Since a very small age, both of my boys have worn Packers gear during football Sundays. When I joined Tammi’s family, the very first Christmas I received Packers and Badgers gear for gifts. The Packers are a big deal in WI. It is my belief, that this is a result of the ground being covered with snow for nine months out of the year. There is, literally, nothing else to do during fall and winter. So it has always been understood that, regardless of where we live, the boys Will be Packers fans. As Tammi says, it is their birthright. I’m all for it. I am a big believer in you root for the team where you hail from. Sadly, this means that if/when we have a 3rd kid, I am going to be forced to raise a Cowboys fan.
For myself, I was born in Indiana and raised a Colts fan. It was a lot harder growing up as a Colt fan in Cowboys country. I had the misfortune of becoming interested in football after Johnny U but before Manning. So, winning seasons were not something I was used to experiencing. Until the age of 19, the best QB they had was Harbaugh. I took more shit than I gave and watched more Notre Dame games as a result.
Like many people in this country, I am a huge Fan. In my case, it really is short for fanatic. Tammi really, really, wants to be a football fan. The truth is she is more of a casual observer, using Packers games as a napping tool more than anything else. When they win, she says Rodgers is a great QB. And when they lose she either says the offensive line is bad or the receivers need to catch the balls thrown their way. At work she tries to sound smart, by repeating the facts she hears me say while on the phone. For her, part she usually sounds very intelligent.
For the first time, Glenn has begun to take an interest in football. At first, I was very excited and had visions of me and my boys reading the Sunday paper, watching the pre-game, and bonding over our national past time. He is very close but he has a long way to go. He knows what his team colors so when we saw someone in the grocery store wearing a Packer’s jersey, he shouted, “Dad, they are on my team.” But he also gets very upset when I tell him his team isn’t playing on Tuesday. He will see a long throw and say that it was a good catch. Yet, he saw the Oakland A’s, and thought they were on his team as well….Same colors. He also will routinely tell me that mommy and Jackson are on his team, but not daddy. When I let him know that his Aunt Ellena is on my team, he pouted and said, “uhh I wanted Ellena to be on my team!!”
This past Sunday there was a big family feud taking place — my Colts vs. their Packers. So when the two teams played this weekend, Glenn was very quick to let me know that his team was the best, and they were going to win. I made a poor parenting decision when Glenn and I decided to bet one timeout on the game. When the Packers were up by three scores, he called to let me know that his team was winning. Then, something amazing happened, and the Colts took the lead with about four minutes to go. Excited about the Colts winning — and forgetting I was talking to a 3 year old — I ran up and essentially did a happy dance in front of my son. Yet another poor decision. I seem to make a lot of those. He burst into tears and began sobbing, well, like a three year old. He shouted at me, “But I wanted my team to win!”
Now in my defense (something the Packers should look into getting) he also reacts this way when we don’t get to go to the park, or one of the dogs chews up one of his toys. I tried to calm him down by letting him know the game wasn’t over, and his team was very good. When the Packers missed the game-tying field goal, I explained that it’s about enjoying the game and not letting it become too important. It is after all just a game. Inside I screamed, jumped up and down, and celebrated the victory. The next day Glenn used his sad voice to let me know that daddy’s team had won, but that it would be ok.
And, no, I did not give him his time out.