Fundamentals of fatherhood featured on website dedicated to dads
The first sonogram. Feeling them kick in their mother’s belly. Their birth. The first time they say daddy. Their first steps. The first time they write their name. When they realize you’ve let go of the back of the bike and they’re riding on their own. Homemade cards. A key play in the big game. A solo in the big show. The first date. Graduations. The first real job. The engagement. The wedding. And maybe, someday, they become parents themselves.
Father’s Day is a nice gesture, but being a dad is a lifetime of special days. Thedad.com is a website that celebrates fatherhood in all its glory and obscurity. The site is not really a how-to manual for dads, though there are plenty of tips offered. It’s more a sharing of mostly dad-related stories, experiences and pop culture viewed through a light-hearted lens. The content is presented in stories, videos, games and memes.
At the top of the home page is a gallery of pictures with headlines that link to stories covering a variety of topics, such as news, health, and movies and television. As you scroll down the page, sections are organized with content labels. The sections are Memes, Latest, Videos, Community, Shop and Gaming. Each section has a collection of links to the related content. A navigation bar across the top of the site also has links to the same sections.
The navigation bar also has a Topics section with a dropdown menu containing numerous subsections. The subsections — News, Entertainment, Dad Jokes, Lifestyle and Best Of — are further divided into even more specific topics. The stories told in all of the various sections run the gamut from funny to touching to inspirational to just plain interesting. Some of the testimonials written by children about their dads, or by dads about their children, are real tear-jerkers.
While The Dad can get you all choked up, or offer some good insight on how to be a better dad, it’s main thrust is to get you to smile or even laugh out loud. The site’s stated function is to provide dads a place to take a break, not tell them how to raise their kids. The Dad Jokes section is filled with groan-inducing yet somehow funny jokes that any dad or kid will be familiar with. But the humor is sprinkled liberally throughout all the sections. The Shop section is full of gifts meant to be humorous.
There’s a Dad Grades section that rates famous dads from popular culture. You can see how Walter White from “Breaking Bad,” Mufasa from “The Lion King,” Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers,” Homer Simpson and all the dads from “Game of Thrones” stack up against each other. Another section, Dadleted Scenes, edits clips from movies to add a contemporary dad’s point of view. You can see Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” debate with his brother about what to get their dad for father’s day or the son of Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson’s mob boss character in “The Departed”) try to figure out what would please him on his special day.
The Dad will appeal more to a younger generation of dads than mine. A lot of the content focuses on memes, gaming and the type of short, “hilarious” videos that the cell phone generation insists on shoving in your face at every opportunity. That being said, there’s more than enough content with a timeless and ageless appeal that any father can appreciate.
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5212