sports from somewhere — and for many of us at NBC Sports Philadelphia, that love stems from our dads. So, on this Father’s Day, we thought it would be special to compile some of those defining and favorite memories in sports that we’ve spent with them. Whether it be coaching, watching history be made with championships, those first live games watched together and everything in between — we are thankful for these moments in our past that helped define who we are today. 

While every dad reading this is probably thinking to themselves that “every day is Father’s Day,” we wanted to make sure they knew just how much those moments meant to us then — and more so now.

For all of the crazy Philly sports dads around, thanks for raising some of the best fans in the world. 

“Growing up, I’d watch every single game I could with my dad — whether it be Phillies, Eagles, Sixers or Flyers, as a way to spend time together. It’s something we still do today and it equally means just as much to me. One of my favorite traditions would fall around my birthday, when I would ask for hockey tickets. Since my birthday is in late September, we’d often be able to go to one of the first Flyers home games every season. Win or lose, that first game of the season with my dad was easily my favorite night of the year. He played a big role in helping me learn and understand the game that I’m fortunate enough to cover today. There’s no one else I’d rather share my sports memories with, and while there’s a lot of them — this is my favorite.” 

-Brooke Destra 

“Some of my favorite recent sports memory has been watching The Last Dance with my dad. Working in sports, I don’t always have the chance to sit down and watch a game with my dad anymore, like I did growing up with Big 5 basketball and I was too young to remember most of the Bulls historic dominance.  So having the chance to re-live such an impressive time in NBA history with my dad who remembers the Bulls spectacular run while in quarantine has been awesome to experience a sense of sports with my father every Sunday for a few weeks.”

-Erin Dunne

“Oh Dad. I miss sneaking onto golf courses on holidays. I miss getting kicked off of golf courses because you’d always let me drive the cart. I miss using our garage (and the neighbors!) as a backstop when you’d pitch to me and I’d run the ‘bases’ around our triangle cul-de-sac. I miss playing hockey in the driveway and shooting around. I miss that one time you pulled me out of school, just to go ice skating. Our time was cut short, but sports was such a beautiful backdrop for so many memories that will live in my mind forever 🙂 Happy Fathers Day!”

-Serena Winters 

“My dad was a huge Eagles fan — he got a job as an usher so he would never miss a home game. I have so many memories of him sneaking us into games. His section was like family to us.  Sadly, he passed away in 1988. When the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, I set up his photo so he could watch with us.  I know he was with us during that win.”

-Maureen Quilter

“In September of 2008, my dad had to drop my mom off at (what was then) the Wachovia Center for a conference. Earlier in the week, he kept insisting I tag along for the car ride. When I got home from school the day we were set to drop her off, he gave me an envelope with two tickets to the Phillies game that night. After dropping her off, we took in one of the team’s final regular season games before becoming World Champions! I’ll always cherish that surprise and time with the biggest Phillies fan I know.” 

-Brian Hilton 

“I’ve always been a crazy sports fan. My dad is not. In the summer of 1998, I was 14 years old and the Phils played a doubleheader against the Marlins at The Vet. I convinced my dad to take me. It was single admission. Sports may not be his thing, but the man has always been down with a 2-for-1. Game 1 started at 5 p.m.. Both games between two teams that finished a combined 83 games out of first place went 12 innings. The 2nd game ended around 12:40am. My father endured that torture because I loved it and he loves me. I love you too, Pop. Happy Father’s Day.”

-Kevin Feeney

“Like many of us, I got my love of sports from my Dad. Whether it was playing catch in the backyard, or just shooting hoops in the driveway, or taking me to my first Phillies/Sixers/Flyers/Eagles game, it was usually a shared experience. As I got older and the days of playing team sports phased out after college, my Dad and I began to get into golf. Two years ago, while playing with my Dad on Father’s Day weekend, I managed to score my first hole-in-one at the Par-3 4th hole at Bey Lea Golf Course in Toms River, NJ.  We’re planning on playing the course this weekend in what’s become our annual Father’s Day tradition.  While I highly, highly doubt that the hole-in-one will happen again, I’m sure we’ll still enjoy the time together on the course.”

-Bryan Klingerman 

“My dad is the kind of man who would name his son after Donovan McNabb (and he did). So, it’s pretty safe to say that my lack of immediate interest in sports wasn’t taken too kindly way back when. But, following the Phillies’ journey to the 2008 World Series was something truly special. I was more of a passive fan at the time, watching when my dad watched, and never totally understanding how people could get so vocal over baseball. Then, on October 2, 2008, the Flyin’ Hawaiian gifted us with his NLDS Game 2 grand slam —  and, to be frank, I lost my mind. Embarrassingly so, at that. I looked over at my dad, questioning if my reaction was the *right* one and he smiled and high fived me. To this day, that moment is still one of my favorite memories with my old man.”

-Bella Santos 

“Sitting in the sweltering sun watching the Phillies in the 500 level on Sunday afternoon…. Heading to the Spectrum so I could see guys like Doc, Chuck, Mike, and Nique … History of the Flyers Cups and Gene Hart … Reggie — the minister of defense, Seth and B&E, Wes and Andre….. Brackets and Big 5 basketball: Chaney, Macon, L-Train, Speedy, Rollie just to name a few … PRISM … All of this is in my life and led me to where I’m at today because of my Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!”

-Mike Gatti

“My dad is the main reason I fell in love with sports. My favorite sports memory was on my 9th birthday — he took me to my first baseball game. The Twins were playing the Royals at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis. We had some great seats between left and centerfield. While taking in all the new sights and sounds, I witnessed my first major league homerun courtesy of Torii Hunter in the 2 nd inning, it was incredible. My dad taught me a lot about baseball that night, including how to keep score in the program we were handed at the door. Torii Hunter became my favorite player that game. Witnessing that HR, getting a wave back from him when he took position in CF, it was so cool. The Twins won that game and it still stands out to me. What will always stand out, is that memory with my dad — one of the best days ever, with one of the best ever.”

-Katie Emmer

Phillies baseball, that time of the year.
But this year was special, in such a big way,
I was taking Monica, to her first ‘Opening Day’
Four years old, this was her start,
Phillies baseball, she holds close to her heart.
Waving her pennant, as we walked in ‘The Vet,’
a day in my life that I will never forget.
As the years passed, each spring she would say,
‘Don’t forget tickets, for Opening Day.’
Grade school, high school, college too,
leaving school early was the thing to do.
From Rolen to Burrell, the boo’s and cheers,
making memories, over the years.
Off to Chicago, her job took her there,
No ‘Opening Day,’ on this 20th year.
But she flew home and surprised me,
didn’t know what to say,
Holding our tickets, for ‘Opening Day.'”

— Frank Argenzio

Happy Father’s day! 

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