Passing on your love of sports without yelling "helpful advice" to your children
A site called GreatDad, which is better than the site AdequateDad and definitely better than SitsOnHisFatAssAndFartsDad, posits some advice on bonding with your children through sport in a safe environment — your living room, where you can all yell at the dumbshits on the field on screen instead of dad yelling at his kid and calling him a dumbshit on the field live and in person.
The post is called “Bonding with children through football, snacks and jerseys.” It’s got some good advice, although I will break down how it works in my house.
While every new season of the NFL can bring a variety of surprises, like this year’s non retirement of Brett Favre, there is one constant: it’s always a great opportunity for fathers to get close to their kids.
In American society, watching football games is already perceived as a group activity and when fathers introduce their favorite sport to their children, it can also be an effective bonding exercise.
Some good parenting advice to get children involved with football-watching on Sunday afternoons is to give them appropriate jerseys to wear during the game. Better yet, personalized family jerseys may solidify the event as a family gathering.
Here is the appropriate jersey to wear in my house on Sundays: anything but an Indianapolis Colts jersey. That’s because I’m a big Colts fan, and a stupidly superstitious one. If the Colts are playing, no one in my house, especially me, is allowed to wear a Colts jersey the day of the game. That means starting at midnight, so if I, my wife or any of my four children have any Colts gear on Saturday, it must be off by 11:59 p.m. If that does not happen, the Colts are sure to lose. (By the way, I have the same superstition for the Pacers.)
Of course, I have no factual basis for this. If I did, it would not be a superstition. But to paraphrase Crash Davis, if the Colts are winning because my family is not wearing their gear on game day, then they are. I’ll leave it to the 63,000 fans in Lucas Oil Stadium to wear their jerseys, because if you’ve been to a Colts home game with me, you know I’m the only one not wearing one.
Fathers should find time to explain the rules of the game, but not get too specific. Patience will be required on some confusing plays, so be sure to be ready to lower the volume for the explanation. Remember, this is about introducing kids to the game.
Not just lower the volume — pause the game while you explain the intricacies of the Wildcat. I did pause Monday night’s Colts-Dolphins game (which the Colts won, because no one in my house was wearing their licensed apparel) to show my 10-year-old daughter how to tackle, and all the illegal hits.
Getting them outside to play some football in the backyard may be one of the best ways for them to get a handle on the rules. This also gets kids some much-needed exercise.
Especially if their 10-year-old sister wants to see what it’s like to spear, trip or horse-collar you.