Daddy wears a Twins cap

NPR’s Robert Krulwich, part of the wonderful program RadioLab, posted an item on the NPR blog entitled “The Tyranny of Fathers.” He explores data showing that the single most important indicator of which sports teams you support is the fan loyalty of your father. Far and away, it’s not even close. Mothers, grandparents and friends have a much smaller influence.

My dad never followed sports when I was growing up. He fixed engines. When he was in school he fixed engines. Today he fixes engines. He’s a big fan of engines. I like engines, too. I cheer for them to work.

I grew up loving baseball (despite my inability to play), its mechanics and rhythm, coming of age just as the Minnesota Twins won their two World Championships. So that choice was easy for me. I played football slightly better and grew to like the Minnesota Vikings because my grandpa’s entire house is made up like a viking temple — both real and football vikings being involved.

So today I’m the typical casual American sports fan and I can already see the budding reality that my boys will be Twins fans and Vikings fans. They point out Twins things and Vikings things to please me. They sit with me on Sundays to watch games. Henry has worn a Twins cap since he was 4.  On the other sports they will be as confused as I because their father attended one of the 8 percent of Iron Range high schools that didn’t have hockey and neither he nor they can bounce balls effectively.

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