Friday Sports etc: Raising a fan

In keeping with the links from yesterday, I have a simple question for today:

How do you teach your kids to watch sports (read: how do I make sure that my son is a Vols fan)?

I want my son to enjoy playing and watching sports. As a fan of the University of Tennessee this has become a bit difficult in recent years. You know it is bad when your son comments in June: “The Vols were kinda bad last Fall.” (Hey, at least he knows we play football in the Fall!) How do you build their fandom when there is not as much to cheer about?

One thing you can do is forbid the watching of other (more successful) teams. In March, a certain blue team was mentioned regularly around my house as the best basketball team. And to be honest, its hard not to be impressed with their success as of late. So then, one option would be to simply forbid watching March Madness (especially when your team doesn’t even make the field). But you know, that’s not really an option is it? Even without Tennessee playing, the Road to the Final Four is still the best sporting event on the planet. So forbidding my son to watch it will not really work.

Another option is to live in the past. Talk about the history of the program and all the great coaches and players that have played for your school. This has worked to some degree for us. The greatness of Peyton Manning has been mentioned a couple of times around my house. But this approach is not foolproof. “Remember 1998?!” does not get very far with my seven year old.

Some try to ensure that the future will be brighter by giving money to the University. Uhhhh, not an option.

So what is my plan? Well, along with variations of the above, we are going with the classic approach: only by him orange!!!

Truth be told, I have hope for the future of the Vols and Isaiah is excited about watching Josh Dobbs in the Fall (he’s already been asking me about going to another game in Neyland). So we are ready and I am doing my best to raise a Vol fan!


Got any advice for raising fans? Any success stories?

Me working on the post this morning:


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