Should You Miss Your Child’s Birth?


In most professions, the issue of whether or not a man should be with his wife during the birth of their child isn’t a question. But the NFL isn’t quite as clear cut. Players are expected to do their jobs on the field, but at what cost? Here are my thoughts on whether or not NFL coaches and players should miss a game to attend the birth of their child.

  • Jay Lee

    That’s right coach

  • Chris

    Awesome – definitely agree family comes before a career

  • Rob Davis

    Your priorities are in order and your honesty and sincerity made me smile! Thanks for being the example that you are!

  • Roger

    Right on Coach!!

  • Mark Jones Jr.

    Those who think “you only have to work 16 weeks a year” are taking a shallow view of the sacrifice pro players make to be great. Being great is about making tough decisions that others won’t. The fact that Tillman is facing criticism for his decision seems to suggest he’s making the right one. Family first.


    I think Florio needs to get his priorities straightened out. It may be his job, but job doesn’t come before family.

  • Mark A. Rupert

    Thanks for being a great example coach!

  • SS

    “no matter what”. I hope Tony Dungee will testify at our soldiers’ court martial trials when prosecuted for going AWOL in order to be with their birthing wives.

  • Bryan

    Mr. Florio is way off base and out of touch. Football is just a game. The game of life is what really counts. There will always be another game, but you can never replay the birth of your child, at least the live version. It doesn’t matter how much you get payed to do a job. It doesn’t matter what kind of job you do daily. There are certain things in life that are more important than your job. You can always get a new job. You can’t replace your family.

  • Todd B

    What a great example among so many bad ones. Great job coach ! FAMILY FIRST !!!

  • Mike Dion

    2007 Super Bowl XLI per Tony Dungy “I’m proud to be the first African-American coach to win this. But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord’s way. We’re more proud of that.” Thanks for having the courage! I believe opinion is very clear on this issue! FAMILY FIRST!

  • Paul Berglund

    I agree with Florio 100% and I thought that being there for my wife when she was giving birth to my 2 daughters was the most important thing that I have ever done. I wouldn’t have missed those 2 moments for anything. With my job there are not many does that are more important than any other day. I can tell my boss that when my child is born I am going to be there and I will use my allotted vacation days to do so. During any given NFL football season there are only 1,800 contracted professional football players and very few when broken down by position. These players are the best in the world at their position. The average NFL career is less than 6 years. Your entire career is 72 months long. Your goal while being a player is to make it to the Superbowl. With that being said there are games that count from September through February or 5 1/2 months a year. During any given year there are 31 weeks where there are no meaningful scheduled games. During your career there are 189 weeks with no scheduled meaningful games. For most people you take a week off if work for the most important time in your families lives, the company that you work for does just fine and when you returned to your job it was just how you left it. When an elite player Misses a regular season game it could be the difference between winning and losing one of 16 regular season games which could be the difference of making the playoffs or not making the playoffs. Many coaches are fired ea h season for not making the playoffs. A players decision to take a game off has a direct effect to those around him unlike other professions. His coach and his staff of 20+ other coaches can lose their job as a direct result of a player taking a game off. That player could be directly responsible for 20+ other people not being able to provide for their families. As a father you have a responsibility to be there for your wife and child during the moment your child is born. You also have a responsibility to provide for your family. During an NFl players career there will be 189 weeks with no scheduled games. If a player needs to take off a game during the NFL season to be there for the birth of his child, not only is that player selfish he is irresponsible! just my 99 cents

  • Anthony

    Mike Florio is ignorant. He is under the impression that you can order a baby like you can order something online and choose the delivery date. Also in his world there are never pregnancy complications and everything always goes smoothly. The wife will be fine, after all she foolishly got herself pregnant during the offseason. I am of the strong opinion that a Man should be with his wife if at all possible during one of the most important and stressful times a family will ever have. Of note, his kids could also not choose the day that they would be delivered or the priorities of the father they would be delivered to.

  • Jay

    I disagree. Your comments to me just reaffirm that as a society we put way too much emphasis on professional sports.

  • Jay

    I think serving your country and missing the birth of your child due to your service is completely different then missing a professional football game for the birth. I think as a society we put way too much emphasis on professional sports.

  • Gregory Johnson

    Florio and Burglund are 100% WRONG! Obviously neither are parents and I question whether or not either is a REAL man. A REAL man is responsible and his priorities for family will always come first. Many of us work to support a life style but most importantly we work to support our family and the quality of life we wish for them. Most employers will both understand the situation and question one’s priorities if he choses work over being present at the birth of their child.
    There is no greater position than that of a parent. As such, being present whenever possible must be a priority – always.

  • KC

    Family first work second! 1 player does not make a team!

  • sealtango10

    Good call coach! And yes, family ALWAYS first. Afterall, who will be there for you after your career in the NFL is over. Our society is at bad state when the prioirity of a game, over the birth of a child, even comes into question.

  • Dean

    No matter what occupation, be at the birth of your child. It is the greatest miracle of all. And you will regret it if you miss it.