The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Break My Foot Off In Your Royal A – –

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So this past weekend I’m watching Liam Neeson’s latest flick, Taken. It’s one of those movies where you can tell the plot and the ending just from the trailer. But it’s definitely a movie that caught my attention the first time I saw the trailer run in the theater. What? Some masked men are taking this dude’s daughter? Maaaaaan, that heat started welling up in me immediately. I immediately put myself in Bryan Mills’ (Neeson’s character) place. Maaaaaan! If someone tried to take my babies!! Boooy! Umph! Umph, umph, umph.

Only a father of daughters can really know what that “heat” I referred to earlier feels like. Those cats at 20th Century Fox had sold me a ticket although I hadn’t purchased it yet. After I finally saw this movie, I thought about all the movies that had fathers who definitely earned their “Big Piece of Chicken”. Here are 10 that come to mind:

10. John Quincy (Denzel Washington), John Q

John Q, made the ultimate decision to take his own life, to save his son’s. If not for a misfire of a gun which he pointed at his own head, he would have succeeded. I’m not condoning suicide (before the emails come flowing in). But I’m sure there is some father out there faced with doing the drastic thing to protect his child.

9. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), Taken

You don’t mess with a man’s daughter. Mills brings the pain! Overbearing and overworried, his worst nightmares come true when his teenage daughter is kidnapped on a trip to a foreign country. There’s one scene when Mills gets GANGSTA with two nails and an electric current on the main kidnapper and another when he’s not invited for dinner at an old friend’s home who happens to be a conspirator.

This movie made me think about how my daughter tells me (because it is told to her) that I worry too much about her and her sister. I tell her, “Worry is good. It helps me protect you.” I connected to Mills in that regard. Could I go on manhunt and single handedly take out a crime ring based on kidnapping young girls just to save mine? Put it this way, I’d damn sure try. And you know that! You simply don’t mess with a man’s daughter.

8. Cleo McDowell (John Amos), Coming to America

After King Joffer (James Earl Jones) insulted Cleo’s daughter Lisa (Shari Headley) by saying she was beneath him and his son, the Prince (Eddie Murphy), Cleo delivered one of the best lines in movie dad history:

Queen Aoleon (Madge Sinclair): Jaffe, apologize to Mr. McDowell.
King Jaffe Joffer: I will do no such thing. The man is beneath me and so is his daughter.
Cleo McDowell: I don’t care who you are. This is America, Jack! Say another word about Lisa, and I’ll break my foot off in your royal ass!

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it’s worth repeating. You don’t mess with a man’s daughter!

7. Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne), Boyz In The Hood

Furious pulled no punches. He treated his son like a man, but a man that still needed to learn lessons. He didn’t hesitate to give fatherly advice to his son’s friends but also knew that his son was his ultimate responsibility. Furious never hesitated to be blunt and to the point. Some good Furious quotes:

Furious Styles: Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.

After cutting Tre’s (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) hair and listening to Tre trying to impress Furious with a story of one of his female conquests:

Furious Styles: What did you use?
Tre Styles: I used the number she gave me. Why you sweating me, Pops? I didn’t have to use nothing. She told me she was on the pill.
Furious Styles: How many times do I have to tell you even if she’s on the pill, use something anyway? Pill ain’t gon’ keep your dick from falling off. I don’t know why you insist on learning things the hard way, but you gon’ learn. Oh, yeah, you gon’ learn. Pick up that hair.

I’ll through in a few more movie dad’s tomorrow (maybe the next day).

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1 Stacey { 02.18.09 at 9:14 pm }

I am with you on the protection thing and may have to unleash my inner crazy on anyone who tried to hurt either of my babies. Another ‘daddy gone postal for good reason’ movie – Ransom.

2 Sam { 02.18.09 at 10:34 pm }

Wonderful! Thank you soo much for sharing. Totally beautiful! And, you are making THAT difference!

3 E.Payne { 02.18.09 at 11:18 pm }

Carl Lee Hailey – A Time To Kill. He’s about as vengeful as it gets.

“Yes, I killed them…and I hope they burn in Hell!!!”

4 Mr. Man { 02.18.09 at 11:46 pm }

My wife and I saw Taken this past weekend as well. Wow what a movie. You described the “heat” in your post and I can relate. My oldest child is a girl and, while you don’t want anything to happen to ANY of your kids, the punishment would be particularly intense for someone who harmed my baby girl.

I hope I am not stealing your thunder, but another “Big Piece of Chicken” (I love saying and writing that…I wish I had thought of it first) is Will Smith as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness. Talk about the ability to “Man Up” (see the latest post on to seewhat I’m talking about). Keep earning that “Big Piece of Chicken”, Ben.

Mr. Man

5 Ben { 02.19.09 at 6:30 am }

@E.Payne: You beat me to it. I’ll give you the credit for it though. Carl Lee was NOT playin! You don’t mess with a man’s daughter.

@Stacey: I forgot all about the Ransom movie. That was a good one. Mel Gibson plays good crazy though. I’m going to have to rent that one.

6 Mr. Man { 02.19.09 at 2:40 pm }

I know what you mean about “feeling the heat” if anyone messed with my daughter. The very thought of her being hurt gets me going.

Will Smith as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness.This dad is not a vengeful dad, but a dedicated and determined one. He manned up when his wife left and nourished his son when he himself was at the breaking point. Big piece of chicken for Will?

7 Tony Gravato { 02.19.09 at 5:00 pm }

I always think of myself as John Maclean (Bruce Willis) in the Die Hard series … I know not quite the same, but he was still a family man none the less. And I have to agree with Mr. Man, Will Smith as Cris Gardner was another great one.

8 Ben { 02.20.09 at 7:29 am }

You guys must be mind readers. Stay tuned.

9 nutmeg { 02.20.09 at 5:05 pm }

How about Sean Penn in I Am Sam?

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