Have you been watching TLC's 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' with a mix of revulsion and morbid fascination? I suspect you have, the show is a ratings sensation. It has also been critically panned for a perpetuation of stereotypes surrounding the Southern lifestyle.  I admit, I've viewed the show with my eyes peering steeply down my nose at the family.  But now, my feelings have changed and I find I owe the family patriarch, Mike ''Sugar Bear" Thompson respect.

Sugar Bear is the partner to 'Mama,' June. He is the father of the star of the show, 8-year-old Alania, known as 'Honey Boo Boo.'  He is not, however, the biological father to June's three older daughters - a fact I'd not caught on to.  After all in the plot when Mike is introduced, June says, "Sugar Bear my baby daddy."  Only after reading a profile of the family in People did I learn that each of June's four daughters have a separate father.

Too many shows on TV celebrate irresponsible pregnancy and parenting (MTV's Teen Mom comes to mind).  In Sugar Bear, we have a man who took in, is caring for and serves as a father figure to three teenage girls who are not his.

He works seven days a week doing manual labor to support his family. Who's to begrudge him an afternoon of mud-bogging after that?

The show is driven by the silly antics and catchphrases of Mama and Honey Boo Boo.  But the true inspiration here is the quiet, hard working Sugar Bear - you better 'redneckognize' that.