In the days leading up to Dennis Rodman’s induction into the Basketball Hall Of Fame, I seized a few opportunities to mention my attraction and overall interest in the event. However, much like most references to Rodman, my genuine curiosity had very little to do with his basketball career.
In fact, my attention was piqued when “The Worm” announced his collection of guests at the ceremony would include Howard Stern – as opposed to NBA commissioner, David Stern. I’m an admitted fan of Howard and I know his brash boldness has forever changed talk radio and its mitigating world.
So, as last Friday’s Hall Of Fame ceremonies arrived, I made certain to follow the event ….
While I never did observe a sighting of the “King Of All Media” or any of his sidekicks, I did pay witness to Rodman’s induction speech. And, I found a few of his ramblings to be rather prophetic, if not subsequently challenging.
The first observation I made regarded how much Dennis has aged over the past few years. When you don’t see or hear from someone in a while, their physical changes can be striking, right?
Yeah, his personally altered jacket, which had every evidence of being decorated by an ambitious fifth grade designer, stood out for all the wrong reasons. I understand Rodman’s desire to be quirky and insanely original in appearance, but Friday’s look was just underwhelming.
The voice has grown much raspier over the years. And, there were pauses of incoherent dribble. Heck, I just couldn’t understand him during a few distinct stretches of thanking people, expressing regrets and an overall reminiscing on his life.
But, when he did mention the regrets, indiscretions and shortcomings, I made certain to go back to watch and LISTEN, again. It was obviously an emotional struggle for him – even as he was being recognized for being GREAT at something.
On a night when he was being recognized as a Hall Of Fame basketball player, Dennis Rodman stood before a collection of people and acknowledged that he was substandard at nearly everything else …..
He has been a vindictive and selfish son ….
He has been a horrendously horrible husband ….
And, most importantly, he has been a failure as a father ….
While he wasn’t overly specific about his shortcomings, he did touch on each of them in a way that leads us to a pretty obvious conclusion. He’s just a guy that always put himself first, both professionally and personally.
I found it sad that he has been notably bitter toward his mother, because she refused to allow his rebellious ways to doom her household. As a single parent, she kicked him out when he was 17 years old.
He conveyed a public apology to his wife for betraying her and being less of a husband than she deserved. He admitted to sticking her with the parenting and responsibilities associated with raising a family.
He also wished he’d been a better father and he expressed this to his three children, who watched from the audience ….
I suppose in a personally therapeutic way, Dennis Rodman was able to shed some shouldered guilt, last Friday night. His public disclosures during an event that could’ve easily served as a crowning of his professional achievements certainly made the evening more authentic, while also exposing a sad reality in our culture.
The American society is full of selfish parents – male and female – who put their families, and notably their children behind professional goals and obligations. While the rockstars, athletes and Hollywood types get most the exposure, it exists right underneath our noses.
In other words, you don’t have to be famous to be a terrible parent ….
During his public cleansing, Dennis Rodman challenged himself before a nationwide audience and I’m not certain he realized it. His children are still young and impressionable. Thus, it’s not too late to start being a FATHER, even if it’s at the expense of being famous.
Where will Dennis Rodman be in a couple weeks? A couple months? A couple years?
Will we still hear about his crazy nights in Vegas, via TMZ and other tabloids? Or, is he ready to start being a better father to his kids?
After all, any guy can stand in front of a crowd and express remorse for not being better at one commitment or another. But, the real man – a man of renewed character – seizes opportunities thru his own adversities.
Forget the Basketball Hall Of Fame ….
Dennis Rodman can accomplish something far better. He can become a GREAT DAD … and that’s more important than anything a man can do as a profession.