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On Father’s Day, I reflect on how my Dad helped me turn a passion into a career

Happy Father’s Day to all the black-and-gold Dads out there raising their kids right...being Steelers fans!

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On Father’s Day, I think about my own father, like most who are reading this article. Whether your father is alive or has passed on, everyone’s father has impacted all of us in one way or another. Some never knew their father, some were absent and some were integral parts of their lives.

For me, I learned a lot from my Dad. From a young age, I learned about how important hard work and responsibility is. I will never forget when I was 16. I had saved my money to buy my brother’s 1986 Mazda 626LX for $1,000. It was made very clear to me how my parents were not going to give me a dime for this vehicle. I remember my dad saying, “You buy this car, you buy all of it. The gas that runs it, the insurance policy which is required as well as any repairs which need to be made.”

Of course, as an idiot 16-year-old, I agreed without hesitation. I’ll never forget climbing behind the wheel of that car, and just beaming with pride. I drove that thing as if it were a Rolls Royce, and then after a month of having the car the exhaust blew. After telling my dad, his response was classic, “Hope you can afford this car.”

I drove the car for awhile longer sounding like monster truck before saving the money needed to have it fixed. It was a valuable lesson I plan on passing down to my children.

Things are rarely given to you in life...you have to work hard to earn it.

My father epitomized hard work. He hated his job, but showed up every day to do his job — no matter what. He didn’t cut corners. He put in his time and is now enjoying retirement. But my dad also was the picture of passionate, especially towards sports.

He still shows off a low single-digit handicap in golf, but his love for all things black-and-gold always stands out in my mind. My brother and I were raised to love the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins unconditionally. It was also my father where I got my love for superstitions. He has a playoff terrible towel, an original, which only gets unveiled for those precious games in January and February.

Quick side note: my dad still blames himself for the 2005 Jerome Bettis fumble vs. the Colts and giving everyone a heart attack. His playoff terrible towel was located below the television, where it always sits untouched until victory is earned, but when Joey Porter sacked Peyton Manning my father grabbed that thing and started whipping it around the room as if he were paid to do so. We all know what happened next, but in his mind, his early celebration was the cause of the fumble, the tackle and the missed field goal.

You may be reading this wondering where I am headed with this article, but it’s really easy to connect the dots. I learned work ethic from my dad, and my passion for Pittsburgh sports. These two things have gotten me where I am today — running this awesome website/community.

Never in my wildest dreams growing up did I ever imagine myself getting paid to write about the Steelers, let alone making enough money for my wife to stay home with our four, soon to be five, young children.

I realize I’m blessed to have a father like mine still in my life. So many have been deprived of such a simple thing but, if you’re a father out there, do your part in molding your children the right way.

Teach them how to work hard, and show them there’s only one football team in the NFL...

The Pittsburgh Steelers.