Why do I love sports? Dad’s devotion to losing team fuels daughter’s lifelong passion

We love sports. And we *really* miss them. So much so that during this pandemic we’ve asked ourselves this question: What was the moment or reason that we fell in love with sports in the first place?

This story below is from Beth Rosenberg Sanders of Gaithersburg, Md.

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I grew up in New Jersey, the daughter of a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. In the heart of New York Giants country, my dad, David Rosenberg, rooted for a team that had never even made it to the Super Bowl. But his dedication and devotion to his team was infectious, and I found myself rooting for the Orange and Brown, too.

My fandom turned into devotion after my father flew my whole family to Cleveland for the last game before the team was moved to Baltimore. We all shed tears in the stands that day and vowed we’d never root for another team.

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Three long, torturous years later our Browns were back, and that season my father and I flew out to Cleveland to see our team play — it was below-freezing temperatures, the third-string quarterback was playing and our team lost — but what I mostly remember is the time with my dad. We were able to go to a few more games together before he passed away in 2006, including a loss to the Patriots in Foxboro where I was afraid we were going to get hit as he taunted fans in the stands about the Red Sox.

Since my dad passed, my love of the Browns has only grown, something I’ve tried to pass along to my son — not an easy feat living in Ravens territory and with his father being a Steelers fan!

My love of my team keeps me close to my dad and every time I go to a game, I wear one of his old hats or jerseys so he is there with me. I only hope that one day I will see them make it to the Super Bowl — something my dad didn’t live long enough to see.

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