Friday, June 21, 2013

Sports Loyalties

'Cardinals vendor' photo (c) 2003, bk1bennett - license:

Sports are an interesting phenomena. A person following a team can feel like they were a part of the team and somehow their cheering could have positively affected the outcome of the game. I've been there. I know.

I remember leaving a 'lucky sock' in front of the TV as a kid to help the team I was cheering for win a playoff game. (Full Disclosure: I think it may have been the Braves in the World Series one year. Not totally sure.) I'm pretty sure it didn't help and they lost.

As I grew up, I wondered what it would be like when I was married. Who would they cheer for? How would we raise children if we cheered for different people?

So now that I am married with a child, I'm still trying to figure out those answers. A few months ago I told you guys about what we had picked family teams and then changed that idea.

At the time, Ben was talking about the Mets more than the Cardinals and that really bugged me. Drew was going to try to compromise, except that wasn't going to work exactly. We have however tried a couple more times to do the family team thing.

Well now that we are in baseball season and in some ways it has made things more complicated. We have gone to several minor league games with our local team. Ben is hooked! He loves the game and the atmosphere. He talks about the players, Joey Gallo and Jordan Akins. (except he calls him Jordaba Akins. Not sure where that came from.) We have several pieces of Crawdads memorabilia around the house. Drew and I are pretty stoked. We so love the game of baseball and now Ben does too!  However, it has made the whole 'who to cheer for' conversation more difficult. Mostly Ben says he is a Crawdads, Cardinals, and 'ankees fan. However, there are times that he says, "Me and Daddy are Mets fans."

The other day, I was watching a Yankees/Dodgers game. Ichiro (Yankees player) caught a ball at the wall taking a home run away from Puig (Dodgers player). My reaction was 'darn it.' Then I remembered that I was supposed to be cheering for the Yankees. I can cheer for them against an American League team. But the National League will always have my heart. So I'm not good at cheering for one of our 'family teams.'

That started another discussion between Drew and I about who to encourage Ben to cheer for. My defense has always been, "I'm helping him with your teams." As we were going into Wal-Mart, Drew says, "He could cheer for the Blues and the Rams." My response, "I'm still not letting him have the Mets." Drew genuinely says, "I wasn't even thinking of that."

I went to get my medicine. Drew and Ben went to look at the toys and pick up some batteries. I felt lousy. Drew was giving up his 'right' to draw Ben towards those teams. He was okay if Ben chose the St. Louis teams and I was still stubbornly holding on to my teams. It didn't seem fair.

So I have said again that as long as the Cardinals are a part of his sports panorama, I will be satisfied. As I said before, each of these teams mean something to us as people and are part of the story of our family. I can't deny that. I can't force my way into this family because it isn't just about me. So here we are again trying to cheer for the teams we love and hoping some of it rubs off on our son.

Parenting is hard.

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