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TODAY   |  September 17, 2013

Do you have a ‘golden’ child? Lupica examines impact

New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica’s new novel, “Helping Kids Who Aren’t the ‘Favorite,’” explores the impact on kids who might not view themselves as the parent’s favorite. 

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>>> you have siblings, you probably joke about which one of you is your parent's favorite. we've all done it. it can be a touchy subject for the child that isn't the golden child . mike lupica writes about that in his new novel called "qb 1." do you have siblings?

>> i have a younger sister .

>> who was the favorite.

>> if you listen to her it was me. if you listen to me, it was her.

>> was your personal experience the inspiration for the book or something else?

>> no it's being the parent of four children and three sons.

>> which would be is your favorite?

>> well, you know, i tried to get by with this for a long time. just think of dad's heart as four equal quadrants and they were like do you think we're buying that. for all the sports i coached the boys in, my daughter is more competitive than all three. not only does she run our family, i believe her ultimate goal is world domination .

>> let's set this up, okay? kind of a friday night lights town. a 14-year-old who wants to be the starting quarterback on the football team . a tough family legacy. his dad played in the nfl . his older brother is a big time college quarterback.

>> at university of texas .

>> and probably the favorite. so take it from there.

>> the father never became what he hoped to be in the pros. he got concussed out of profootball. but the golden boy was the older brother and the father couldn't see past him to see the 14-year-old. but the book is really about him and not trying to just get out of one shadow but get out of two.

>> you make no secret of the fact that you based this on the manning family. you have peyton and eli and archie the father --

>> archie is the model dad. he didn't favor anyone including cooper the third son. i wanted to know if i had it right but because he was the quarterback and father of quarterback sons and he sent me the sweetest son. he said you got it exactly right and wrote me blurb that said this book should be read by all football fathers and sons .

>> you said the father didn't live up to his dreams because he was concussed out of football. he suffered concussions.

>> yes.

>> the main character in this, the 14-year-old also suffers a concussion so clearly this is a subject that's been in the news a lot lately with the nfl . is that something you wanted to dive into?

>> yeah, the dad says we didn't know any better. i never thought the league was looking the other way. just more information has come in and now they realize what a serious problem it is. but the moment in the book when the younger brother realizes how much his dad loves him is when he comes to after taking the hard hit and it's not his coach he sees, it's not his trainer, it's his dad and in that moment there's a bond that existed.

>> which will lead me to a real life question because the nfl just reached an agreement on lawsuits brought by former players, $765 million in a settlement to pay for these players that had these concussions or head injuries . do you think it's a fair settlement?

>> i do. i think it's a fair settlement, yes. i thought the number would be much higher because there were like 500 or some insane number of lawsuits. i think they're doing the right thing. it's a violent sport. ultimately i don't know how you get past this and the funny thing is now matt they're trying not to hit high so there's an epidemic of knee injuries.

>> do you let your son play?

>> my sons were complete pacifists when it came to football. they played briefly. our joke was that our older son never got his uniform dirty the whole season. they moved on to other things because they weren't bruisers like --

>> like you.

>> like their dad.

>> that's not funny.

>> who laughed at that? that wasn't supposed to be funny.

>> mike lupica , good to see you.

>> tough room.