Chart of the day

Where do kids get their sport fan-dom from?  Dad (via NPR).

Here are the numbers. One of Wann & Co.’s questions — asked to a group of grownups — was who had “the greatest single influence” on your first choice to become a fan. The answers are broken down by gender. (I’ve included only the significant categories.)

Well, like my dad, I’m a Duke,  Redskins, and Orioles fan.  In my case, my mom was also a fan of the first two (and not much of a baseball fan at all).  Despite my degree from OSU, I’m also still a Michigan fan because my parents– especially my dad– always were (they went there for grad school).  So far, David’s sports fan-dom extends to being a huge Duke fan.  Not sure if I’m a strong enough fan of anything else– or if David cares about any other sports other than Duke basketball enough– to make a further impact.  Will be interesting to see.  Also curious to see if Evan– long the youngest and hence the obvious rebel of the family– chooses to not like Duke out of spite.  I can so see him doing that.  The story speculates on why this gendered impact is so profound:

Why Does Daddy Prevail?

Not because he stomps and threatens like the dad in the video whose tongue, I suspect, was firmly in his cheek, but because sharing a team with your dad is a point of connection for both sons and daughters. Dads are more emotionally remote than moms, except when they’re watching sports, and that’s the crack in the ice that kids naturally choose to exploit. If Dad laughs, cries and high fives about the Red Sox, his kids are going to use the Red Sox to laugh, cry and high-five with him.

Possibly true, but I think they are ignoring the fact that, on average, men/dads are much more passionate sports fans than women/moms.  I’m sure not an emotionally remote father and neither was my dad, but I still loved sharing fan-dom with him as David does with me (and Kim, just a less passionate Duke fan).  I will say, sharing a passion for Duke basketball with David has been one of my favorite things about being a Dad.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Chart of the day

  1. In much the same way as sports allegiance tied to relationships, I was always fascinated how it seems that a significant portion of females identify their politics in large part based upon their father’s or husband’s beliefs. Perhaps my premise is no good but having worked on enough campaigns I can tell you that the shock has worn off after receiving quite a number of responses from older women where they admit to completely deferring to their husband’s political preference. Things have certainly changed but I suspect there are still modern women hiding this preference just as I typically defer to my wife when it comes to my strong thoughts about parenting our children.

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