There are many die-hard sports fans out there, but few and far between actually possess the talent to have a chance to professionally play for their favorite franchise. On the flip side, that means they also have the chance to play for someone they grew up rooting against for most of their childhood.
This is the story of John Simon, a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens and childhood Pittsburgh Steelers die-hard.
“I really didn’t have a choice, I was born into it,” Simon said, trying his best to make it clear he didn’t want to offend any of the Ravens faithful. “I always respected the Ravens because they were always almost the same team [as the Steelers].”
It may be difficult for a Ravens fan to stomach, but Simon is a former owner of one of Myron Cope’s Terrible Towels. He assures us that not only his towel, but every other piece of Steelers paraphernalia has since been removed from his home since being drafted by the Ravens in in April.
“Burned them. They’re all gone,” Simon said in reference to his towel.
With Simon on the Ravens payroll to the tune of a four-year, $2.5 million deal, he certainly has an obligation to the franchise and he did everything possible in our discussion to make that perfectly clear. Simon also stressed that his family has since shed their allegiance to the black and gold.
“I hope not, because I’m their son,” Simon laughingly said when asked about if his family would possibly keep their allegiance to the Steelers. “They’re Ravens fans now. I hope they’re going to root for wherever I go and cheer me on. That’s what they’ve done their whole lives and I appreciate them for that.”
Though, don’t expect Simon’s family to march into Heinz Field dressed head to toe in Ravens jerseys and purple camouflage pants. According to Simon, they’re not scared – just bland.
“I don’t know if my family is a bunch of big jersey-wearers,” he said. “We’re very bland, maybe just a Ravens logo on the chest or something. Whatever they want, I’ll try to accommodate it.”
Most Ravens fans, including myself, have practically crucified fans for being fair-weather and jumping on the bandwagon of a championship team. With Simon and his family, we should all certainly understand his situation and welcome them to Charm City with open arms – even if you want to hurl knowing that a potential Ravens pass rushing superstar has twirled a Terrible Towel around his head a time or two.