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  • Writer's picturePete Chianca

Jessica Springsteen is in the Olympics tomorrow! Is it healthy for Bruce fans to care this much?

Photo: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian

Covering the Springsteen family has always made me feel a little, well ... Is icky a real word? I just feel like, as much as Bruce Springsteen, the performer, has touched us over the years, we don't really know Bruce Springsteen, the man -- he admitted as much on VH1 Storytellers. Granted, wife Patti Scialfa is a card-carrying member of the E Street Band, and so shares the spotlight with her more-famous hubby -- but shouldn't that private side of Springsteen include some privacy for his kids?

I felt pretty strongly about that when they were little and didn't include much about the family goings-on in these pages -- but then, Jessica Springsteen had to go and get famous on her own! Or if not famous, she at least carved out a name for herself as an elite equestrian, culminating in her heading to Tokyo as a member Team USA’s four-person Jumping team.

This has led to articles with titles like "A Bruce Springsteen fan’s guide to watching daughter Jessica compete in Olympic equestrian," an actually very well written intro to equestrian for anybody looking to cheer on Jessica but with no background or interest in the sport. But that does raise the question: If horses aren't our thing, should we really be this invested in the outcome just because of the Bruce connection, or is that kind of stalker-ish?

After some soul-searching, I've decided: No, it's not. As I said, she's put herself in the spotlight -- it's not like we're going through Evan Springsteen's household trash or surveilling Sam Springsteen's firehouse in the hopes of spotting him coming down the pole. But beyond that, even if we don't know-know Springsteen, we know how he's made us feel -- and that makes us happy to think of the joy and pride he must be feeling watching his daughter excel on the world stage.

So go ahead, get up early (6 a.m. on Aug. 3 and 4, to be specific) and cheer for Jessica and Don Juan van de Donkhoeve (her horse, natch) -- and for Bruce and Patti as proud parents. Here are links where you might spot her, per the article referenced above.

Meanwhile, if Bruce-specific stories are more your speed, don't miss these ICYMI links featuring recent Bruce news below: "'An instant classic': Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band's No Nukes show coming to film"

Yahoo News: "Why Bruce Springsteen wasn't honored with a New Jersey rest stop" (Spoiler alert: He didn't want one.)

NYT: "Obama and Springsteen to Publish Book Based on Their Spotify Series"

NPR: "NYC 'Homecoming' Show Will Star Bruce Springsteen And More, But You Have To Be Vaxxed"

NPR: "Jack Antonoff And Bruce Springsteen Head Home To Jersey On Bleachers' 'Chinatown'"

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