I’m Raising My Son to Hate Football


football cakeI'm very proud to be American -- the convenience of it all, liberty, freedom, the Cracker Barrel Sunrise Sampler -- but one thing I cannot abide is American football.

That endless drone of whistles, yard lines, and commentary interrupted by loud Michelin tire commercials ... it's enough to make me hurl. I mean, what the hell is going on? Why are they stopping again? Why does it take 30 minutes to play when there's five minutes on the clock? What is a down anyway?

Futbol, on the other hand, I can dig. It's only natural that my American-born, UK-passport holding, Spanish-reared son should feel the same way. He has to. We will not have that other game in my house, even if it's the Super Bowl.

That's why I do my very best to keep him away from football in all its merchandising forms, which, let's face it, is pervasive on the American side of the pond.

Case in point, before we returned to futbol-friendly Spain, I stocked up some good old-fashioned American kids' apparel so I wouldn't have to dress my son like this all year. I was seconds away from purchasing this Gymboree puffy vest, which in football parlance could mean I was at the end of the queue, when I noticed the little football dangling from the zipper. I thought about prizing it off, since I do so love the color orange and would hate to give up the vest because of a damned little football, but that's technically vandalism. My fellow customers (football lovers, no doubt) took notice of my strategizing, so I abandoned the play, went into overtime, and looked at the cowboy-themed collection instead. That sort of Americana we can live with.

Americana we can live without includes ...

Redskins onesies, football balls, football-themed Disney movies, feel good football "classics" starring Sandra Bullock, high school football love stories, T.G.I. Fridays on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday night (not difficult since they don't have Fridays where we live, but it's the principle, man!), and unfortunately Gymboree's entire fall collection.

In the meantime, I passively aggressively "advocate" all things footy in his worldview. You know, "yes that ball does have a funny shape ... wouldn't you much rather kick this real football around?"

And, "sure, grandpa does love the Washington Redskins, but you know who the real American heroes are? The US soccer team, who kicked some serious butt (when goals weren't stolen from them) in this year's FIFA World Cup."

More pertinent still, "no, no son! It's not ‘touchdown!' It's ‘gooooooooooal!' Repeat after me."

And he does. That boy sure loves his footy.

Do you shield your child from certain sports because of your beliefs?

Image via Samdogs/Flickr

boys, kid clothes, sports


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CafeS... CafeSasha

LOVE it!

jeann... jeannesager

My husband would love you -- he's a soccer diehard, and he's raising our daughter to follow in his boots!

sstepph sstepph

No not really. He's into BMX like his daddy.

nonmember avatar Jeanne

I don't know...I find this strange. I am not the biggest football fan, but I won't deny my son that. In fact, I am letting him try all the sports he wants to try (not at the same time) to see what he really likes and what he is actually good at. He has done football, soccer, tee ball and wants to try out basketball. Maybe your kid would be an awesome foot ball player. Why limit their potential??

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

I can agree with you on one thing.  NO REDSKINS ONSIES!  Haha!  We dress our son in silver and blue, teach him to yell "GO COWBOYS" and to refer to them as "America's Team" in front of anyone wearing burgundy. Muahahaha!

american football

hotic... hoticedcoffee

No, you control freak, lol.  Seriously, though, I don't agree with the idea of sabotaging a child's interests in legal activities just because they conflict with my own interests.  I detest American football, too, but if my boys like it (and they do), that's their choice.

nonmember avatar SKL

LOL, my 3yo daughters were introduced to pro football just this past Sunday. I gave them a choice between watching football with Aunt S or taking a nap. I think it would be wonderful if they come to like the game, because it would be a bonding topic with my dad and some of my siblings. Oh, also, this summer they had a "Stretch'n'Grow" class that focused on the sports, and one of the sports they covered was football, so hopefully they have a clue what it's about. My girls are also in soccer thru their daycare. The world is full of many things to enjoy or hate as the individual is inclined. The only thing I'm actively teaching my kids to dislike is liberalism.

nonmember avatar Michelle

What happens if he loves it anyway? I also cannot stand football (and neither can my husband), but we are well aware that as much as we try to steer our boys away from it they might still end up loving it. What then? We'll learn to deal with it somehow, but will you be able to?

KatieP. KatieP.

eh I dont watch football and neither does their dad but my son LOVES balls- rigth now at 2 he is obcessed with baseball (which I am just as apethetic about) but if it were football I would not care. I never bought the yankee or jets or whatever onsies and I never will but  I don't care if he grows up into a football player (he will probably be a  swimmer or runner- just by his genes)

ethan... ethans_momma06

Haha we SO focus on futbol in this house and have never, ever introduced our sons to 'football' (weird name considering only ONE player can touch the ball with his foot....). I wont mind if he does love football, or if he wants to play it but I just don't see how either of my boys could ever prefer it to futbol!

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