Father and son

At the age of 23, Steelers’ linebacker Larry Foote learned he’d fathered a son when he was 15. Instead of ducking paternity, he embraced it. Foote is raising his son, reports Michael Rosenberg in the Detroit Free-Press.

“It’s still a little rocky between us,” said Larry, 24. “When I was telling him something, here comes this manly voice — he was looking at me like the Big Bad Wolf. He loves the video games, but when he got out here, he had to read every day. He had to go to his speech teacher. Homework on a regular basis. Eating vegetables. All he wanted to eat was buffalo wings.

“Here I am, I already took him away from his brothers and sisters — he’s already mad at me just for that. And I’ve got to sit there and tell him he’s got to eat some broccoli.”

Foote learned how to be a father from his own father.

“I was one of the few in my neighborhood growing up that had a father that was in my life. A lot of my buddies growing up, they didn’t even know their fathers — they didn’t know who they were. My father didn’t live with me, but every weekend, me and my father were close. That’s how I grew up.

“My uncles that I was close with, they were married and had kids. That’s the only way I knew.

“I had to get my son and be a part of his life.

Fatherhood is a “blessing,” says Foote, who’s engaged to be married to his college sweetheart.

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