Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mailbag: Philadelphia takes care of its own

Bernie Parent
Bernie Parent

Why do so many Philadelphia athletes decide to stay around the city or within the organization after retirement?

- Lou S
Washington Township, NJ

The media loves to downplay and criticize Philadelphia (snowballs and Santa Claus … enough said). But I don’t think the media ever focuses on how receptive the people of this area are, were and continue to be. The national media shuns us, gives us the black eye, and always focuses on the negative, in all sports. I’m not sure if the media just doesn’t care, or refuses to acknowledge the beauty of the people living in this area. You know what? Maybe the Broad Street Bullies brought this on themselves. Phil Esposito said it well, “Yea, we’re tough. But to win a championship, you have to have talent, too.”

And this applies to all of our Philadelphia teams.

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  • But most importantly, the people of the Philadelphia region become your family. And truthfully, that’s why a lot of players stay here. I can walk the streets of Philadelphia and feel a part of this family. No matter what they say about Philadelphia and its residents, the city as a whole embraces you with open arms. And Philadelphia takes care of its own.

    Hi Bernie. I’m writing in for some advice. I was married for 20 years but recently divorced. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a taste of the dating game, and I wanted to know how I can muster up the confidence to get out there and try again? Times have certainly changed, and I want to stay true to myself and my beliefs. Any advice for a man that’s looking for some companionship without a clue where to start?

    - Joe C
    Philadelphia, PA

    I applaud you for staying true to yourself and not staying a slave to your situation. So many people are afraid, rightfully so, to hurt others (especially if children are involved), so they just go through the motions and never allow themselves to live the life they were meant to live. If you’ve exhausted all options in your relationship and the next logical step is to go your separate ways, it will be a difficult decision, but make it for your happiness and the happiness of your loved ones.

    I’ve been divorced for 20 years, but I made a promise to myself and my family, that we will ALWAYS remain family. But I wouldn’t let myself continue to live in that environment. At the same time, it was my responsibility to make sure my family is taken care of.

    If you’ve fallen in love and gotten married at a young age, after a while, you may realize that you no longer have the same vision as your partner. And that’s ok.

    Where to start? Start with never forgetting where you came from. Study your past situation and where you were. The confidence will come with simply putting yourself out there. Allow yourself to meet people; different people. Put yourself in situations to find like-minded people that you’re compatible with and enjoy their company. Find things you like to do together. Figure out what you have in common to build a good foundation. Find the qualities you like in a person and run with it. You may be surprised in the qualities you like in other people today, as opposed to 25 years ago. But if you find yourself wasting time with someone that doesn’t have the same vision and interests in life as you, move on.

    At any point in your career or life, have you ever been faced with a situation where you’ve been forced to make a tough decision that was life altering? If so, what was that predicament? The reason I ask is I’ve been a life long Philly sports fan with a very close family. I’ve recently moved to Boston for my career, and really enjoy the city (but not the sports teams). I’d like to hear how you’ve handled adversity when you were questioning a decision you’ve made, or a predicament you were in to possibly give me some direction.

    - Dan R

    First, I want you to find your purpose. If the tough decision that you are about to make will help you get closer to your purpose, go for it. Only you can make the right decision for yourself and your goals. You have to shut down the opinions of others without hurting anyone. Your main focus should be serving your purpose. People you don’t even know will come into your life and help you move forward. I’ve had to make countless life-altering decisions, and I did it my way. I think Frank Sinatra and I would have been great friends.

    Frank Sinatra “My Way”

    “And now, the end is near;
    And so I face the final curtain.
    My friend, I'll say it clear,
    I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

    I've lived a life that's full.
    I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
    But more, much more than this,
    I did it my way.

    Regrets, I've had a few;
    But then again, too few to mention.
    I did what I had to do
    And saw it through without exemption.

    I planned each charted course;
    Each careful step along the byway,
    But more, much more than this,
    I did it my way.

    Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
    When I bit off more than I could chew.
    But through it all, when there was doubt,
    I ate it up and spit it out.
    I faced it all and I stood tall;
    And did it my way.

    I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
    I've had my fill; my share of losing.
    And now, as tears subside,
    I find it all so amusing.

    To think I did all that;
    And may I say - not in a shy way,
    "No, oh no not me,
    I did it my way".

    For what is a man, what has he got?
    If not himself, then he has naught.
    To say the things he truly feels;
    And not the words of one who kneels.
    The record shows I took the blows -
    And did it my way!”

    Switching from feature articles to an interactive, “Ask Bernie” platform has given me more opportunities to connect and communicate with my fans! We had so many great questions submitted within the last couple of weeks, and I hope you enjoy the topics I’ve picked. Would you like to participate? I welcome any questions pertaining to sports/life/current events/relationships/etc. to questions@bernieparent.net. I’ll randomly choose two or three questions to feature in my bi-weekly articles on Philly.com. Hope to hear from you soon!

    Bernie Parent For Philly.com
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