July 28, 2008

A House Divided

WITH LESS THAN ONE WEEK before the beginning of football's pre-season, I realized one thing to which I'm especially looking forward this season: the spirited debate which takes place between various members of my family, both immediate and extended, on professional football.

As Loyal Rant Readers know, my family is a very tight-knit bunch. But when it comes to the world of football, we Kepples have multiple and competing loyalties, to the point where spelling them all out reads like a plot-line in a James Clavell novel. Take my immediate family, for instance. I support the Pittsburgh Steelers. My father does as well. But my brother is a die-hard Cleveland Browns supporter who hates Pittsburgh with all his being and would like nothing more for them to go 1-15. My mother, meanwhile, has thrown her support to the Browns, although she still roots for Pittsburgh if they're not playing the Browns. I support the Browns if they're not playing the Steelers or their potential victory won't affect the Steelers, and my father does the same. This annoys my brother to no end, as he would not root for Pittsburgh if his life depended on it. (This is not unusual for Cleveland fans).

But it doesn't stop there. My uncle, the Rev. Uncle Dave, is a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, despite being a man of God. As a result, I suspect his entire family may support the Bengals as well, with the known exception of Cousin Dan, who gave up on the Bengals and started rooting for -- ugh -- the Indianapolis Colts. Fortunately, the rest of my extended family are Pittsburgh Steelers fans, as far as I know, so Dad and I can count on them for moral support.

Fortunately, few of my friends have alarming sports loyalties. My friend Chris is a New England Patriots fan, but this is allowed because he grew up in Massachusetts and suffered during the long march of the Nineties. My friend Simon From Jersey is a devout Detroit Lions fan, so there is absolutely no way I can get upset with him. For one thing, the Lions are my third team; for another, they're the Lions, and as such each season is bound to end in disappointment. My friend Geoff is also a Lions fan, but every time he mentions it, it is with an air of resignation. He knows how things will almost certainly turn out.

But as of now, we're all undefeated. As of now, we all have hope.

Let the -- uh, discussion -- begin.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 28, 2008 08:30 PM | TrackBack

I too would enjoy seeing the Steelers go 1-15 this year.

Rev. Uncle Dave

Posted by: Rev. Uncle Dave at July 30, 2008 12:15 AM
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