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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peer Pressure

Last week the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. Living near Baltimore, you would think we would be excited. Being raised near Cleveland you would know we were not.
I'm not not sure why professional sports bother me so much. I know I am a poor looser so I don't like to compete at many things. Maybe if Cleveland had better sports teams I would feel different but I don't think so, The Browns, Indians and Cavs have all been good at some point.I just think we spend too much time, emotion and money on watching someone play a game. My opinion I know, most don't agree and that's okay. My dad had season tickets in the Dawg Pound at Cleveland Stadium and when he died Charlie used the money we gave him from what my dad left us to get himself season tickets for that year. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan just not a fanatic and I was happy for them.
My problem comes in when other people push their obsession off on me. We don't need to be woken up at 11:30 at night with yelling, screaming and fireworks. I'm pretty sure the neighborhood wouldn't be too happy with me for celebrating anything else that way. Why is it ok to show up to work in a jersey when in the same office it's not acceptable to even wear jeans? Sami at 3 in a paid pre school schouldn't have her learning time taken away with Raven fever. Nor should any of our kids be peer pressured. Ella and Jack are confused about where their loyalties should lie. They know we all support our Ohio teams because we are proud of where we come from but they are being shown in school that they should support a different team. They shouldn't feel like they have to choose between their family and school over a sports team. Don't get me started on what they aren't allowed to talk about at school.

In the 80's we were stationed at Ft. Carson in Colorado. We were lucky (?) enough to be there when the Denver Broncos went to the Super Bowl, two times. The same obsessions were going on then. The only problem, we were raised Browns fans and were raising our children as Browns fans. Fun Right? Wrong. Bronco or orange and blue day at school may not seem like much but when you have little  money and your 9 year old is under peer pressure from everyone in the school including the adults you do what it takes to get him that Elway jersey. In the years to come I even appliqued a jacket for him because we couldn't afford what everyone else had. His John Elway obsession went into adulthood and the whole family (Browns fans included) supported him. I get pains in my stomach to this day remembering how much I wanted to buy him all those Bronco things and couldn't. Talk about peer pressure, I was the one who crumbled to it, more for my child than I would ever have for myself.

My son in law is returning home from a tour in Afghanistan tonight. Do you think they'll shut the city down and throw him a parade? They've already seen their fireworks and I'm pretty sure there will be people screaming and crying and throwing parties though. Welcome back, Shawn. Thank You, we love you.

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