I hide it well, but the truth is that I’m not exactly the most “manliest” of men. I work out and mow my own lawn, but I can’t change my oil or grow a decent beard. When a friend needed help renovating his kitchen, it was my wife he called, not me.
Now I’m thrilled to be partnering with Dove Men + Care for their “Real Strength, Highlight Reels” campaign. Together with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson, Dove Men + Care is challenging the idea that it is muscle, not care, that determines a man’s strength. You can watch their videos here:
My own highlight reel wouldn’t feature any touchdowns or game saving tackles. I’ve never jumped out of an airplane or saved somebody from a burning building.
It would be holding my wife’s hand when we were told our daughter needed to be induced immediately. Nights spent on the couch when she refused to sleep anywhere but the swing by the living room window. Other nights on the floor next to her bed as she coughed herself to sleep. The first preschool drop off and teaching her how to swim. The first time she called me “dad.”
I love watching football, but how much more enjoyable when there are guys playing that you actually enjoy rooting for? Besides Carson Palmer, this weekend’s Championship games will feature his teammate Larry Fitzgerald, who took time out in the middle of a game to honor World War Two, Korean, and Vietnam veteran Colonel James Ballard. Instead of talking about his 75 yard catch in overtime against the Packers, Fitzgerald talked about ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen, recently diagnosed with throat cancer.
One of the best players for the Denver Broncos is cornerback Chris Harris Jr, who runs a free football camp for those he calls “the underdogs”. He works extensively with Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a national spokesman against domestic violence. Peyton Manning’s playing days might be coming to an end, but disadvantaged children in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana will continue to be helped by his Peyback Foundation.
Quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers gives every touchdown ball to a young child in the stands. His foundation provides academic aid and support for troubled youths in the Atlanta and Charlotte communities. Teammate Thomas Davis won the 2014 Walter Peyton Man of the Year award.
The fourth team vying for a spot in this year’s Super Bowl are the New England Patriots, a team my wife and I were able to watch in person last weekend courtesy of Dove Men + Care. Also at that game was Dorian Murray, an eight year old from Westerly, Rhode Island that has been battling stage four cancer for the past four years and has recently decided to end his treatments. Dorian was there as a guest of his new friend, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who only recently has had his own hair grow back after shaving his head this summer to show “solidarity and support for those courageously fighting cancer.”
It’s typically what an athlete does in the game that is featured on post game reports and highlight reels, but it’s what happens off the field that better showcases their real strength.
What moments would be on your highlight reel? The times when you “stepped up your game” and showed how a real man should be defined? Let me know in the comments section below or on social media tagging @DoveMenCare and using the hashtag #RealStrength.
I was provided accommodation and playoff tickets for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.