Just this week Denver Broncos kicker, Britton Colquitt, was in the headlines with a rather odd situation being made public. As a player in the NFL, if you make it to the Super Bowl, you’re allotted fifteen tickets, however, those tickets don’t come on the cheap. They’re priced at $1,800 each, which sure, if you play in the NFL that isn’t exactly out of your price range and is probably a no-brainer, however, what’s not exactly a no-brainer is who the NFL requires to need a ticket for entry. Colquitt was told that if he wanted to have his 2-week old daughter in attendance then he would have to fork up the cash and use one of his allotted tickets even though she would never use the seat. 

Colquitt told the Denver Post last week, “In the pictures, if we win, I’d like her to be in it.” That shows me what kind of father he is. A selfless one. One who values his family and  understands their importance. One who we should all strive to be more like. Unfortunately, leave it up to the internet and within minutes responses like, “What kind of father takes a 2-week old to a loud game?”, “This is why moms should be the decision makers but since this guy is famous and rich he’ll get his way,” and so forth.

Two quick comments for such negativity. You have no idea where the 2-week old is actually going to be during the game. She could be in a box suite or in one of the many offices located near the locker rooms, it may not be an actual seat like you’re assuming. As far as decision making goes, if you’re in a healthy marriage both parents have an equal say and you have no idea what the logistics were that made both mom and dad comfortable with the decision of letting their newest Broncos fan attend.

With all of that aside, we need to stop talking in such hypotheticals and remember The New Dad Order Rule #9, ‘Show Some Respect’ . You have no idea what it’s like to play in arguably the biggest game in the world and until you do you only look judgmental and uneducated arguing otherwise. This man is doing something that has only happened 49 other times in the history of football and win or lose he wants his family there. And speaking of family, he knows a little about sharing the world of football with family since, according to Wikipedia, he’s the son of former NFL punter Craig Colquitt, nephew of former NFL punter Jimmy Colquitt, and brother of current NFL punter Dustin Colquitt of the Kansas City Chief, while his cousin, Greg Colquitt, is a punter at Tennessee Tech University. 

Think about it, if you win you WANT nothing more than to be in that moment, sharing it, with the ones you love most and mean the world to you. If you lose, you NEED nothing more than to be in that moment, getting through it, finding comfort from the ones you love most and mean the world to you. I’ve been in hard moments, and even with my wife being the amazing supporter she is, it took just holding my son and seeing his smile to remember what’s most important in this world and that I did the best I could with what I was handed and that’s something he can look at and be proud of his dad for.

Where I do think some criticism needs addressed is with the NFL. For a company who can’t seem to escape bad PR right now, they should be ashamed of themselves. This player has, in a lot of ways, put them first, over self and family, by playing in their league and this is how they repay him, by making him cough up money for a seat his child won’t even use?

Sure, the trolls out there will point out that it’s his decision to play for them and that he gets paid well to do so but that doesn’t mean everything. Have you ever just wished your employer would give you a bonus or acknowledged your hard work with a token of appreciation? Sure you have. This is no different. This guy made it to one of the hardest games to appear in and now his parent company is being picky and anal about something that in the end doesn’t really matter for them? It’s things like this that get companies rated Consumerist.com‘s ‘Worst Company to Work For’ every year.

In the end we need to recognize that there’s a father who wants to be with his family during potentially the best day of his life or one of the hardest days of his life and that in itself should be celebrated rather than vilified. I know you won’t be able to please everyone but we parents need to help build each other up and encourage others when we see them trying to be the best at their most meaningful job, parenthood.