Carolina family arrives together, but roots apart

Setting the scene

Ravens Gameday

October 16, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Reporter

The adage "the family that plays together, stays together" apparently doesn't apply to sports. At least not for Greg Tucker's family.

When the Tucker family made its way from the tailgate lot at Sharp-Leadenhall Elementary School in Federal Hill to M&T Bank Stadium for yesterday's game between the Ravens and Carolina Panthers, purple and black was the dominant color of choice, but it wasn't unanimous.

While Greg Tucker, a former Mount Airy resident and president of a Ravens Nest chapter in Frederick, his wife, Phyllis, and son, Adam, sported Ravens gear, the T-shirts, visor and windbreaker that their daughter, Emily, and her boyfriend, Scott Barzee, wore proudly displayed their allegiance to the Panthers.

"We're just a typical American family," said Greg Tucker, a 57-year-old retiree who, with his wife, drove eight hours from their home in Calabash, N.C. "Where we live, everybody's from someplace else. ... It's all in good fun. Nobody's too serious about it."

While both of Greg Tucker's children grew up in what Emily Tucker called "a gung-ho Ravens household," his daughter's affection began to sway about four years ago when she began working as a loan processor for a mortgage company in Charlotte, N.C.

"I feel like it's just a natural transition," she said, noting that she has attended every Panthers home game this season. "I've started a new life, and it makes for friendly competition."

While her parents didn't mind their daughter's defection, it was news to her brother, who works at a nightclub in a Las Vegas casino.

"She didn't share that with me before," Adam Tucker said, adding that he and his sister would be sitting in separate sections during the game. "I won't be with her, which is a good thing."

Still, Emily Tucker said she hasn't abandoned entirely her loyalty for the Ravens. She still has some of the Ravens gear she wore when she was younger and acknowledged that either outcome yesterday would satisfy her.

"I'll be happy with whoever wins," she said. "I'm pulling for the Panthers, but I wouldn't mind either outcome."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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