February 9, 2015

Mike Francesa Says Parents Should Relax About Fandom

Remember when I wrote about raising kids to be fans of perpetually bad sports teams? (If not, I helpfully linked to the article for you. I’ll expect a thank you note in the mail.) Today on WFAN, Mike Francesa took a caller to task about the same issue. Basically, he told the caller, a father and fan of the Jets (I think it was the Jets) that parents should relax about fandom.

Alabama High School Coaches Fighting on the Field

(Note: the image above has nothing to do with the story except that it is a sports image, and neither person appears to be relaxed.)

The WFAN host’s point, which I basically agree with, is that people take this whole “I’m raising my kid to be a fan of a perpetually bad sports team” thing much too seriously. Or, as Aaron Rodgers put it — RELAX.

Francesa went on to describe some of the favorite Yankee teams of his childhood, which he described as not being very good but he loved them anyway.

I am also a Yankee fan, and here’s where I have to respectfully… not exactly disagree with Mr. Francesa, but add to his point. When the Yankees lose, it doesn’t hurt the way it does when the Mets lose. The same is true for the Giants and the Jets. Even when the Jets WIN, fans find it painful. The first two years that Mark Sanchez was the Jets’ starting quarterback, which were also the first two years’ of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach, they made it to the AFC Championship Game. That’s one game away from the Super Bowl. I watched those games, and the ones that preceded it, with a lifelong Jets fan. You know what? Even the games they won, I could feel the tension. There’s always a sense that something bad will happen. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen it firsthand and discussed it with other Jets fans. They agree. Barring another Super Bowl win (and it is worth noting that the Jets at least HAVE a Super Bowl win in their history, something many other NFL teams do not), I don’t know that it will ever not be at least a little bit painful to be a fan of the Jets.

Does that mean raising your kid to be a Jets fan is somehow bad parenting? Of course not. That’s silly. In my experience kids pick up on fandom naturally — if you’re a Jet(s fan) you’re a Jet(s fan) all the way, and your kids prob’ly will be the exact same way.

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