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

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