Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:46:14 PM
1996 – I turned six years old, and the Baltimore Ravens were introduced into the NFL. This didn’t mean much to me at the time, but later it grew into a major source of bonding in my family. Football traditions were formed in my family that brought us together unlike anything else had up until that point.
My first memory of sports also happened to be the same time I learned a ton of new words – my older (by nine years) brother’s obscenity filled outburst after a Raven’s devastating last minute loss. This became my family’s first tradition. We soon realized we shared a common interest and that common interest was a Raven’s win. We also quickly realized that we disliked the same thing – a Raven’s loss.
As I got a bit older, developed a better appreciation for the sport, and acquired a better understanding of the game and its rules, our second tradition was formed – simultaneously hating the refs and the entire coaching staff. ..But this was only during a loss or because of a call against us. If it worked in our favor, it was alright.
As my family has grown older, moved apart, and we all took on our own responsibilities – college, careers, significant others, moving away – our tradition of Sunday afternoon couch-coaching stayed in place. I still instinctively check my phone after a dropped pass or a pass interference call anticipating the barrage of caps-locked text messages.