No harm – No foul on Horford

Published On November 29, 2016 | By Alice Cook

Boston Celtics big man Al Horford  took some heat for missing a game against Miami.  Horford was given the night off to be with his wife Amelia Vega  for  the birth of their second child.   Comcast Sports New England host Michael Felger had this to say on the subject during his show Monday night.

“He had the birth of his kid in Atlanta. The game was in Miami. I know when you make $30 million a year it ain’t much to get a private jet,” said Felger. “[Celtics owner] Wyc [Grousbeck] would probably pick it up to fly down at 3 o’clock in Atlanta. It’s about a 90-minute flight to Atlanta. Play the game and come right back.”

I know and like Michael Felger. I worked with Mike. I respect his work as a radio host and a sports analyst.

But this has to be one of his worst “hot sports takes” ever.

Nothing is more important than being present for the birth on your child.  Certainly not a meaningless basketball game against an undermanned Miami Heat team in November.

Felger went on to say if there were “complications” after the birth, then it would be ok to miss the game and stay with his wife.

But if this is a generic child birth?” he added. “Play the game.”

“I like my guys to forsake everything for the team,” said Felger. “It’s a little soft. Just go play the game.”

Soft?  C’mon Mike. Even you can’t believe that. Even with all the advantages of modern medicine, there is no predicting what can happen during and after child birth.

I speak from experience. (As would the beautiful and talented Mrs. Felger were she asked.)

In the winter of 1993,  I was 10 days past my due date with my second child.  My doctor called me on the morning of February 1st and said, “Come on in.. it’s your baby’s birthday!”

We were at the hospital mid-morning. I was induced and in labor by early afternoon.  Ten hours later,  I was still in labor with little progress.  The next thing I knew I was in a surgical room having an emergency C-section.  I can’t imagine going through that scary, traumatic and excruciatingly painful experience without my husband in the room.  I didn’t die, but at the time I wanted to.

After nearly 24 hours of labor and surgery our son was born the morning of February 2nd.  My newborn and I  spent the next three days in the hospital with me connected to a morphine drip. What was supposed to be a “routine” delivery was anything but.

The Celtics absolutely did the right thing sending Al Horford to Atlanta to be present for the birth of his child.  There are certain things in life you just can’t get back.  Witnessing the birth of your child is one of them.  We also never know what will happen in the delivery room.  Pro athlete, radio host or regular Joe, dad should be there.

For the record, the Horford-less Celtics easily won their game against the Heat 112-104.

No harm.  No foul on Horford.

Al Horford will be back on the Garden floor Wednesday night against the Pistons.

In the meantime, he and his teammates can enjoy some nice cigars. Congrats Al.













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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.