A conversation with my kids about the Steelers

Sitting around the dining room table where I am checking over my nine-year-old son’s math homework while he works on his science homework while my five-year-old daughter is making some Play-Doh masterpiece that roughly resembles a generous elephant poop.

Son, who is thrilled he’s allowed to stay up until 9:15 to watch some of the Steelers game: Who are the Steelers versing tonight?

(An aside: Yes, since he was a toddler he has picked up this little turn of phrase from his Mexican father who used to say the same thing due to English being his second language. It’s the present participle of versus if versus was a verb, I guess. [shrug] I could correct my son, but it’s not like he’s saying “I seen.” Then he’ll be sent to grammar boot camp. I assume that’s a thing.)

Me: The Titans.

Son: The Tennessee Titans? The Tennessee Titans suck.

Me: That they do. 

Daughter: Are we watching the Steelers here at our house?

Me: Yes. Besides, you’re too young to go to a Steelers game.

Son: WAY too young.

Daughter: Can you only go to Pirates games when you’re five-years-old?

Me: Yes. You can’t go to a Steelers game until you’re older.

Daughter: Why?

Son, said as if he is personally ten million-years-old: Because you’re FIVE. 

Me: Because people get angry and shout mean things at the Steelers games.

Daughter: But I won’t shout mean things.

Me: No, I mean they shout bad words that you shouldn’t hear. I don’t want you to hear those bad words.

Daughter: [looks at me silently for half a beat then says earnestly] I PROMISE I won’t say any of the bad words I learn.

Son: [falls off the chair laughing]

She’s going to be a hell of a Steelers fan when she’s older.


  1. Christina
    October 11, 2012 7:32 pm

    Love <3

    She IS a hell of a Steelers fan :)

  2. Julie
    October 11, 2012 8:22 pm

    This made my night!

  3. jann
    October 11, 2012 8:22 pm

    I teach in Ohio and for years my students have used “verse” as I verb when discussing a competition. I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes it into the lexicon eventually.

  4. Barb
    October 11, 2012 8:49 pm

    My high school senior still says “versing.” I don’t correct him because it’s a reminder of when he used it say it was “froggy” outside. They grow up too fast!

  5. Christina
    October 11, 2012 9:13 pm

    My 4 year old son informed me this morning that he didn’t have to go to school because since the Steelers are playing it’s a holiday.

  6. Emily
    October 11, 2012 10:34 pm

    Within two weeks of dating my husband, I broke him of his “I seen” habit. :)

  7. Bojack
    October 11, 2012 11:10 pm

    Delightful exchange! :-)

  8. AML
    October 11, 2012 11:14 pm

    I seen is the worst!

  9. Dash66
    October 11, 2012 11:38 pm

    Her reply is priceless! Thanks for the laugh, I really needed it today!

  10. Bluzdude
    October 12, 2012 12:25 am

    Ad here I was hoping that Versing would be some kind of mad poets competition, but with hitting…

    • Pensgirl
      October 12, 2012 3:18 pm

      I like what you did there, bluz…howevah, mad poet competitions already have a name (that would accommodate hitting quite nicely): slams.

  11. bucdaddy
    October 12, 2012 1:44 am


    You of all people should appreciate this: My niece, her husband and her son (then about 2 or 3) came up to the Burgh to visit my mom and hers. We planned to see them, so we looked for some little thing to give the boy to play with, and we got him a Play-Doh four-pack. He got busy with it on the kitchen table, and eventually used all four colors to mash together this round thing.

    We asked him what it was and this pre-kindergartener said, “A burrito.”

  12. Kilgore Trout
    October 12, 2012 9:53 am

    I am literally laughing out loud right now! So cute!

  13. Sarah
    October 12, 2012 11:03 am

    My mother in law (from New Jersey) uses “I seen”. No one else hears it but it drives me up the wall! “Versing” isn’t nearly as irritating.

  14. Jim W.
    October 12, 2012 11:22 am

    “Versing” is not ethnocentric. My daughter and all her friends went through a “versing” phase in 8U softball.

    “Who are we versing?”
    “You’re not ‘versing’ anyone. You’re ‘playing’ against the other Bauerstown team.”

    Insert one week, repeat conversation x infinity.

  15. facie
    October 12, 2012 12:14 pm

    Love “versing.” I am pretty sure I may have said that years ago. I just hope the Pens start versing someone soon, or this city (and particularly this fan) is in big trouble.

    Oh, and your son is quite observant and smart if he knows the Titans suck. But I figured that about him about five minutes into our conversation this summer. :-)

  16. Lauryn
    October 12, 2012 2:00 pm

    The kids on my street do the “versing” thing too. To the extent that we would be playing Madden with them and they would request to “verse” someone else. Not “I want to play Sammy” but “I want to verse Sammy”. I thought it was because they all come from households where English is not the first language, but I guess not. Unless Yinzer really counts as a different language. :-)

    Which my husband totally thinks is true when he can’t understand me.

  17. Ketchup is a veggie
    October 12, 2012 7:06 pm

    My boys still say versing. German was my hubby’s first language, they picked it up, now they are in their early twenties, and have me saying it! Maybe it’s a Pittsburgh thing.

  18. Sara
    October 17, 2012 11:12 am

    i couldnt believe this when i saw it. I truly thought my son was the only one who says ‘versing.’ Each week before his soccer game, its ‘mom, we are versing..” or, ‘Who are the Steelers versing this week??’ People try to correct him but he keeps on saying it. I actually let it go..i think it is cute. At least now i can laugh knowing how many other people use this word!