Family NFL Allegiances
Have you seen this commercial this commercial? It is basically my family, except the teams are different.
My dad is from Wisconsin, and his family has Packers’ season tickets. My mother comes from just north of Pittsburgh, i.e. Steelers’ country. My older brother was born in Denver, so he became a Broncos’ fan. My little brother, for reasons that aren’t abundantly clear, became a Dolphins’ fan. One of my sisters — after she went away to college — decided to show her Indiana pride by becoming a Colts’ fan. My other sister is basically a fan of whichever NFL teams draft or sign her favorite Notre Dame players.
Talk about transience, disorientation, and no sense of belonging and togetherness!
As for me? As a child, I used to follow an older neighbor boy around, and he was a fan of Chicago teams. This was also at the beginning of the Michael Jordan & Co. reign with the Bulls. So I became a very nominal Bears’ fan. This gets tricky when you have a father who cheers for the Packers and when “home” still feels like Indiana.
I should admit, though, that my NFL fandom is flakier than, for example, my Notre Dame obsession. Right now, my allegiances are dictated as much as anything by playing Fantasy Football. When I was much younger, I remember enjoying the Joe Montana/Steve Young/Jerry Rice dominance with the San Fransico 49ers. As such, I hated “America’s team”: the Dallas Cowboys. Much later, when I lived in Indianapolis, I wanted the Colts to do well. When I was in Jacksonville, I sort of followed the Jaguars. Now that I am in South Carolina, I keep my eye on the Panthers.
Hopefully, some day I will land in a place that feels permanent, and perhaps I will take on their local team as my own.