Of course, saying you'll do it and actually doing it are two different things. Last year, Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “I'm not missing the birth of my child. There's no chance. I know some fans probably don't want to hear that, but there's no chance.”
Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman said the same thing and warned fans he might miss a showdown game against Houston. Turns out he didn't have to make that choice.
But Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp did. Tapp missed Philadelphia's game at New Orleans last season for the birth of his daughter. And Tapp said he had Eagles coach Andy Reid's blessing.
That's an encouraging sign.
Twenty years ago, in what was not the NFL's finest hour, Houston Oilers offensive lineman David Williams suffered much scorn for missing a game at New England.
Williams' wife went into labor the day before the game, gave birth that night, and when Williams didn't get to Foxboro, Mass., for the game the next day, the Oilers docked him a game's pay ($111,111) and Houston O-line coach Bob Young issued one of the most absurd quotes you'll ever read:
“"They ought to suspend him for a week, maybe two. Everybody wants to be with his wife, but if World War II was going on and you said, 'I can't fly; my wife's having a baby,' would we have won the war?"
Thank God, I facetiously wrote in 1993, that someone still equated beating the Patriots to beating Hitler.
Thank God, I say in all seriousness, we've seemed to come a long ways in 20 years.
At 3:26 a.m. Sunday, Zoe Olivia Mahan was born, with her daddy riding shotgun. That's a trophy no golf tournament can match.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.