So you’ve decided to bring a child into this world. Bold.
It’s never too early to expose your little one to the bitter disappointment of adulthood. And hey, since you’re already planning on indoctrinating them into the borderline cult that is college football fandom, why not start there? Here are six crucial lessons from this year’s National Championship to teach your kids, whether they’re ready to learn them or not.
1. The importance of patience
Georgia winning a National Championship after 40 agonizing years of “almost” would be definitive proof that patience pays off.
Meanwhile, winning 12 games with an all-time great defense, getting embarrassed in the SEC Championship by Alabama, then losing the National Championship once again to Alabama would be proof that, if there is a God, he absolutely hates the University of Georgia.
2. They are special (or at least as special as 247 Sports says they are)
Like Carl Sagan once said, we are all made of star stuff. And to win at the highest level, all that “stuff” had better be four stars or higher.
Your three-year-old may be your pride and joy, but does he have 4.4 speed? Can he diagnose complex coverages and make off-platform throws? Don’t let him think he’s a blue chip pre-school prospect when he’s a preferred toddle-on at best.
3. Lose gracefully; exact revenge precisely and mercilessly
After Texas A&M stunned Alabama in Week 6, did Nick Saban throw a fit?
No. He picked himself up, dusted himself off, and restarted his SEC-killing machine.
Next time you trounce Suzie in Chutes and Ladders, dry her tears and tell her she’ll never be the alpha while you stand in her way, and that when she comes for the king, she best not miss.
4. What isn’t real can hurt you
By now, I assume you’ve informed your children that Moana and Aladdin are nothing more than lifeless articles of intellectual property.
However, they can still witness the magic of Disney through ESPN’s corporate stranglehold of college football. Mary Poppins required a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, but ESPN doesn’t need any assistance to shove the Playoff down your gullet for four straight months.
Mickey Mouse may not be real, but his vice-like, monopolistic grip on the sport you love most certainly is.
5. Hope rarely goes unpunished
You typically shouldn’t mock your children, but come on. How utterly embarrassing is it that they actually believed this season would end in any other way?
Oh, you thought a couple big upsets in October were going to mean anything? Next time, don’t hitch your hopes to a wannabe contender from the Midwest like Cincinnati. Or Michigan.
I’m sorry to harp on it, it’s just — optimism? In this decade?
6. This era of child just doesn’t love their parents
Kids these days. First we have players opting out of bowl games, and now your own ungrateful offspring expect unconditional affection.
When you were their age, you reported to the salt mines at dawn and worked until sunset. Then, assuming Mother had secured a wage at the shoelace factory, you returned to a dinner of a single uncooked lentil, which you gnawed at gratefully. And all you ever asked for in return was a stern grunt of approval from Papá. Because you loved him.