Not an uncomplicated subject. My own father was a very complex character. On one hand I knew he was always at my back, that he encouraged me to take risks, to push myself, and to generally work hard and play hard. He expected standards of behavior to be met and they were. I never knew quite what would happen if they weren't, but I didn't think I wanted to find out.
On the other hand, as I learned in high school and college he was a criminal sociopath. I stood by him to the extent that I could and I'm glad I did. He died eleven years ago, a few months after my own son was born.
Shortly after he died my long denied homosexual orientation could be denied no more. Suffice it to say my world was stood on its ear. During the long process of coming out and coming to terms with who I am, I have very often wished my dad were here to talk to. Even though my family and friends have stood by me, I'm sure my father would have had a perspective on this that would help. Not least because I have good reason to believe he was bi himself.
Anyhow, yes, I think fathers matter. Like any parent they have the power to do great good or great harm. Now that I am a father myself to a ten-year-old daughter and an eleven-year-old son, a day doesn't go by when I am at some point proud of what I can teach them and scared to death at where i might be messing up.