Tim Conway Jr. fooled me back on Feb. 18 while driving to Aquinas High’s “San Bernardino Strong” game against city basketball rival Indian Springs.
KFI’s Drive Time/Prime Time host (KFI AM 640) from 6 to 10 p.m. was on fire.
He was taking on the “Little League” Dad. About time, I thought. It’s terrible, I thought. Rant on, I thought.
Stay tuned, though. I wasn’t thinking, I thought.
Tim Jr.’s dad, famous comedian Tim Conway Sr., would spend time in the back yard with his boy.
“My dad would play catch with me.”
Any time. Never used the excuse that he was too tired, either.
“Any time,” said Tim Jr.
Tim Sr. never ran roughshod over Tim Jr. that he had to bloody himself — translation: overtrain at all expense — to reach the pros.
“I remember we had Jim Gott, one of the ex-Dodgers, on the show one time.”
Gott told Tim Jr. how he’d hired a private coach for his two kids, just so he could protect the relationship with both his sons.
Tim Jr. kept advancing his case.
Dads gotta get their kids to the pros. Think of the money. The fame. Winning a Stanley Cup. An NBA ring. A Super Bowl. Or, in this case, a World Series. All that pressure. Extra batting. Extra lifting. All that extra running.
At the championship trophy presentations, noted Tim Jr., those guys “Thanked their mothers on TV.
“Why do you think they thanked their mothers?” Tim Jr. asked.
“Because the dads ruined their relationship when they were growing up.”
So where was Tim Jr. going with all this?
Was this a shakedown on all youth sports connecting dads with their kids?
Or was it a “my dad is better than your dad” type of point?
Was this his way of bone-crunching latter-day dads into being more humane to their kids — any sport — by backing away from their own lost dreams of making it to the pros?
I kept listening. That Aquinas-Indian Springs game can wait, I thought. He had me intrigued.
Tim Jr.’s point was suddenly about to become clear.
All that high-pressure time from age eight on up through the ranks — youth ball, practices, games, extra work, travel ball, high school, even college — was the price you had to pay.
This was all about 2017.
Said Tim Jr.: “When the Houston A-Holes cheated the Dodgers out of the World Series ...”
A lifetime of preparation and sacrifice came crashing down to that. Stealing signs, which I thought was a time-honored tradition in baseball, got a little too far away from acceptable standards.
Tim Jr. played on Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner’s rip on baseball — all things Astros, plus Commissioner Rob Manfred’s assault on the World Series trophy.
Argued Tim Jr.: “Those guys might not ever get another chance to win the World Series.”
This was great radio.
Tim Jr., who’s not a sports talk radio host, in short, out-commented that sports talk radio crowd — all of the slick guys from Cowherd and Dan Patrick in the morning to Roggin and Rodney in the afternoons, plus everyone else in between.
Tim Jr. may have gotten to the bottom of it better than any of those pro sports commentators. Showed it off much better.
Listening to Turner’s rants, which Tim Jr. played, was far more effective than just reading Turner’s biting words in the print media.
Great prep. Well-organized. Better than TV. Got you right to the gut of that whole wacky cheating scheme.
As for me, I’m perfectly willing to let Tim Jr.’s rant speak for my own feelings. No wonder this guy's a star in broadcasting.
This was one of the best illustrations of all.
When I walked into Aquinas’ tiny-but-packed gym, I was pumped.
(Got a sports tip? Want to talk sports? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.)