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My Turn: Real Men Shed Tears—Why It's All Right to Cry

There is a story in Herodotus about Xerxes. The Persian king is on a plateau proudly scanning his million-man army as it marches toward Greece. Suddenly, the emperor bursts into tears and exclaims, "They will all be gone in 100 years." I wonder if he wasn't a little embarrassed in front of his generals. I also wonder if the lugubrious emperor wasn't a man in his 50s.

I crossed the 50-yard line myself recently, and as though I were going though a kind of "maleopause," I sometimes find myself choking up at peculiar moments.

I was recently writing a piece about Joe Frazier and his monumental first fight with Muhammad Ali, and, the next thing I knew, my keyboard was awash in tears. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Frazier's courage in the ring, but it seemed odd to be weeping over Smokin' Joe.

I was a fanatical sport parent and pushed one of my sons very hard in football. He had some significant success, but in the end was too small to succeed at the Division I level. My son is thriving and is now at peace with his football past, but all I need to do is recall the hours we spent practicing together for my face to steam up and the floodgates to open...


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