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MJD

Tony Dungy's parenting skills: Closer to Danny Tanner or Shawn Kemp?

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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The column was written on Tuesday, and I thought about letting it pass without comment, because, to be honest with you, I'm not a big Tony Dungy fan. But it's been rattling around in my head for a couple of days, and upon further review, I wouldn't feel right about letting it go.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star wrote that Tony Dungy was a "hypocrite" for always preaching the importance of family, and then agreeing to coach the Colts for one more year while he lived away from his family. A snippet:

As one of the chief spokesmen for All Pro Dad, an organization dedicated to strengthening the bonds of fathers with their children, he has spoken passionately about the importance of men putting their faith and family first, before football and all else.

So I don't understand:

What came first here?

If family is really first, doesn't Dungy decide to live in the same city with his wife and children? Remember, Dungy not only has one adult daughter and a high school-age son. He and his wife also have three little ones, a first-grader, a kindergartener and an infant.


That makes sense on the surface, but that's just it ... Kravitz is privy only to the surface. To the best of my knowledge, Bob Kravitz is not living with Tony Dungy, he is not the family pet, he does not rent a room in the house, and he is not sleeping between Dungy and his wife every right.

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And if you're going to criticize someone else's parenting, or imply that their family isn't as important to them as they claim it is, you should probably have an intimate knowledge of everything that went into the decision. And even then, you're going to need to be on a pretty high horse yourself.

Especially when the target is Dungy, who has a reputation as a family man that's matched only by Clark W. Griswold.

It's a ballsy take and a good column, but that doesn't make it right. To his credit, Kravitz seems reluctant about the whole thing, and tiptoes lightly. And I'm not saying he's necessarily wrong ... I'm just saying I don't think he's in a position to make the call.

I'm sure a million different factors went into a decision like this, and if Dungy feels like it was best for his family, then I say he's earned the benefit of the doubt on that. Certainly, he's in a better position to make that decision than someone who only observes him and his family from afar.

• Struggling to understand Dungy's decision / IndyStar.com
• Is Dungy a hypocrite? / Hashmarks

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