Football and Heritage

If you’re a sports fan, this is your favorite time of year. Football is in full swing, and hockey is just starting up. As a Steelers and Penguins fan, I’m finding that my schedule is dictated by the game nights. This is a far cry from when I was a kid and couldn’t have cared less about sports. The older I get, though, the more I like it. Because it’s me, I have to overthink this. But I finally realized that the reason why I love sports is simple.

As many of you know, I don’t have a great relationship with my extended family. I often feel like a tree without deep roots, unsteady. As though a strong gust of wind might blow me down. The way I’ve learned to cope with that is to build a foundation, to take the place of roots I don’t have. This little Western PA town holds all of my memories. And this town bleeds black and gold. That is my heritage.

Here’s the great thing about following a sports team. It’s not about wanting to win. If that were the case, everyone would cheer for the Steelers, Cowboys or 49ers. It’s about your home town. People move all over the world, and carry their home town colors along with them.

I’ll cheer for the Steelers and Penguins for the rest of my life, whether they’re winning or losing. I’ll feel an instant warmth for others who cheer those teams. I’ll feel like I belong, because of my team. I hope my daughters have that, too.


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