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Tales of Jake Mangini

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 15, 2009

A former colleague of mine at the Dayton Daily News, Gary Nuhn, began writing down comments from his young daughter and turned them into a poignant speech at her wedding reception. Browns coach Eric Mangini might want to do the same with his irrepressible 5-year-old son Jake.

Last Friday, Mangini shared a story he told the team about hard work that involved Jake, the oldest of he and wife Julie's three sons, ages 5, 3 and almost 1.

''I went home, and it was kind of late, and got into bed,'' Mangini said. ''They’re in bed and I woke up the 5 year old, not intentionally, but he kind of woke up. He said to me, ‘Daddy, why do you have to work so much?’

''Having that discussion late, with a 5-year old, when you’re trying to go to sleep, it just happens. I explained to him, ‘Well, Jake, you like to go to Disney World right?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ ‘Cape Cod and all those things, you have to work sometimes to create those opportunities.’

''I go back to bed, I think its fine. He doesn’t say anything. About two minutes go by and I feel this tap, ‘Jake, what is it?’ ‘Shouldn’t you go back to work?’ He got it. He probably sat for two minutes doing the cost-benefit ratio. ‘I want Mickey more than you, head back to work.’''

The Mangini family watched Sunday's 34-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but apparently Jake had more to keep him occupied than the score. Mangini said the first words out of Jake's mouth after the game were, ''Who won?''

Mangini said that gave his first loss as Browns coach a different perspective.

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