My husband and I are both HUGE sports fans. From late August until about April, we’re pretty intense. It starts with college football, which, when you find out where we went to school may surprise you!
I went to Syracuse. In my day, we actually fielded a pretty decent team. I came in and graduated with Donovan McNabb (more on him later), and other players during my four years included Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Rob Konrad, Will Allen and Orlindo Mare (hey, he used to be a good kicker). So, needless to say, there were some highlights. My blood runs orange, and no matter how bad our program has become in recent years, I still care a lot about what happens on Saturdays in the Carrier Dome.
My husband went to Duke (please don’t hate me for it!), and he’s probably one of 6 Duke football fans in the country.
Our passion for college sports gets even more intense in December when college basketball picks up. Thankfully, our schools have yet to play each other in the seven years we’ve been together. (Fun piece of history: we actually met at a sports bar during March Madness in 2003. Syracuse was playing in the Sweet 16, and had they not won that night, I’m not sure I would have even been in a good enough mood to talk to DadJovi when he approached me. But that’s another story for another day.)
My husband started trying to indoctrinate our daughter during her first few days home from the hospital:
That was all fine and good. Duke and Syracuse can peacefully co-exist, and we each got a new team to root for out of our relationship. I’m sure our rivalry will get more intense when it comes to college choosing time, but I think she looks better in orange. You decide:
When it comes to the NFL, however, battle lines are drawn. I’m a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan. And that’s not an easy path to follow. They’ve caused almost as much pain (if not more) than pleasure during my three decades of fandom. But I stick by them.
Somehow, of all the sports fans in the world, I fell in love with a Redskins fan. Ugh. I suppose it’s better than falling for a Cowboys fan … but not much.
Since Day 1, the battle for the our daughter’s cheers has been ON. He took advantage of my C section to dress her in ridiculous outfits on her first day at home. And then there was the absurd Portis jersey onesie. But I countered with an Eagles onesie and cheerleading outfit (which, clearly, she wasn’t so sure about).
And so the battle has raged. Technically, I won her loyalty. During her first year, in a moment of joy after a rare Redskins win, my husband said, “Hey, whoever’s team has a better record this year gets to claim E. as a fan.” I gladly took — and won — that wager!
Yesterday was one of the biggest showdowns for the Jovi household yet. The quarterback I have cheered hard for for 15 season — yes 15 seasons, including 4 in college and 11 in the pros — is now the starting QB for the Skins (don’t get me started on the Eagles’ inexplicable trading of our franchise player to a division rival). It was McNabb Bowl Sunday, and battle lines were drawn.
I’d been coaching E. on “Fly, Eagles, Fly” (which sadly wasn’t really needed yesterday) and my husband was pulling out all sorts of bribery (um, Dunkin’ Donuts right before dinner? Really?). Here’s an idea of what the beginning of the game sounded like in our house:
MomJovi: E, can you say, “Go Eagles!”
DadJovi: No, say, “Go Redskins!”
E looked from parent to parent, thought about it, and shouted, “GO ICE CREAM!”
Hmm, I don’t think she’s quite got a handle on this football thing yet, but you’ve got to respect her priorities.