Are You My Dad?

Are You My Dad?
Illustration:Jim Cooke/GMG; Image: Universal Pictures

This week, Deadspin and Jezebel swap beats to celebrate America’s most dangerous and controversial pastimes: football and fashion, two sports that have far more in common than you think.

Playing catch with your dad is a time-honored tradition that imparts myriad emotional and developmental benefits to both father and son. My dad never played catch with me, and I grew up to be a petty, vindictive, conspiratorial adult woman. Coincidence? I think not.

To exact my revenge, I have decided to play catch with people in the office to find out who my new dad is. My plan is simple: They throw the football; I try to catch the football. If I catch the football, they’re my dad. If I miss, they are not my dad. Ideally, this all would’ve taken place on the idyllic Greek island of Skopelos, à la Mammas Mia 1 and 2, but expensing a single-use football from the Modell’s on 6th Avenue was already pushing it. The taller-ceilinged parts of the office would have to do.

This? A Football. Photo: (Harron Walker)

I found eight willing participants—well, 10. Deadspin Managing Editor Tom Ley and Staff Editor Dan McQuade forgot we were doing it on Monday and worked from home. They are now my deadbeat dads. What about the other eight? Will any of them be my new dad? All I know for sure is that my actual dad definitely wishes he played catch with me when I was younger and that this is a good, normal, healthy blog.

  • Jezebel Culture Editor Clover Hope made me play catch outside the office, in the rain. Maybe she thought it would build character? It didn’t, and I missed the ball. Clover is not my dad.
  • Jezebel Managing Editor Megan Reynolds was next. We also went outside. Perhaps we should have started inwards. A father-son bond cannot be forced. Unsurprisingly, I missed her throw. Megan is not my dad.
  • Tired of walking up and down two flights of stairs to go outside, I suggested to Jezebel Senior Producer Jennifer Perry that we play catch on the first floor of the Gizmodo Media Group offices. She agreed. Dads aren’t all corncob pipes and throw you in the deep end. Dads can be compassionate, understanding, and kind. I caught the ball. Jennifer is my dad.
  • Deadspin News Editor Samer Kalaf met me where I was at. Literally. Right at my desk. Did he see me? I felt seen. I caught the ball. Samer is my dad.
  • GMG Special Projects Desk Senior Writer Molly Osberg did not know I could be her son, but when I asked her if she’d throw a ball at me, she seemed excited by the prospect. Unfortunately, I missed, but she insisted on a second chance. I caught that second ball, though I won’t count it, as I didn’t give anyone else another throw. Let’s just say that Molly is like a father to me. A father figure. Yeah. That works.
  • Deadspin Reporter Laura Wagner initially declined as she thought it would be filmed. I would’ve done the same thing, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that Laura is my dad—i.e., I caught the ball.
  • Jezebel Senior Writer Frida Garza was just trying to get some snacks, but I made her throw y’ole pimply brown dublicone at me. I caught the ball, to which Frida gave an unenthusiastic “great……” and carried on to the staff pantry. Frida is my distant father, if not my dad.
  • I followed Frida to the kitchen, where I found GMG Head of Audience and Social Jon Eiseman. “Do you want to find out if you’re my dad?” I asked him. “OK!” he said. I caught the ball. Jon is my dad.

So, that makes four dads, a distant father, a father figure, and two deadbeat dads. Take that, actual dad. Whatever my point, it was proven, perhaps.

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