Last year at this time I wrote an article about the appreciation I have for my father thanking him for raising me the way he did, and especially for passing down his love for all things Pittsburgh to my brother and me. We grew up enjoying watching the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, not just because we rooted for the team, but because it was a bond between the three of us which lasts till this day.
This year, on Father’s Day, I decided to turn the page, so to speak, and talk about me being a father. In case you just stumbled upon this article and are not a regular at BTSC, I am a 36 year old father of 5. My oldest, and only son, is 10 while my youngest daughter will turn one on the 23rd of this month. Ever since the day my son was brought home from the hospital, I knew I was going to raise my children the same way I was raised — with black-and-gold blood running through their veins.
Living in the state of Maryland, you can assume the harassment we receive for being Pittsburgh fans. Whether it be Baltimore Ravens fans or Washington Capitals followers, there are always snide remarks given as we don our black-and-gold gear wherever we go. But those who are close to us always find it funny when they ask one of my children a question like this...
“You like the Steelers? Are you sure you don’t want to root for the Ravens?”
Of course my child’s response would be something like this:
“Eww no! The Ravens stink.”
I smile and nod in approval, and am quickly accused of brainwashing my children. Well, of course I am! Why wouldn’t I want the same bond with my children like I have with my own father and brother? Why wouldn’t I want them to take an interest in something I hold so close to my heart?
Yes, my children have only known one team in the NFL, MLB and NHL their whole lives, and I’m sure as they grow and develop new relationships they will experience new teams in their own ways. But my hope is they will always hold true to their bond with the Steelers, and by proxy, their Dad.
I love my children more than life itself, and all I hope for is one day when my son and daughters are grown they call me on a Thursday to talk about the upcoming Steelers game and the opponent — just like I do with my own father.
You call it brainwashing, I call it developing a bond. Oh, and also raising them right!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there doing their thing and raising their kids the right way!!