My Own Football Rivalry

Packers-Falcons strike a nerve between father and son.

It may not be Georgia-Georgia Tech, Alabama-Auburn or even Parkview-Brookwood, but there's a definite football split in my Lilburn home this weekend.

You see, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. I can't help it. I was born that way.

My 13-year-old son, Kris, is an Atlanta Falcons fan. He can't help it either. He was born that way.

When my Packers play his Falcons today in an important NFL game in the Georgia Dome, I'll be wearing green-and-gold and cheering for the visiting team. He'll wear his red-and-black Matt Ryan jersey and cheer for the other guys.

I don't know where I went wrong with the boy.

I've tried teaching him the ways of Lombardi, Starr and Favre (minus the past three seasons, that is).

I gave him my favorite Favre rookie card when Favre was a Falcon ("Why isn't he still with the Falcons?" Kris once asked. "Good question," I answered).

I told him my stories of seeing the Packers play at Lambeau Field — in the snow and cold, where football should be played.

Outside of a poster of the 1996 Super Bowl champion team that hangs on his bedroom wall, he is largely disinterested in my team.

I suppose, he could have been scared off by the Packers shrine of memorabilia I have in my basement office, which includes a figurine of Santa Claus holding a Packers pennant.

"I think they're a fine team," Kris said about his old man's Packers. "I like them. I cheer for them most of the time. I'm just not going to cheer for them [Sunday]. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do that."

I suspect my dilemma is not all that uncommon in the melting pot that is metro Atlanta, which has so many residents who come from somewhere else.

 "I'm from Atlanta. That's why I like the Falcons," Kris said. "You've lived here [24 years] longer than anywhere else.

"Why aren't you a Falcons fan?"

Good question.


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