Saturday, September 15, 2007

Football Season is here

I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with football. Okay, so it tends more on the hate side than the love side. Every fall, I am torn.

On the one hand, I love my husband very much, and he loves football very much. Somebody remind me of the algebra illustration that I cannot remember here. If (something) and (something) then (something)=(something) :) At least it should.

Anyway, I grew up in a home where we did not watch sports. My dad enjoys them, but never really followed a team, and neither of my brothers caught the bug, whatsoever. In fact, the thought of Ryan or Nathan sitting in front of a game is humorous to me, come to think of it.

Nick, on the other hand, is from Nebraska. Nebraska is the world headquarters of college football fans. There is nothing like a Nebraska fan in the world. Seriously. When we go back there to visit, the streets are literally empty if there's a game on. Football is what men, and women for that matter, do. When Nick calls his parents, the first 20 minutes are usually a debate about what player is doing well this week, or whether someone will be well enough from their injury to play, or chat about some new exciting recruit. To be honest, I tune it out.

Thankfully, I have a husband who is incredibly understanding about this difference in our cultures. When he watches a game, he will usually chase the girls around the living room, change diapers, referee arguments, and even interact occasionally. He does not yell at people (or at the tv. :) Now that we have DVR (this is BAD - incredibly addictive!) he will even "pause" the game and deal with a crisis. Happily, I might add.

So my issue is, I am a grouch. I cannot figure out for the life of me why it frustrates me so much that he likes this. Yes, it is time out of our weekend, but it's not THAT much time. Every time he watches a game, I wrestle with my attitude the entire time. I go into martyr/feel sorry for myself mode. I hate that I am so stinkin' selfish about it.

Does anybody else deal with this? This is like the one thing Nick ever asks for himself...


  1. I hear you on this one. I have a hate-hate relationship with football. But I do love my husband, who LOVES football. My problem is that he LOVES baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, hunting, and just about any other competitive sport that is on TV as well. Adding to the difficulty of this is that he was a bachelor until he was 35, and we have been working on toning down the sport fanaticism for 4 years. Quarterly, or so, we have a discussion to help us find balance.
    I've tried telling him that he is allowed, cart-blanc, to follow ONE team devotedly in each respective sport. But he argues that the teams he follows aren't regularly scheduled here on the West Coast, so this has not worked out for us.
    Most recently (read, since football season started up again), he has agreed only to watch TV 3 nights a week, and we have started a bag of conversation topics that we draw from 2 nights a week. Friday night is a date, or a possible movie night, and that leaves us one other night unplanned or for company.
    If it is truly the only thing your hubby asks for, then you are not married to a true sports fanatic, just a true Nebraskan.
    Somehow football gets under my skin SO much more than the other sports.

  2. Yes, he is just a true Nebraskan. And I'm honestly not sure I would change it even if I could. I just wish I could figure out a way to be less of a punk about it.

  3. If you find a way to weed the punkiness out, please do let me know. My husband will thank you =)

  4. I understand as well. Chris is a hardcore Notre Dame fan. I tolerated it the first few years of our marriage--now I casually follow the games with him. I'm not a fan by any means, but he loves it--so I try to support it. I do get the martyr attitude when he goes out and works in the yard. is yardwork, but does it have to take so long and does he have to be soooo meticulous. I is ridiculous to feel this way.

  5. i think the hard part, at least for me, has been that i could not even share in any part of something that he loves so much. i mean, i hate watching sports on tv, so although logically you are fine with it and understand that he loves it and it's not too much time, it still feels like he loves something that i am no part of. that's where my grumpiness comes in. the only thing i could do was find something that was the equivalent to do (i.e. something i enjoyed greatly that he had no part in) or find a way to join in (much harder). however, this was past, and now i deal with not sports but a love of drumming. on drums. very loud ones. for hours...

    good luck :)


  6. Somewhere in there is a fear that whatever-it-is-they're-doing is more important to them than spending time with me/the family. And, definitely involved in it is saraw's suggestion about him loving something I have no part in. Really, why does that bother us though? Because he was a person long before he knew me, so for him to have his own identity apart from me is a good thing, right?

    Psychoanalyzing this is fascinating to me...

  7. It seems that by the time I get warmed up to a sport, the season is over. I do my best to be a part of what's going on, since sports are a huge part of my life being married to a coach, but often times, I find myself liking teams based on the shade of green their uniforms are or a player based on their unique story or hairstyle rather than their performance. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas are renown for their die hard fans. Somedays, my grown when football comes on is accompanied by a click of the remote, to which I sigh in relief. Other days, I try to sit along side watching the game and asking questions our 4-year old could probably answer. I think if we let them watch the important games and ask them to focus on the family during the not-so-important ones, that's a healthy compromise. Afterall, it's hard to compete w/ Fantasy Football, PlayStation 2 games, Coaching a team, TV games, etc. etc. A sure way to make it a fair competition is to walk in front of the TV nude. That will get their attention for sure. ;)

  8. Seems like a pretty good idea to me... Leave it to TL! :)

  9. Mini parties. Husband loves sports, I love the husband hate the sports. (Well, not hate just don't understand how you can possibly watch little people run around a field for 2-3 hours.) SO I host mini parties for the guys. It gives me something to do, and wives/girlfirends to talk to and the kids get playmates. It can be very inexpensive. Just a few munchies and drinks. AND it gives me motivation to get my house clean before people come over. Ofcorse it's not possible to do this every week, but every week that you do do it you aren't seceretly muttering things under your breath like (we could have gotten so much done in thoose 3 hours or I'm alone with the kids all week and now I'm basically alone again.) :) Another thing I've tried is to force myself into understanding the game and knowing who the players are. Find out what teams are playing research the players and their positions and their achivements (take 30mins out of the week) and then when game day comes maybe dress in the team colors that your husband does NOT want to win and get into the game and impress him with your sudden football knowledge, he might find this sporty side of you very sexy and you may find your self actually enjoying the game (and attention from hubby) because you understand it and the players.


  10. The party idea is a great one. :) I don't think Nick would know what to do if I showed up in the other team's colors. Ha! That's a funny thought.

  11. We need to talk. Apparently I never told you we have this struggle in our house as well-Dave is a HUGE NFL freak. He is even involved in like 3 or so fantasy leagues. It takes up a ton of time.
    Like I said, we have to talk. :)

  12. Oh boy, do I have an opinion on football! Like you, the men in my family were never into sports. We never watched them as kids! Mike is a USC alum (under grad and graduate)!!! He becomes obsessed with football (both college and professional)! Sports are always on around here! If it is not football, it is basketball, soccer, you name it! Okay, I feel better venting. It can be frustrating, I agree.


  13. Sara Kay, thanks for your comment on my Joy in Motherhood series. I LOVED it. And I responded to it. Just go back to that same post, down to your comment, and I've commented below it.

  14. Well, it is certainly clear that you have lots of company, Sara. If I have a clear picture, it sounds like your situation is not totally out of balance (so you really only have the attitude to worry about -- more on this later). I love the party suggestion! I'm sure if you were busy with entertaining and had women friends to talk with, the bad attitude would simply not be an issue. Of course you won't always be able to have other people over for a game, so I recommend trying to join in. I think it helps a little if you can find out about some of the players personal lives --- somehow this makes it a lot more interesting to watch. OR, learn to knit, then you can knit while you watch together and you won't find it nearly so onerous (if at all).
    Still, I can't get away from the theme that we wives need to know we are our husband's top priority. Are the husbands out there listening? It doesn't mean they can't watch the important games, but it means if they can make time for the games, they must be making time for us as well. We need to feel connected on a continual basis and we need to know we are more important than tv or yard work.
    One more tip on dealing with the bad attitude. I have this struggle too (not related to football games though) and there is a way to look to the Lord when you sense it coming on; just talk to Him and tell Him how you feel, how you don't want to feel that way; won't He PLEASE help! This works when you're losing it with the kids as well, but it takes effort and practice.

  15. ps - I have tagged you for a meme.