Family draws line in the turf

Faron Young, top left, with kids Ashley and Brandon, all Steelers fans, and wife and mother, Love, a Packers fan, are ready for the game.

Their house is divided but still standing, though the thing most likely propping it up today is stubbornness. That, and intractable loyalty.

“The Steelers are going to win,” says Faron Young.

“Nope,” counters his wife, Love. “Go, Packers.”

It’s been like this all season, and really, almost the entire 17 years they’ve been together. The Grand Junction couple sit on opposite sides of the football field, and it was a strange quirk of fate — plus some decent offense — that brought their opposing teams together today in Super Bowl XLV.

Faron cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Love cheers for the Green Bay Packers. There will be no concessions today, no making nice.

“I can’t convert her,” Faron confesses. “I try.”

“He talks trash like you would not believe,” Love quickly adds.

There’s some huffing and counter-huffing, and Love whips out her cell phone to offer examples of the trash-texting that occurred on their lunch breaks Friday. It basically boiled down to “You’re wrong” and “No, you’re wrong” (with an undercurrent of “love you!”).

Love delights in pointing out the Packers are favored to win. Faron just shakes his head. No way.

“Black and yellow,” he says.

Strangely enough, he’s not from Pittsburgh and she’s not from Green Bay. They both grew up in Illinois, and Faron just always cheered for the Steelers. It’s just one of those things. Love wasn’t even a football fan growing up. She got into the game only when Faron introduced her to it. She made the Packers her team because green is her favorite color. It’s as simple as that, and she’s been true green ever since.

She’s a pilgrim in an unholy land, though: Both their kids — Ashley, 12, and Brandon, 15 — cheer for the Steelers. Faron beams and gloats. Love shakes her head. Where did she go wrong?

But she doesn’t let loyalty trump motherly obligation. Saturday afternoon she colored in the Steelers logo Brandon got shaved onto the back of his head Friday. She did it, though, with hands manicured in Packers green, the ring fingernails adorned with Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews’ “#52.”

Faron points out that he and Love met at a funeral, and he jokes there might be another one Sunday. Love implies it’s because he’ll drop dead if the Steelers lose.

“I’ll just say six,” he says. “Six Super Bowls. Why would you go against us?”

“You’re just going to have to learn the hard way,” Love says.

She’s wearing a Packers shirt, while he and the kids are in Steelers black. They’re pulling out all of the stops today, dragging out all of the Packers and Steelers gear for a living-room showdown in front of the TV.

The one thing they can agree on? Snacks.


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