He is not shy about his opinions. He also thinks the government spends too much money. And that our borders are too wide open. And that the country is changing rapidly in many ways he doesn't like. He complains that his 500 TV channels are often broadcasting content he'd never consider watching. ("What channel is Sgt. Bilko on?")
I'm betting most people know someone or have someone in the family (or are that family member) exactly like my dad.
Well, last Sunday, my 13-year-old son and I stopped at Dad's condo unannounced. I was sure he'd be watching the Phils. He answered the door and hastily told us we'd "arrived just in time."
Why? we wondered.
"The match has just 10 minutes left in regulation and it's tied," he told us.
"Did he just say match?" I wondered aloud.
Here was my dad, the former referee and college-pigskin junkie, spending a July Sunday afternoon watching the other kind of football. And not just any soccer. Women's soccer.
I thought back to all the times I had tried to pique his interest in the Premier League by mentioning teams like Manchester United and Chelsea, only to have him insist that he was indifferent.
I recalled his reaction when I told him about my family's experience watching the Charity Shield (now known as the Community Shield) match at Wembley Stadium in London a few years ago. Our boys were wearing Man U gear, but since our seats were in a Chelsea section, we weren't permitted to go inside until we got rid of the offending clothing.
How often had we discussed soccer's lack of popularity when I was growing up and its rise in participation today? How many times had we debated whether it would really ever take hold as a mainstream sport in the United States? How often had he told me it would never compare to football - especially high school and college football, the epitome of American sport?
But there he was, totally invested in the Women's World Cup final between Team USA and Japan. My son and I watched the U.S. women take their second lead before listening to the game's heartbreaking conclusion on satellite radio on the way home.
Sure, there are other indications that soccer is finally going mainstream in the States. Twitter reported that more tweets per second (7,196) had been sent during those critical final moments of the Women's World Cup finale than at any other point in the social-media giant's history. In terms of television ratings, ESPN's broadcast of the game outdrew Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. The men's World Cup last year was similarly considered a ratings triumph for the sports network.
But when it was all over, all I could think about was that for at least one day, soccer - women's soccer - had hooked my dad, the American football fanatic.
Contact Michael Smerconish
Read his columns at www.philly.com/smerconish.