I know what your first thought is: beat it into him. But the idea of prison bars doesn't resonate well with my skinny frame, easy-going nature, silky smooth skin, and luscious buttocks.
I was lucky enough to meet Dan Marino when I was 5 - it was the birth of an obsession. My father was a Dolphins fan. It seemed that the stars were aligned for me. But you know how kids sometimes resist what their parents like? What do I do if my boy resents the fact that I like the Dolphins so much? What if, oh my god I can barely type it, what if he doesn't like football at all?!?!
Here are some of my initial thoughts (ok, so it's a top 10...and in no particular order), and I would welcome any parenting advice from anyone except alpha, nete, beav, and anyone else who was indirectly hitting on my pregnant wife.
1. Brainwashing. Historically, it's been an excellent technique. You get them young enough to not know any better, then you force them to believe what you do, unless they want to go without dinner, extra-curricular activities, TV, friends, and birthday parties.
2. Positive Reinforcement. I will invite my, umm, 1 Dolphins friend (my dad no longer watches the NFL) to help educate the youngster about the good ol' days of Marino, the Mark brothers, Ricky Williams (I still love the guy), Surtain and Madison, Thomas and Taylor, and Lousaka Polite. We make sure to reward him with cupcakes anytime he likes something aqua, orange, aquatic like a dolphin, adulterous like Marino, skunky-smelling like Williams, or any other tangent that involves liking the finer things of Miami Dolphins allure.
3. Adoption. I try again.
4. Harp lessons at the age of 5. He becomes so frustrated and emotional about not being good at the harp, that he searches for salvation elsewhere and gives up harp-playing entirely. Hopefully he finds that salvation during Sundays in the comfort of a Tannehill jersey when he asks his father for "advice". Worse case scenario, I have a world-class harp player.
5. T-Pain's rendition of the Miami Dolphins fight song. We play it for him in utero, upon birth, and every day subsequently until he associates the Dolphins with winning in life. This is borderline brainwashing, but it's musical, so it's somehow less threatening.
6. My wife only feeds him foods aqua or orange-colored. So, I know, his diet will be limited. His choices will be oranges, carrots, fruit snacks, cheetos, and, ummmm, yeah, he won't be eating much.
7. Bank on a mathematical disposition. I am a numbers kind of guy. My wife is an accountant. We can reasonably assume that our boy will be predisposed towards numbers, and in which case, I will ramble off the only statistical and numerical point worth mentioning about our team: the Dolphins are the only undefeated team in NFL history.
8. Move to Miami. Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and some other pop culture sensations could capitalize on the American obsession over celebrities and are simultaneously minority owners of the Dolphins organization. Venus Williams, too. Venus rhymes with penis, and that can only help me in my quest to educate my son.
9. The underdog story. I might have to wait a little bit for my son to appreciate a good folklore, but I will be patient enough to tell him about the story of an undersized linebacker from Texas Tech, or a pot-smoking journeyman, or a skinny DL from Akron, or a QB who dropped to the bottom of the 1st round for supposedly trying cocaine, or a QB who had an affair and fathered an illegitimate child, or a QB who rewrote all the record books but never won a Super Bowl, or a QB who came across as super lame in Papa John's commercials.
10. Have another boy. I can always disregard the 1st one.
All that being said, in my heart of hearts, I know that my son will be a Dolphins fan. He already has 3 one-sies, 1 white, 1 aqua, and 1 custom-made. He has his father pictured with Dan Marino when HE was a kid, side-by-side with a Dan Marino autograph. His mother converted from a Browns fan to a Dolphins fan. Don Shula's autograph is encapsulated in him getting carried off the field in the 1972 Perfect Season. Dolphins key chains, Dolphins beer mugs, our mobile over the crib has little dolphins on it, our dog has a Dolphins collar, and we have Dolphins Snuggies.
What else do we need to do?