The election is over, but I still have an opportunity for you to vote. I'd like you to tell me what you think about Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman's decision to skip the game on Sunday night if his wife gives birth.
Tillman's wife apparently is very pregnant, and the Bears cornerback said he might miss the game if she goes into labor (via CBSChicago).
Meanwhile, the debate is flourishing here in Chicago, in large part by statements made by ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio who, on WSCR "The Score" radio came up with the following thought:
There are ways nowadays–there are technologies that you can plan when you’re going to have a baby. There are four fairly important months out of the year when you work 16 Sundays and you get paid a lot of money to be available those 16 Sundays. You try to avoid being in a position where you have to make that decision on Sunday that you’re getting paid a lot of money to be available to play a football game. It’s easy for me to say this because I’ve never been and never will be in this position, but I think you gotta show up and do your job. Guys who are overseas don’t get to fly home if they’ve got a spouse going into labor, and they get paid a heck of a lot less money.
Now, first of all, this would probably not even be an issue except for the fact that the Bears are playing a very good Houston team on Sunday night, and they also happen to have a 7-1 record this season, like Chicago. And Tillman is coming off what was arguably the best game of his career.
Personally, while the Bears fan in me would hate to see the Bears have to play this game without Tillman, who is playing at an extremely high level this year, I feel that Florio is dead wrong.
Look, the birth of a child is a magical, awe-inspiring event and the man should be there with his wife. Normally, you get maybe a handful of chances to witness this miracle (this will be Tillman's fourth), while there have been more than one hundred football games in Tillman's career so far.
I understand that NFL players get paid obscene sums of money and that this is Tillman's job. But being a husband and a father are also part of Tillman's job description. Furthermore, I'm not sure that Florio's medical advice regarding the technologies he is referring to is completely accurate.
I'm sure that there are some who may agree with Florio, but are too scared to voice that opinion. Likewise, I'm equally sure there would be many disappointed Bears fans if Tillman doesn't go on Sunday.
Still, I choose to believe that the majority of people understand Tillman's desire to be with his wife for such a blessed event. But, since I don't know for sure, I'd ask you, the Bears fan, what you think:
Is Tillman wrong for leaving the team to attend the birth of his child or do you agree with his decision?
There is a decent chance he won't even have to make that decision. But if he does, it has to be one that the man can live with as a human being and as a football player.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that football is just a game. But believe me, no one forgets the birth of their own child.
Here's hoping his wife holds on until after the game, or that the baby comes early. Fortunately, the game is at home, so Tillman should be in position to get to his wife's side in time if she goes into labor following the game.
Feel free to let me know how you feel via the poll as well as in the comments below.
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