When does supporting a team become an unhealthy obsession?

I had a friend who’s baby was diagnosed with a rare form of downs.  Unfortunately it was only identified in her last trimester.  Sadly, the baby was destined not to survive the birth.  Her partner wanted her to arrange the inducement, birth and funeral around his footy team’s matches.  In psychologist speak he was, and probably still is, an emotional dwarf.     

So when does a passion become an all consuming obsession, more important than family, friends and a relationship?  Well I think the above is a good example but here another example and it involves the Australian love of AFL. 

Take one family, the mother supports Carlton and her son supports Essendon.  There is a friendly rivalry between them until the son has a daughter.  Grandma starts to teach the little girl magpie crowd chants at the tender age of two.  The son objects, counter attacks and “go bombers” resounds around the house.   Grandma concedes defeat but is determined that the little girl is going to follow in the family tradition and like football.  It is the little girl’s third birthday.  Currently, she is a princess fairy.  Grandma decides to make a cake, the theme being the AFL with a footballer figure as the centre piece.

Indoctrination – what a wonderful quality in child rearing! What happened to being allowed to grow up and make a personal choice?


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