Copyright © 2009 by Ralph Couey
In the weeks prior to last Sunday, I experienced the growing realization that I faced a dilemma of major proportions, trapped between two competing loyalties.
I grew up in the Kansas City area, becoming a Chiefs fan when the team arrived in 1963 from Dallas. I was passionate in my support of the team, remaining loyal even during the crushing poverty the team experienced in the ‘80’s. The Chiefs began winning in the ‘90’s, but it was still annual exasperation and heartbreak as they never made it past the AFC Championship game.
In 2004, I moved to Pennsylvania, where I found myself unable to resist the Pittsburgh Steelers. I suppose it was natural. The Steelers and the Chiefs share some common attributes. Both are family-owned, The Rooneys and the Hunts beloved in their respective communities and supported by a fan base whose passion approaches religiosity at times. Both have a rich history and tradition. But the Steelers have won the Super Bowl twice in the last four years. The Chiefs haven’t even been to the Big Game in forty years. And the last three years have been exquisite agony.
So I am a guy who sports both Black and Gold, and Red and Gold with a clear conscience; you could call me ambi-teamdrous. Up until Sunday, it wasn’t a problem. The two don’t play in the same division, and due to the vagaries of the schedule, there never seemed to be time when I had to root for one against the other. But Sunday changed all that.