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Updated Jun 14, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Who's Your Daddy Week: Arizona Sports reminisces

With Father's Day coming up, Arizona Sports 620 and is launching 'Who's Your Daddy Week' presented by Michelob Ultra.

From June 10 through June 14, guests on Arizona Sports 620 will be asked to reminisce about their fathers and answer two questions:

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?


What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with you dad?

You'll be able to check out all the responses during the week right here on

Derrick Hall, D-backs president

Kirk Gibson Jr., son of D-backs manager

Richard Justice, writer

Kevin Gibson, son of D-backs manager

Tim Kempton, Phoenix Suns analyst

Ken Rosenthal, FOX MLB insider

Dan Majerle, GCU basketball head coach

Jared Dudley, Suns forward

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB analyst

Dan Hicks, NBC golf commentator

Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager

Tom Candiotti, D-backs analyst

Steve Lyons, Dodgers analyst

Jon Barry, ESPN NBA analyst

But we also asked our own staff to get involved and share memories with their own fathers, and those stories can be seen below.

Enjoy, and Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Doug Franz

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

So many fathers say things or do things that their son will implement in their life. It's different for me. He has given me a glowing example of the man I should be. I rarely reach that standard. It's not to say there was ever pressure. I was never asked to be a certain way. Simply, my father is a great man and I'm a good man. He would humbly disagree and that's exactly what makes him great.

My father would tell me to "quit being a spaz" or "show some dignity," but as you can tell, those lessons didn't necessarily stick. My father led more by example. We live thousands of miles apart and yet the same thing happens to me every time. I react to a situation poorly, then think of what my father would do. If the day ever comes I can skip step one and get right to step two, I'll be a better person.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My most memorable sports moment with my father is a funny question because it just happened a couple years ago, but you need some background to really understand what it meant.

My parents didn't make very much money, yet my father spent the money to take my brother and me to a lot of Cincinnati Reds games. It was never about just one memory but the feeling of being at a baseball game with my father. I got a call once while I was in college from my dad and he asked if I had major plans for a weekend or a test I needed to prepare for. When I said no, he asked if I wanted to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I said yes and he said to pack and head downstairs because my parents and brother were in the car outside my dorm. He drove two hours to my dorm just to ask at that point if I wanted to go.

Now that you see, what baseball and my father mean to me, my greatest sports moment with my dad happened in Mesa. I was asked to participate in a charity baseball game with some former Major Leaguers and some Hall of Famers. The timing was amazing because it was during a visit from my father.

I hadn't swung at a baseball since college. In my third at bat, I drove a clean single against great reliever Lee Smith to left over the head of the shortstop and somewhat into the gap, although I was way too slow to even think about second. As soon as I hit it, my father yelled, "Hey!" from the seats. In three years of varsity baseball, he never missed a home game but sat quietly and didn't want to make noise as if to say, "that's my son," because he didn't want to put any attention on himself. In that moment, he lost himself in emotion when his 39-year-old son got a hit in a meaningless game other than the money raised for charity. Standing on first, I smiled like I was 16 again.

I love my dad.

Dave Burns

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

To always look ahead. To try to think about things two steps before they actually happen so you're ready for them when or if they do. And to not be satisfied with what you've done but to look ahead to what you might do next.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My first football game. I was five. We were living in Evanston, Illinois; he was attending Northwestern for a year-long program for law enforcement training. He got a pair of great tickets to see Ohio State and Northwestern but the guy who gave them to him was from Ohio so it was with the condition that we root for the Buckeyes. To this day I've always had the tiniest of soft spots for Ohio State football. We absolutely froze out there and by the third quarter we were back home drinking hot chocolate.

Vince Marotta

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

The most important life lesson my dad passed down to me was simply the phrase "be aggressive." It's something I first heard while playing soccer as a nine-year-old and it's something that's resonated with me ever since.

Yes, originally the context was youth soccer. My dad wanted me to be more assertive on the field. But those three words pop up in life every day. I'm not the most aggressive person in the world. Often times, I've been content to accept whatever happens. So when I struggle to assert myself, my father's words pop back up and guide me in the right direction.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My most memorable sports experience with my dad is actually a tie. The first experience happened when I was four-years-old. It was August 28, 1975. My dad, a New York City police officer, came home in the middle of the day and told me to take a nap because he was taking me to my first Yankees game and it would be a late night. Even then, I was a baseball nut and my dad and I would watch every game on WPIX, much to my mom's chagrin.

The Yankees were playing the A's that night at Shea Stadium (Yankee Stadium was being renovated.) So my dad, my sister, my cousin and I got in the car and drove to Flushing to see the Yanks take on the three-time defending World Series champs. Holtzman against Dobson. I remember my dad encouraging me to cheer for closer Tippy Martinez to strike out Reggie in the ninth. He didn't, but Reggie grounded out and the Yanks went on to win 3-2. My dad also bought me my first Yankees pennant that night, and my sister promptly spilled a Coke on it. Thirty-eight years later, I still have it.

The second experience was January 18, 2009. The Arizona Cardinals were hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game in Glendale. I didn't attend the game. My father was ill so I was more than content to watch the game with him at my sister's house. When the Cardinals moved to the Valley in 1988, my dad got season tickets for us, and we were hooked. We spent many a Sunday in agony on steel, backless benches in Sun Devil Stadium watching our adopted team get pummeled by the visitors. Often times, we were taunted by mouthy opposing fans in our own home stadium.

So to see the Cardinals thriving and on the verge of greatness was a big deal. The game was amazing...the Cardinals won 32-25 to clinch their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl. All those memories flooded my brain as I celebrated with my dad and the rest of our family. We cried happy tears.

That was the last Cardinals game I'd ever watch with my father. I was presented with the opportunity to cover that Super Bowl during the week and then stay and watch as a fan. I was hesitant to go; I knew that Dad's time was fleeting, but he encouraged me to go. Dad died four months later. A big part of me regrets going to the game and not watching it with him. But a bigger part of me is glad that the last game we did take in together resulted in the Cardinals winning a championship.

Adam Green

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

It was not so much a lesson in the way of "hey son, listen up," but my dad has continually shown me how to get through life on a fairly even plane. There will be highs and there will be lows, but don't stress over things you have no control over. Roll with the punches, so to speak, and keep on going.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

I could say being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, and that was great. I could also point to our years of having season tickets to the Cardinals and suffering through some pretty lousy football in an incredibly lousy stadium. As many could attest, there are few things worse than that annual preseason game against the Raiders. Of course, the amazing moments (beating the Cowboys in 1997, the playoff run in 1998) were certainly special. Surprising me with Diamondbacks tickets for March 31, 1998 also ranks at the top, as how many people can say they saw a franchise's first game with their dad? But looking back, I have to say being at Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals series between the Rockets and Suns, you know, the one where Mario Elie hit that dagger three and gave the "kiss of death." (Side note, why do most of my greatest memories involve defeats, sometimes of the crushing variety?) But I digress. And remember.

Back then, the Suns were the hottest ticket in town. They were sold out every night as America West Arena was the place to be. Still, I was a die-hard Suns fan, so my dad would promise me tickets to one game per year, and they always came courtesy of a scalper. That season he took it to the very end of the season to get seats that were literally at the very top of the arena. Seriously, last row. But as always, he delivered. Interesting anecdote, I distinctly remember my dad saying "that's the shot we want him to take" as Elie was lining it up. Oops.

I don't think I've ever been a part of a more depressing walk out of an arena or stadium than that one. I remember conversations about how the Suns needed to get rid of Dan Majerle (made one of seven shots that day, and was 0-for-4 on threes), as well as how KJ missed just one of 22 free throw attempts. It was not exactly a happy moment, and though we didn't know it at the time there would be better sports days ahead for us. The aforementioned Cardinals playoff run as well as Opening Day and the World Series, a trip to Yankee Stadium in its last season, a visit to the ESPN campus in Bristol were all happier times.

But, as I've realized by going through this exercise, none were more memorable.

Kyndra de St. Aubin

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

Hard work can overcome just about anything. If you're having a bad day on the field or court, your touch isn't there, you can't make a shot, your passes are off, etc...but you can ALWAYS control your effort and how hard you work.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

My dad came with me on a trip to Maryland for a soccer tournament over Memorial Day during my sophomore year of High School. It was a big time for me and the team because there were a lot of college recruiters at this tourney scouting players. I had been on high doses of steroids (medical kind) for a couple months for Systemic Lupus and my reaction time, speed and coordination were a complete disaster but I wanted to play anyway. I was playing outside mid on the right and a ball came bouncing in my direction, hit me in the thigh and I fell over. After that, I got up and tried to run, tripped on the blades of grass and fell again. My coach took me out so I wouldn't hurt my chances of playing D1 any more than I already had. He was afraid the coaches in attendance would scratch my name off their list and never look back. After the game, I went to my dad's hotel room and cried. I'm not a crier or a person that asks "why me?" but I'd had it at this point. My dad, who always had great sports/coach advice, did the best he could do by just listening to me and holding me. Didn't need to say a word. That's my best sports moment ever with my dad.

Paul Calvisi

What is the most important life lesson your dad passed down to you?

The most meaningful life lessons that my Dad passed along were never really spoken. They were almost always demonstrated. From helping neighbors in need to relearning calculus so he could help his sons with their homework. Getting up before sunrise every day as part of 43 years on the job, yet somehow when I looked into the stands during my youth sporting events -- he was always there.

What is the most memorable sports experience you remember sharing with your dad?

The Catch. January 10, 1982. Forget Candlestick Park, the real bedlam ensued in the Casa Calvisi family room some 50 miles to the south. At the very instant Dwight Clark got his fingertips on that Joe Montana TD pass, I vaulted onto the coffee table in euphoric celebration, only to see my little brothers dog pile my father. To this day, my Dad thinks Montana should still be the Niners' starting QB (over Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernicků)

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