I was just reading the comments on the post about the Steelers
rivalry and it got me to thinking. What would you do, Steelers fans, if your son wanted to be a Ravens fan? I'm sure many of you simply wouldn't allow that to happen. Which gets to another point altogether. As a parent, should we teach our kids who they should root for?
My Dad was a product of the 50s and 60s and as such grew up a Jim (primarily) and Cleveland (secondarily) Brown fan. He raised me in Jersey, though, where everyone rooted for the Eagles
, so there was no geographic connection to Cleveland. As such, he let me choose my favorite team. When Jack Lambert threw Cliff Harris
to the ground in Super Bowl X and the Steelers rallied to win, I had that team for life. It tortured him over the years but he let it be. And I respected him for it, knowing that if he'd coerced me into being a Browns
or an Eagles fan it would have been cruel and unusual punishment.
My own son is 13. When he got interested in football as a little boy, I followed my father's example with one notable exception. Son, I told him, you can root for whatever team you like EXCEPT THE BALTIMORE RAVENS. I'm a grown man with a real job and I'd like to consider myself mature and responsible and all that. But I'll admit I wasn't big enough to tolerate a son who was a Ravens fan. I was bummed when he chose not to follow the Steelers, but Carolina had a cool helmet and I couldn't hate on a seven year old for choosing the team with the fierce looking Panther on it. Besides, the Panthers
and Steelers will never be rivals so I won't have to worry about any of the dinner table trash talk or Sunday afternoon Cold Wars my father and I battled through.
So I put it to you, Nation: how much freedom are you/would you give your kids to root for their own teams? It's one of the biggest decison you'll ever have to make as a parent. ;)