When it comes to sports, a diehard fan’s worst nightmare is to have his or her child become a fan of a rival team. When your son is being egged on by that team’s star quarterback, it can only add to the heartbreak.
Trevor Bentley of Oxford, Ohio, is living the nightmare in the present, with the showdown between his Cincinnati Bengals and 13-year-old son Alex’s Pittsburgh Steelers a day away. So how did it all happen?
Diehard Bengals fan Trevor Bentley went home sad in Week 14 as his son, and devoted Steelers fan, Alex, celebrated a Steelers victory.
"In third grade, his teacher used to wear Steelers ties and sweaters and talk trash about the Bengals," Bentley told FOXSports.com. "He eventually convinced my son at an impressionable age that they were a better team. So for the last six or seven years, it’s never changed no matter how much ribbing he gets in the Jungle [Paul Brown Stadium]."
The Bentleys’ hometown also might have had something to do with it, since it is also home to Miami (Ohio) University, the alma mater of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"My wife and I lived in Oxford for a long time, and he connected with Ben going to college and playing football in his backyard, literally. Our house was just above RedHawks field, and this is why he is his second-favorite Steeler!"
As demonstrated in this 2011 video, retired Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was Alex’s No. 1 Steeler, as he was brought to tears when presented a Polamalu jersey for his birthday present.
That may have changed after Roethlisberger’s latest gesture. As if Trevor’s heart wasn’t broken enough by his son’s loyalties, Roethlisberger decided to twist the knife a little more with a gift to Alex. The QB sent a signed, game-worn cleat after receiving this video from Trevor showing Alex overcome with joy when he was surprised with tickets from a family friend to the Steelers-Bengals game back in Week 14.
“Now once Ben saw this, he decided to play Santa Claus to Alex – and at the same time, continue to make things difficult for his Bengals dad, Trevor. On Christmas Day, Alex opened up a box that contained one of Big Ben’s autographed, game-used Nike shoes
Thanks Ben! I am thankful that you made my boy smile this morning but it still doesn't change the way I feel about the Steelers! Who dey!
Roethlisberger’s gesture may have won over Alex even more, but nothing is breaking Trevor Bentley’s rooting interests despite his thankful note to the Roethlisberger camp. Come Saturday, he’ll be cheering on his Bengals in hopes they can win their first playoff game since 1991.
"Well, although I hate the Steelers, I love to see my boy smile! Thank you for that.<br /><br />"Please tell Ben thanks again for continuing the division in our home, and making it worse by making it in the playoffs. My son and I will be arguing back and forth while my wife tries to maintain her sanity! Good luck coming to the jungle this weekend and trying to beat the Orange and Black! Whodey!!"