She has no choice. It doesn’t matter that she is a girl either. Within hours after Ava’s birth I will see to it that she is wrapped in a Terrible Towel, baptizing her into black & gold nation. In my house, she can pick her religion, but her sports teams are already predetermined. I will pray, even more than usual, for the Pens to win the cup this year, just so I can take a picture of her sitting in the bowl atop Lord Stanley’s hallowed trophy. Her closet already contains Pens shirts and Steeler caps. Who knows, the way the Buccos are playing, she might actually see winning baseball growing up. I will take her to Pens games. She will grow up familiar with the sounds of goal horns and screaming crowds. I thank God that she will grow up watching the greatest hockey player in the world wearing number 87 in her team’s colors, just as I did in number 66. Her second education will include learning what a 3-4 defense is and the best strategies for a successful power play. I will help her with her math by asking her, “if the ball is on our 20 and we have a complete pass for 18 yards, how many yards to the end zone?”
Some of my best memories growing up are centered around sports. Sitting on my dad’s lap at Buccos games in Three Rivers Stadium (see below). Tailgating in the old Westinghouse parking lot for Steeler games. Getting my first Pens jersey (Rick Tocchet) and never wanting to take it off. I can’t wait to share those same memories with Ava. I hope she looks forward to Sunday afternoons just as much as I do. I hope she realizes that it does matter what jersey you wear during certain games, because it DOES impact the outcome of the game. And I hope that she wants to play sports as well, because I believe they teach selflessness, accountability, responsibility, teamwork, health awareness, and generally keep kids out of trouble by giving them something to do.
However, I must tread lightly. I don’t want her turning into a yinzette. Some yinzer qualities are OK, but a full-out yinzer broad is no good. I don’t want my daughter to possess the ability to drink faster than me, or for her to have a dirtier mouth than the athletes she watches. A nice happy middle ground is optimal. And if she ever roots for the likes of the Yankees, Flyers, or Patriots, I will disown her for life and erase any evidence that she was ever my daughter.
Once again, please subscribe by clicking the button at the bottom of the page (scroll down). Also feel free to pass this site to any of your friends or family who may enjoy it. More and more people are reading every day and I would like to keep it going. One last thing: Let’s go Pens, here we go Steelers, and how ’bout ‘dem Buccos!!!