FanPost

My Father's Day FanPost

Ronald Martinez

I read Neal's request this morning for more FanPost's and decided to fire this off. Hope all the BTSC fathers out there have a great day... So I'm a father of two boys. I have a 14 year-old about to enter high school and a 5-month old about to enter teething. Interesting spacing between the two, I know. Let's just say there were some twists and turns to my life in between. Anyway, we live in South Jersey in the heart of Eagles country and are therefore not "natural" Steelers fans. I became a Steelers fan while watching Super Bowl X as a boy. It was the legendary Jack Lambert/Cliff Harris altercation that did it... #58 becoming a superhero in my 7-year old eyes as he hurtled the pathetic, pseudo-menacing Harris to the ground for heckling our kicker... and I've been hooked on the Black n' Gold ever since. My oldest son became a Steelers fan in a not-so-different way. He was also 7 and he was also watching the Steelers play in a Super Bowl. Super Bowl XL vs the Seahawks, to be precise. It was the first Super Bowl I'd allowed him to stay up to watch. He had liked the Carolina Panthers up to that point in his brief football life, mainly because he thought the Panther emblem on their helmets was cool. But I was convinced a Super Bowl victory by the Steelers would convert him. Things didn't look good at the outset, however. We were awful early on in that game and I believe his ears were privy to some choice vocabulary words he'd never heard from his Daddy before. He and I played knee football in the living room during the commercials so I could release some nervous energy. At halftime we performed a voodoo ceremony of a picture of a Seahawks player he'd drawn by throwing it into our fireplace and sacrificing it to the football gods. It must have worked, because when the 2nd half started Willie Parker ripped off that magical 75 yard TD run (running Power, no less, my favorite football play of all-time). I nearly knocked my son over with a huge high-five. A short time later, though, while driving for what seemed like a nail-in-the-coffin score, Ben woefully underthrew a Steeler receiver (Cedric Wilson maybe?) at the goal line and it was picked and returned nearly all the way by a Seahawk DB. What should have been a 21-3 game was quickly 14-10 and the mood in my house took a turn for the worse. That's when my son saved me. "Daddy," he said, noticing my despair, "let's go jump on the trampoline. That will cheer you up." And so we did. In the pitch-black, ice cold February night, my seven year-old son and I went into the backyard and jumped on the trampoline during the Super Bowl. And yes my wife was pissed because it was a stupid thing to do, and no I didn't care what she thought at that moment, and of course we laughed our butts off and all of the stress and anxiety I'd felt went away. When we went back inside, the game slowly shifted back in our favor until the Randle El-to-Hines gadget play finally gave us that long-awaited One for the Thumb. My son has been a Steelers fan ever since. And yes, I do believe his idea to jump on the trampoline changed the momentum of that game and won us the Super Bowl. You're welcome, Steelers fans. So now I have a five month-old who has no idea what football is. He will, however. And when he does, he'll become a Steelers fan, too. I won't force him to be. It'll just sort of happen the way these things are supposed to happen between fathers and sons. Hopefully, he'll follow the family tradition and have his awakening during another Super Bowl victory. But whenever it comes, I'll love it. I don't believe in too many certainties in life but I do believe this: there's nothing better than watching a Steelrs game with your kids. Happy Father's Day, everyone. As always, Go Steelers!

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