Anna Grant is your typical 14-year old girl. She probably likes to listen to Hannah Montana, has a couple of blogs on the internet, and talks about boys with her friends. On a Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, Anna thought she was minding her own business. What was her crime that caused a stadium full of people to despise her? Did she cheat on a test in school? Was she mean to her younger siblings? Did she drive on the wrong side of the road? Did she have a child out of wedlock? No. Her "crime" was wearing a New England Patriots jersey.

I'm sorry. Did someone all of a sudden decide that there was a dress code at the RCA Dome and nuns with whipples and rulers were running the place? Given what most 14-year old girls are wearing nowdays, at least she was covered up. I could have cared less if she was wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey. This child was respectful and did not respond to the booing by the Indy fans, some of which were, as Peyton Manning once said, were "liquored up." We live in a world where children are abused for no reason whatsoever, exploited for financial gain and even killed for being the wrong gender in most cultures.

I wore an Atlanta Braves jersey to an Astros game last year and got some strange looks (but then again, the Braves had a winning record and the Astros didn't). At least I was left alone and enjoyed the game (which Atlanta won). Perhaps the Indy fans that booed should look a bit deeper in their souls and apologize to this young lady, who made a choice that was hers and hers alone. They don't have to do it at one time but it would be nice if they did it out of the kindness of their hearts. After all, Anna could be the one that finds that cure for cancer or AIDS. If we don't learn anything else from this, we should learn that that sportsmanship carries all the way from the bleachers to the field.

One last thing: Anna and her family are going to be guests of the Patriots this Sunday and will join her team on the field for the coin toss. She will be the envy of every girl and boy in her school. She's already earned my respect for not reacting to these zealots. In this case, clothes do not make the man... or in Anna's case, the woman.


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