X Games Profile of Andy Finch’s Dad

So I get home late last night and dive into my DVR of the X Games 12 Men’s Halfpipe Qualifiers… and the usual array of spins, flips and personalities are interupted by what I can only call a very strange profile of the troubles facing snowboarder Andy Finch and his family.  This may have been the most disturbing piece of journalism I have ever seen?

The profile explained why, unlike in past years, Andy’s dad Cliff won’t be at the bottom of the pipe to cheer him on this year.  Earlier this year in what the ESPN piece described as “an episode of eratic behavior”, Cliff was shot 7 times by police officers and now lies partially paralyzed in a California VA hospital.  What the profile glances over in its attempt to pull at your heart strings is how before being shot, Cliff armed and enroute to confronting his wife, led the police on a high speed chase that ended with him shooting at the officers causing them to return fire.

While my heart goes out to Andy and his family in this time of crisis.  I certainly don’t think his dad should be held up for our sympathies.  Nor do I think his story should be exploited for cheap entertainment.  I’m very surprised by both ESPN and Andy for their decision to run this piece.

Details on Cliff’s incident are scarce but if you want to read more here is the most comprehensive article I could find.  Click Here 

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~ by hrocker on January 27, 2008.

3 Responses to “X Games Profile of Andy Finch’s Dad”

  1. I didn’t see the piece, but at the same time I don’t think journalists should just avoid the story surrounding Andy’s dad. However, if there was a slant like you said where they portrayed Andy’s dad as a good guy who was shot by the police, then that’s just the typical sensationalist, subjective journalism we’ve come to expect from the company which lacks any integrity, ESPN.

  2. I know the Finch family like they are my own. If there is one person in this world that I couldn’t say enough about to support his character, heart, and overall incredible being, it is Cliff Finch. I have been lucky enough to know and spend time with him and his amazing family my entire life. He is one of the people that I can never wait to see- kindhearted and always smiling, the “shirt off of his back” kind of guy. He has supported and encouraged Andy to be the best since the very beginning. Anyone who has ever even got so much as a smile out of Cliff, (which is hard to avoid) could tell you that he is one of the kindest men in the world. Cliff Finch lives his life with an infectious love that can be seen in nearly everything he does. His smile, his laugh, his music, and his undying love for his friends and family, have improved the quality of life for myself, my family, and as far as I can imagine, every last person that has been lucky enough to cross paths with this great man.
    In response to the first post, something else I believe the profile “glanced over” is the fact that he is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran. He fought for our country and was wounded during his tour. Cliff was in the midst of that war, not sitting on the sidelines. As we all know such experiences have left men incapable of returning to normal lives due to post traumatic stress, exposure to life threatening chemicals, and crippling injuries. Yet Cliff did more than return to a normal life, he created a great life for himself and his family. He married an absolutely wonderful and amazing woman and fathered a man who has been an outstanding role model that I have looked up to with the greatest respect for as long as I can remember.
    The article was not cheap entertainment and I find nothing entertaining about it. Andy would not exploit this incident for the “entertainment” of the masses. Andy and Cliff have a connection like I’ve never seen. They appear to be more best friends than father and son. This event was beyond devastating for not only myself, but for all that know the family, and I am sure the impact it had on Andy, his mother, and his ability to compete is paramount to any emotion I felt. The article was for the world to understand what Andy and his family at home were going through as he competed that day.
    I cannot say enough about Cliff, Joanie, and Andy Finch. I am so incredibly grateful to have them as part of my life. I understand the viewpoint of those of you who have seen the ESPN piece; I can imagine it easy to pass judgment on a man you have never met. I am here to offer you the viewpoint of a person who has had Cliff Finch in his life since the day he was born. There is no personal gain or benefit for me to reply to this post. I am doing it out of the love I have for this great man and the Finch family. Cliff deserves it to be known that he is a model man that has lived his life in a manner that any man should strive to duplicate.

    “Bad things happen to good people”…If ever there were a more fitting time for such a statement.

    I wish more than anything that this had not happened to Cliff, and I am sure that I am not alone in that respect. I love this man and his family and wish nothing but the absolute best for them all. I am forever grateful to the Finches for being a part of my life and I am honored to say that I will stand with them until the very end.

    CJ Henderson

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