Super Bowl Indoctrination In the Maternity Ward: Too Early?

Jeanne Sager

Terrible towelEver been to a baby shower where the mother opens up a little sleeper emblazoned with her favorite team? Indoctrination starts early in diehard households. But in Pittsburgh Steelers' country, they're taking "early" to a whole new level for the Super Bowl.

Newborn babies at the St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, are being wrapped in the team's trademark "Terrible Towels," bright yellow towels swung by fans at Heinz Field. The part of me that's rooting for the Steelers (because any self-respecting Bills fan must support a team that decimated the Jets) can't help it. I know it's over the top ridiculous. But I think it's pretty darn cute too.

Maybe I'm biased. One of the first Christmas gifts I purchased for my husband after finding out I was pregnant in the fall of 2004 was a teeny tiny maroon hat with the Virginia Tech logo. I slipped it under the tree, a promise that we would be raising a little Hokie. Then came the New York Yankees dress for a 3-month-old (which turned into a t-shirt for the 6-month-old because I recognized I spent way too much money on MLB gear that she'd just grow out of in three months).

Before you roll your eyes, I'm willing to bet your baby's got something similar. In our family it was sports. In some families it's Classic Pooh or monkeys or frogs or whatever kooky thing the mom and dad are into. Babies don't get to choose their outfits and nursery themes. It's nearly impossible for parents to avoid a little "indoctrination."

We don't have to make our kids little billboards for our causes, but it's easy to tell a Mom's favorite animal. Just look at the elephant hanging off the diaper bag. And the elephant on the stroller. And is that an elephant trunk peeking out of the back pocket of those little pants?

If you're being raised in Pittsburgh, you're going to see Steelers stuff everywhere you go. You might as well get used to it. What better time to start than birth?

What do you think -- too much or too cute?


Image via Pittsburgh Steelers Online Store

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