FAMILY FEUD

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by Junior Blaber

Crown Heights, Sovereign Republic of Brooklyn – They say you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. We all know this can go the hard way – like if you hate your family. It doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person but could be enough to be like, “I am not answering this phone right now.” This happened to me about 5 minutes before I was to start writing something and it thankfully got me on the topic of families and sport. In that vein, there are some players whose family bios make you say, “Oh My God!”

You got guys like Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram whose dad played for the Giants but is currently in JAIL. Adrian Peterson’s Dad saw him play in college from JAIL and a halfway house. Yet, no one can beat the new Broncos picks of Demaryius Thomas, whose Mom and Grandma where running a drug shop out of his home when he was a kid so at the age of 12 he lost them to 20 and 40 yrs in the box, respectively. You also have his teammate Tim Tebow, the son of a missionary that spends summers circumcising babies in developing nations. But these stories are interesting but not fun, so let’s talk about the fun stuff…

Fun to me is all about Sibling rivalries. As the youngest of 3 boys, I was often reminded by my bros of how I was nowhere as good an athlete as them. I could go wipe the floor with all the kids on the block in a soccer game and then my bro would come out and wipe the floor with me just to put me in my place. So I will do what I always do, take a tour around the 6 sports, I care about (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer and Rugby). For me the key is there has to be three members of the family (brothers, father and two sons, Two brothers and a son) for it to be worthwhile contemplation.

BASEBALL:
This to me, comes down to a three-horse race.

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The Ripkens – Cal Sr., Cal Jr. “Ironman”, and Billy “F#$kface”: They were on the same team at one point; coach, 2B and SS, but only Cal Jr. was the memorable legend and only the two Cals own a World Series ring, courtesy of the 1983 Baltimore Orioles.
The Alomars: Sandy Sr., Sandy Jr., Roberto – I love the Alomars. We all know of Sandy Jr. as one of the best catchers when in his prime and Roberto is a 2x world series champion. Sandy, Sr. is often forgotten because he was more of a defensive guy and never had the bat of his sons.
The “Catching” Molinas: Bengie, Jose, Yadier – Four rings, three brothers… That is why these guys win it. Congrats to mom, Gladys Matta.
Winner : The Molinas, championships are always tie-breakers.

BASKETBALL:
The Hurleys : Bobby Sr., Bobby Jr., and Dan – Bobby Sr. is the coach of St. Anthony’s HS which is forever winning HS Basketball Championships and is keeping the school open single-handedly. Bobby Jr. was the NCAA National Championship winning guard at Duke, whose career was cut short by a car accidents, so he went on to assist Dad as coach until last year… Dan played for Seton Hall and made 3 NCAA tourneys and an NIT, he has moved on to creating a national contender as St. Benedict’s in Newark as a coach and now is the Head Coach at Wagner College in Staten Island, assisted by Bobby Jr.

Bobby Hurley Sr. Documentary from Matlock on Vimeo.


The Currys: Dell, Stephen and Seth – Dell made it pro and bounced around several teams in the league. Stephen became a college sensation at small Davidson and is now with Golden State and looking at being Rookie Of The Year. Seth was not really recruited much like Stephen, but after being the man at Liberty, he has transferred to Duke and look for him to light it up, next season.
Winner: The Hurleys, they are from Jersey and they are winners. Overcoming the Jersey handicap in process.

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Football:
The Mathews’ : Clay Sr., Clay Jr., Clay III and Bruce – Clay Sr. played 4 seasons in the’50s at Offensive Tackle/Defensive End, Clay Jr. played 19 years at Linebacker, Bruce played 19 seasons as an Offensive Lineman and Clay III is going into his second season as a Linebacker in the NFL
The Mannings : Archie, Peyton and Eli – If you don’t know who they are go back and climb under that rock you live under.
The Geathers’: Robert Sr., James “Jumpy”, Robert Jr. and Clifton: Robert Sr, was a third-round pick of Buffalo in 1981 but never played a down in the NFL because of injury. Jumpy, had a 13-year NFL career. Robert Jr., is a starting defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals and Clifton is likely to be drafted this year. All of them are Defensive Ends.
Winner: Mannings, I hate them cause the Press loves them but you can’t knock the fact that they have two championship rings the other families have none.

Hockey:
The Sutters: Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich, and Ron – I don’t know where to begin with this group I mean 6 boys making the pros and a seventh that could have but decided to be a farmer and work the other family business.
Winner: Sutters, there are other families like the Hulls, but nobody is worth listing. There is a whole second generation of 8 more Sutters coming up in the minors. This family is Hockey. Four of them are GM’s or Coaches.

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Soccer:
The Maradonas: Diego Maradona, Hugo Maradona (brother) Diego Maradona Junior (son of Diego), Sergio Agüero (father of Diego’s grandchild), Jorge Maradona (nephew)
The Milburns: Jack Milburn, George Milburn (brother), Jim Milburn (brother), Stanley Milburn (brother), Bobby Charlton (England international) (nephew), Jack Charlton (England international) (nephew), Jackie Milburn (England international) (cousin)
Lampard/Redknapp: Frank Lampard, Sr., Frank Lampard (son), Jamie Redknapp (nephew), Harry Redknapp (brother-in-law)
Winner: The Lampard-Redknapp combo. You ask why and the answer is Louise Redknapp.
Rugby

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The Kefus: Toutai, Steve, Fa’aleo, Mafi (Mafileo) – First two have already played on the same Australian national team, The third one Fa’aleo has been selected to the sevens team and the youngest Mafi is making name for himself on the club level.
Winner : I gave it to the Kefus because they were the easiest to research but I assure with the Polynesian islands of Samoa, Tonga (which the Kefu parents are from) and Fiji and the importance and size of families in these countries I guarantee you there are scores of Uncle, nephews, and brothers playing together.

Now, I hope that makes you feel better about your family, if not sucks to be you.

Rex O’Rourke, tomorrow.

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About the Author ()

Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed "Junoir" on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona - [June-noire]... Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s... He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber

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