31 October 2011

Daddy's team

I grew up in a family of girls. I have two sisters and our closest family (physically) were four girl cousins. And we are GIRLY-girls! Nail varnish and lipstick, dresses and high-heels, handbags, cute boys, celebrity gossip -- all eternally common topics of conversation. So it's no surprise that in my youth, "Who's your favourite Spice Girl?" was infinitely more important than "Who's your favourite football team?".

But I've recently become fascinated by this whole palava of choosing a team. Or, do you really get to choose? As I've said, for me, picking a team, be it football (the real kind or the american variety), baseball, rugby, or anything else... it was just never an issue for me. The only team I can say I "support" in any sense of that word is West Indies cricket, which yes, my Dad also supports. But it's our national team and there is NO choice!

Supporting Windies

Last week I read this: How We Become Sports Fans: the Tyranny of Fathers by Robert Krulwich on the NPR website. The video below accompanies the article and sums up, in both a funny and sad way, how the majority of little boys and girls learn which team to support: Dad!

The article discusses statistics that show that most people choose to support the team their Dad supports. A lot of the time, as we see in the video, there is immense pressure to go with your Dad's team. I think this is in large part because being a fan, a real fan, means having such a great emotional connection to your team. Being a real fan involves such an insane sense of loyalty; you're team becomes, in a way, your family. So who would want to create a conflict of interest between your real family and your sport family? Krulwich also argues that sharing in Dad's emotional reaction to the triumphs and defeat of his team is important bonding opportunities for kids. It's a fair point.

But there are people who choose not to support Daddy's team. It is rare, but it happens. What about you? Did you pick your Dad's team?


  1. My pops wasn't a sports guy. He was more of a "if you aren't sleeping, you'd better be working" kind of guy. You win some, you lose some. On the plus side, I got to choose who and what to cheer for, which is pretty much only hockey. Go Avalanche! Cheers!

  2. I know someone who's family is divided by the teams they support in Manchester. So obsessed are they that my friend married on the Manchester City pitch and half of her family sat in the away stands and the other in the home stands. Just to add to the confusion, his family members were staunch Man U fans and refused to come to the wedding.

    Supporting Daddy's team is another 'Daddy's girl' tactic and it sure makes a man proud to see that his daughter knows what she's talking about.