Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Capping off Father’s Day, I’d like to thank Vikings Territory for giving me the opportunity to promote my new project The Dad Mode Podcast, a show dedicated to Common Sense Parenting in Politically Correct World.

Many of you VT’ers know me was the mediocre Purple FTW! Podcast Guy, but I’m also a first time dad and have no idea what I’m doing. Fortunately, no one else does either, so we’re all in this together. Let’s chat.

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Image courtesy of Austin Belisle

When you lose a parent — in my case, my father three years ago — you lose more than you can imagine. You lose your father choking up on your wedding day or welcoming his first grandchild to the world. More than that, you lose the little things, like an afternoon spent watching the Vikings or an evening learning how to barbecue the perfect ribs. Those memories, and events yet-to-happen, burn bright in my mind — I’ll never forget them, but I’ll also never let them define me.

The day he died, my mother shared these words with me, and they’ve allowed me to move past the anger, the pain, and the sadness that came when I was just 20 years-old:

“You can’t let this define you, Austin. Try to remember the good times, and find strength in the bad ones.”

It’s difficult to look back and think of those happy moments — our last few years together were unbearably difficult. But in the time since his passing, I HAVE found strength in a number of people; my amazing mother, my twin sister, my incredible uncle, and other close friends.

I wish my father was a part of that list, but if there’s one connection, one memory I can cling to, it’s our unbreakable bond over the Minnesota Vikings. Our happiest memories together came sitting in front of the TV every Sunday, cheering on our favorite team in purple and gold. I won’t let his death define the rest of my life, but I’ll always hold the my father’s beloved team near and dear to my heart.

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The Packers-Vikings Border Battle was always special to my Dad and I, as I’m sure it is to many fathers and sons on both sides of the river. The feelings and brain chemistry probably date back to prehistoric times when a father and his brood would share and bond over the hatred and disdain for a rival tribe and vice-versa. However our tradition wasn’t warring over the good pasture lands, but instead getting up to The Dome for the Packer-Viking game at least once every two years, starting when I was nine-years old in 1994.

2007 was the last one.

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Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

Andy’s off this week taking care of a baby that is apparently his. But we have a week full of classic Purple FTW! episodes for your rube ears!

This was an interview I did with former Vikings running back Darrin Nelson on Football Convos. We talked Vikings, Bud Grant, Bill Walsh, Stanford, being one of the first dual threat running backs in the NFL, and his election to the College Football Hall of Fame.

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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