I never thought it would happen to me. I truly thought I had raised him with some passion, some conviction. But over the past few weeks, the truth has been hard to ignore.
My son is a fairweather fan.
And it’s killing me.
I’m pretty gracious when it comes to differences of opinion. But that stops with who you choose to root for on a Saturday. My son has been spewing spit and venom while watching games, becoming exasperated with every play, and finally the last straw, told me he was a Buckeye fan.
Oh, H*$% NO!!! Not in my house! Not in my family!
For most families, religion and politics create divisions. Our house: It’s your college football team.
When it comes college football, here’s the rule (with a few exceptions):
YOU ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM. PERIOD.
The only exceptions to rooting for the home team are as follows:
- If you or your family hail from another region and that place lays claim to your Saturday allegiance.
- You went to that school.
- You or a family member played for that school.
- You know someone on the team, personally.
Reasons not allowed to root for another team.
- You’re home team is losing a lot of games.
- The team you chose to root for is ranked #1 in the nation (As if…I just can’t even).
- You think the home coaches are dumb.
- You are a punk and just want to be contrary (the absolute worst of the reasons!).
Now, I did not grow up in a college football home. But I had the privilege of coming into my fandom during the most magical times in Nebraska football history.
The first game I ever saw was the ’94 Orange Bowl, where Nebraska lost to Florida State. And I was hooked.
Over the next few years, I watched our team win 2 national titles, dominate the polls, and make being a Husker fan very easy.
But it’s not like that anymore. And my son wants to cheer for the winning team. But sometimes that means cheering for a losing team, supporting the program, making the fan base attractive to top recruits, and staying family while that team becomes a winning team.
Of course, supporting the program does not mean supporting every play call and decision. (Believe me, son, if you had a clue, then perhaps you too could be on the sidelines making the big bucks, calling the right plays.)
But it means staying faithful, even during the hard times, so that the next time we’re on top of the polls (whether that’s next year, in 5 years or 20 years), you can say you earned your spot in Husker nation, and get to revel in the victory with the team and the other Husker faithful (and possibly cast a little judgment towards the bandwagon fans who have no idea how much victory truly means.)
Go Big Red!!