The Twin Effect

Congratulations to Donovan and Roxie McNabb on the birth of their twins.

Donovan was gracious and upbeat in his press conference Wednesday afternoon about being a father and being with his wife during the birth.  I mentioned in our four o'clock news today that perhaps a difficult pregnancy may account for Donovan's poor play a few weeks ago.  Who knows?

A pregnant wife who is due in the middle of an NFL season isn't the easiest thing to deal with for a player.  Certainly, given what most young pregnant couples deal with, an NFL wife has considerably more access to first-rate medical care and every amenity at her disposal.  But as with most situations in life, it's all-relative.  So, for the NFL player, the adjustments are just a little different.

Three of my four children were born in the middle of a football season.  Our oldest was born while we were in college, during my senior year at BYU.  My wife was working as a receptionist on campus for the Dean of Student Life so she had full medical coverage - everything except the pain killing epidural shots, which the doctor's assistant explained to us was $650 per shot.  Each one would come out of our pockets, which was full of lint as we were still a year away from making NFL money.

So, she didn't exactly appreciate my attempt at lightening the mood in the middle of labor pains by joking, "honey, you're tough, you don't need no stinkin' $650 epidural!"  I had to duck from a cup of chipped ice that barely missed my head.  I swallowed hard with each application of the TWO epidurals she got that night.

Donovan was a little older as a first time father than I was, so I'm sure he was a little more mature.  It was good to hear him express his empathy for his wife's pain in carrying and giving birth to healthy twins.

My youngest, now 15 and a freshman in high school, was born in the same hospital where the McNabb's had their twins.  Our daughter was born during training camp of my final year with the Eagles.  Coach Rich Kotite allowed me to leave camp for a couple days to be with my wife and our three young sons, who were all anxious to greet their new and only sister.

I remember how hard it was to leave her at the hospital with three little boys at her side, to return to West Chester.  Women from our church came to assist her with the kids and bring food to our home before my mother arrived from Arizona to help out.

The McNabbs are wealthy, both are college educated, appear to have a loving marriage and seem to be good parents.  Despite what he does on the field, ultimately, how he handles his role as a father and husband, in my opinion, will largely determine how successful and happy he'll be in the future.

My parents had an embroidered proverb that was framed and hung in our small home that read:  "No success can compensate for failure in the home."

That ought to hang in NFL locker rooms alongside the Lombardi quotes, "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All," and "Winning isn't everything... it's the ONLY thing."

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