Family Friendly NFL…

Yesterday Steven and I went to the Wild Card NFL game between the CINCINNATI BENGALS and the Baltimore Ravens!

Oh my gosh we had the best time ever! We walked around downtown beforehand where there was a city-wide tailgate going on. Cincinnati LOVES their Bengals, and boy did downtown turn out for the huge game last night.

We got to the game right as the doors opened and had 90 minutes of pregame entertainment to whet our whistle before the main event.

There were fireworks, electric guitar solos, fried stadium food, and of course Joe Burrow.

The game was amazing – it was both Steven and my first ever, in-person Bengals game! I know, I’ve lived here my whole childhood, and never once went to a game! But there’s always a first time for everything, and how special to watch with my wonderful fiancé!

I don’t know if it’s because I’m about to get married, and have the desire to start a family soon after, but I found myself periodically stepping back, outside of myself, and viewing the experience as a mom, with kids in tow. Maybe it’s because Steven mentioned that it may be fun to get season tickets when we have kids, but regardless, I found myself sometimes watching the game through that lens.

And I found that the whole NFL itself, is very family friendly. At least at the Bengals stadium. All the music was the “radio edited” versions. The cheerleaders were in yoga pants and jackets. There was the Play 365 campaign to encourage kids to play outside. They did the “kids cam” on the jumbotron, and pretty much everything was family friendly.

Except…well, the fans.

There was a woman behind us who brought her eight year old son to the game, and it was just one thing after another that made me just *close my eyes* and take a deep sigh for this woman.

For starters, the drunk guy next to her spilled her full White Claw (all over my seat) as he was walking by. And so that’s how it kicked off.

But to her other side, were another group of 6 or 7 drunk frat-type guys, and they were all just yelling profanities the whole game. Every bad call was a “F-You, Ref!” Or “Su*k my [expletive], Ref!”

It was just — yikes. Even I, — who doesn’t have kids, and have lived in New York for the last 12 years — was uncomfortable with what was coming out of these guys’ mouths.

But the kicker was that these guys were talking to this eight year old child, and being like, “only 13 more years until you can drink, my guy!”

Like — how inappropriate to say that to a child? Ask him who his favorite player is on the team. Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. Ask him if he plays football.

Why on earth would you think it is okay to talk to an eight year old about how long he has until he can drink alcohol?!!

I had to stop listening at that point, because I was just too upset.

And to be completely fair in the matter — I do believe the topic was discussed because man #1 who spilled his mom’s White Claw did end up buying her another one, and this conversation ensued during the delivery. BUT still. I don’t think that makes it any less inappropriate.


Back to me, watching the game, half with an eye like a parent.

It just struck me that, as parents in today’s world, it is truly the steepest of uphill battles to raise your children with their head on straight anymore.

To instill in your children a Christian worldview, where they feel safe to be the children God created them to be, and striving to follow Christ’s example…there are just so many factors actively working against us.

We can’t trust Disney anymore, or the Disney channel. Public schools are feeding our children anti-Christian “truths.”

You can’t even bring a child to an NFL football game anymore without being bombarded by drunken seat mates.

It just is a bit discouraging.

But I’ve got to think, that our children are shaped by the people we surround them by. The media – both social and traditional will do their best – but surrounding them with a strong family; a vibrant community of believers; friends who share the same values; and a bedrock of church attendance (and enjoyment)… I’ve got to think that we’re equipping kids with a sturdy enough foundation to at least give them a fighting chance against this crazy world we’re up against.

Or maybe I’m looking at the glass half-empty. Maybe I’m missing something.

Maybe I’m forgetting that I’m no longer in NYC anymore, and the community here in Ohio is much more Christ-loving, and family oriented. Maybe I need to count those blessings that I’m out of New York, and look to the positives around me.


But until then, I will continue to cheer on my Cincinnati Bengals, and enjoy this beautiful new city, and let drunken frat-guy conversations be regretful accidents that hopefully, led to a formative parenting opportunity in the car on the way home.

Until Wednesday…


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13 responses to “Family Friendly NFL…”

  1. Next time, take a picture of the scum bag guys and notify them that you’ll be posting their creepiness on your blog that has 10,000 followers. Ha 😢😘👎😒😘

  2. Wow, I am so sorry about the drunk fools interfering with your enjoyment of the game, guys. I have experienced this at hockey games in the past. How terrible to speak to that 87 year old child about alcohol! I thought you were going to say that the mother smacked one of these guys upside the head. I’m glad that they didn’t ruin your game too. The world is going slowly mad and I blame the enemy for this. Have a great week regardless, guys! ❤️🙏🏻

  3. Living somewhere with multiple teams nearby and a lot of people who did not grow up here, I’ve always been envious of people who live somewhere where the entire community gets behind the home team. Of course if we meet in the Super Bowl (again) we’ll have to be enemies for a couple weeks… Good insights, though.

  4. What you are witnessing first hand is the decline of mankind and the ever increasing depravity. You should have gotten a Bengals usher and complained about their offensive language. I won’t stand for if especially if adolescents ar3 around. Also, you are witnessing what happens when the immature are fed “adult beverages”. Where I come from, mature people understand that truly adult beverages seldom contain alcohol.

  5. Hey Caralyn,

    We have two kids, aged 18 and 16 now. We’ve gone to many sporting events over the years and we always have the conversations, both before and after the game with our kids about the other fans. We tell them that there are a lot of crazy people out there and even if these other people act like drunken fools, that is not how we act. We’re not those kinds of people. Respect yourself and respect the other people around you. Don’t embarrass yourself or your family. One time I brought my son to a Sox game and sat in the bleachers. We had these two twenty-something guys behind us and they were swearing often and being rude. Eventually I said, “Guys, let’s keep it down b/c we have a ten year old boy here, ok?” Their behavior improved. The key is to simply explain to your kids what is right and wrong. Sure they grow up fast but the experience can be a great learning environment for them.

    Congratulations and good luck to you and the Bengals!


  6. Hi lady I totally feel your pain. I purchased a DVD from a rabbi by the name of Daniel Lapin. It was about profanity and its impact on us and those around us and their impression of us. One example given of how to deal with it was the rabbis wife and daughter were sitting on their stoop they used to live in New York. Not too far away from them some men were talking and using profanity and the daughter she’s grown, looked over and said hey can you guys watch what you’re saying there are children present. The men looked around and they didn’t see any children but they said oh okay sorry. Well the daughter was referring to herself and her mother. Even though they were both grown women they were children of god. I wish that I had thought about that one day a few years ago there were a couple of guys at the house next door doing some work and the equipment that they were using was really loud. And one man was just sitting there yelling profanities he wasn’t upset he just was one of those people that was used to using profanity in his conversations. I wished I had the nerve to say out the window hey knock it off there’s children presents. But I didn’t. I thought that was a great way that the rabbi’s wife and daughter handled an interesting situation without hopefully making it too confrontational to saying hey there’s children present can you watch what you say. And if they say I don’t see any children we always say you’re looking at her!
    On a different note, I wanted to recommend a book to you titled a Christian ending. This is a really great book on the Christian perspective of how we bury our dead versus how the world buries their dead. How to take back sacred task of preparing our debt for burial and being with them in this transitional phase, from a underregulated and very expensive industry. And it also goes into why Christians do not cremate their dead, and it exposes the lies that we have all been told by the funeral industry. It is such a heartwarming and touching book and very very informative.

  7. Glad you were able to enjoy the game despite the behavior of fans. Adults — even those of us without kids — have a responsibility to be aware of how big of an impression we can make on young ones around us. Even if we’re drinking at a football game.

    I am fairly new to your blog, but I would just have one respectful request: please be careful of how you refer to public schools. I am a teacher myself and we are losing numbers constantly because of how underpaid and under appreciated those jobs are. And with how frequent school shootings are, we are literally on the front lines to protect those we teach. We are all doing our best.

    Love your blog. God bless — and Who Dey.

  8. Neither of my girls will be having kids. Part of me wishes that it was otherwise, but then I think that maybe this isn’t such a great world to bring a kid into. But what world should I be thinking of? This world or the next?

    I think if you complete your thoughts to eternity, your glass is definitely half full. No, check that. Your glass is overflowing, because your kids will have all of those supports your listed plus eternity with Jesus. You and Steven are on track to bring new souls into this world and to prepare them for the next.

  9. What you’ve sadly witnessed is “mob mentality” wherein otherwise decent and even Christian people do and say things that are downright disgusting and demeaning. It’s why I haven’t attended a pro football event in over 40 years. All the excitement and fun of watching your team compete inevitably gets ruined by the ugliness around you. Sorry you had to witness it firsthand.

  10. I cannot agree more strongly with this statement, Caralyn, “…surrounding them with a strong family; a vibrant community of believers; friends who share the same values; and a bedrock of church attendance (and enjoyment)… I’ve got to think that we’re equipping kids with a sturdy enough foundation to at least give them a fighting chance against this crazy world we’re up against.” You & Steven will do that! God bless you!

  11. I lived in Philadelphia for 28 years and went to exactly 1 Philadelphia Eagles game, in 1981 or 82. One game was enough for me. The drinking, cursing, rude behavior made this sport totally unappealing to me. Give me a good old baseball game any day.

  12. That is why parents should not just leave the upbringing of their children into the hands of their teachers, guardians, or wards. We should be there for them to inculcate Godly values into their lives irrespective of our busy schedules (especially the father). Parents have more work to do now than ever before to raise godly children.🙂

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