Sports are just sports, right?
After all, things like the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA don't really matter in the grand scheme of life. Some claim an allegiance to a team, while others simply watch for pure enjoyment of competition. However, on this Father's Day it is my civic duty to remind those Dads out there how their own choices can change their children's lives...even when it comes to choosing an NFL team.
Growing up in Wheeling, WV (in the Northern panhandle of the state) you had the stark reality of your home state not having a professional sports team. So, in a house where sports were pretty darn important, you had to cling to something. It was only logical.
With that said, my hometown was literally pinched between Pennsylvania and Ohio and some major decisions had to be made when my father was in his youth.
All I can say is I am unbelievably ecstatic the Steelers were dominant in the 1970s.
My family lineage can be traced from Romania to Pittsburgh, PA, and I was raised in a black and gold home. Some people often laugh when they talk to me and hear just how die hard a fan I am of all things Pittsburgh. I don't just follow the three teams, I live and breathe with them. Every game. Everyday.
You might be thinking what the moral of the story is here, and it is simply. On Father's Day I'd like to thank my own father for raising me with a passion for sports, and more importantly Pittsburgh sports. My brother and I weren't brain washed into liking Pittsburgh sports. My father let us root for whomever we wanted. My brother went through a phase of liking the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and even the San Francisco Giants when his favorite player, Barry Bonds, went to the west coast.
I was different as I never strayed away from Pittsburgh, and remain as devout as ever at the age of 33. It is on this day when I thank my Dad for just rooting for the Steelers. What started as just an obsession has led to me running BTSC and making a few bucks in doing so. In other words, it changed my life.
There was a time when I could have been raised as a Browns or Bengals fan, and I am now in charge of raising my 4 kids in the heart of Capitals, Ravens and Orioles country. My children are still small (7, 5, 3, and 9 months), but you better believe their teams have already taken roots. My son loves all three Pittsburgh sports teams, my oldest daughter simply loves hockey and the Pens, my second oldest daughter can't go under and underpass without yelling, "Go Steelers!" and the baby of the family has spent hours of her young life on my lap while I write about the team I love so much.
The thought of my children ever wearing a purple jersey is heart breaking to me, but like my father did with his sons, you just have trust they will come to their senses. My brother came to his senses, but I'm hopeful such a situation won't happen in my own home.
For all the fathers out there, I wish you a Happy Father's Day. Remember to raise your kids the right way...with a Terrible Towel in their hands!