They Call It Rope-a-Dope or I Got Punched in the Face…Twice!

“They call it the rope-a-dope. Well, I’m the dope. Ali just laid on the rope and I, like a dope, kept punching until I got tired. But he was probably the most smart fighter I’ve ever gotten into the ring with.” –George Foreman

Just before I graduated from college in the late 1970s, I was playing on a slow pitch softball team. Some of the teams would hang out in the parking lot after the night games. Just as I was getting in my car to leave, a “Roman candle” about 15 inches long hit the hood of my car. It left a small -nick- in the paint, so I wondering just how this thing fell out of the sky onto my car.

Across the parking lot I recognized some guys in another group, so I walked over to them with the Roman candle in hand. As I approached the small circle of guys I said, “Did one of you throw this? It hit my car.” In the next instant, out of nowhere…BANG!!! One of guys who had his back to me, spun around and at full-force punched me in the face. It happened so fast. I wasn’t really sure what happened, but I knew that my head was ringing.

My response was just one of stunned shock. I said, “Phil (not his real name), what are you doin’”? Then in the second instant…BANG!!! He hit me again in the same spot. I was in a state of disbelief. Then, I could tell that I was hurt badly. The place where my cheek bone was supposed to be felt more like a soft sponge.

This was one of the most surreal moments of my life and ended by me simply saying as I walked away, “Phil, I’m not quite sure what you’re doing, but I’m really hurt and you’re in trouble.” To make a long story short, Phil ended up in jail and I spent four days in the hospital having delicate reconstructive surgery on the left side of my face. I had nerve damage that caused half of my face to be completely numb for many months. Forty years later I still periodically feel the effects of this.

By all accounts, this was an unfair fight. After all, I wasn’t looking for a fight, and I’m not good at fighting. It was dark, and he had the element of surprise, twice. He was much stronger than me, and he liked to fight.

When I was 12 years old I accidentally discovered pornography on a country road. Just like I didn’t stand a chance against Phil in that dark parking lot, I didn’t stand a chance against the evil and destructive forces of pornography. Phil’s force was powerful, destructive and he used the element of surprise, twice. Just like pornography, its sole purpose is to draw you in and sucker punch you.

Dads (and moms), this is what happens when your son finds himself face-to-face with hard core pornography. Your son does not know what he’s getting himself involved with. Porn likes to draw in unsuspecting victims and then, bang! Boys don’t realize they’re fighting a force that has a powerful focus that is evil, destructive and potentially addictive.

The seductive power of porn creates an unfair fight that your son is not equipped to handle. I know. Now, it’s been more than 15 years that I’ve attended recovery meetings, and I’ve heard the devastating stories of hundreds of men and women of all ages whose lives have been destroyed when lust got its hold on them. Restraint had eluded each of them.

Dads, you need to do everything in your power to protect your young son against the evils of this destructive force. More on this in weeks to come…

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This is an edited excerpt from Tender Lions: Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son

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