Every year we celebrate the children returning to school. No more High C Soprano screams in the neighborhood. No more loud cars and stereos vibrating their way past your house all day long. You can justify keeping that irritating bumper rider at a sedate 20 mph for the next 4 or 5 blocks.
Then you come home, turn on the TV, and BLAM!, the first game of the season smacks you in the face.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for sports. They help keep people active, healthy and outdoors. They allow college scholarships for high school athletes, create an incredible amount of job opportunities from grade school scrambles on up to professional teams, and give the financially disadvantaged child the knowledge that they can make their dreams happen. They also keep the older crowds’ metabolism up with all of the jumping, yelling, finger-pointing, bleacher coaching and couch crunching going on each year.
So, there you are, staring in dread at the screen. Your brain shuts down for just the tiniest moment before going in to football overdrive. How many games will I have to host? Who all will be coming? Will it be for the kids or the adults? How many snack foods will be needed? Has the carpet shampooer been serviced? Who was that party planner I met the other day (now I know why she was smirking)? Where did I put her card? Will the dog get over-excited and make a mess on the neighbors lap? Will I survive till March?
As these questions, and many others, run through your mind, you take a deep breath and let it out. You take another deep, deep breath and slowly let it out. You stand up and find yourself vowing to the Lord (and any other deities that might exist) that you will not allow yourself to be stranded in the kitchen this year because you don’t know anything about football. You are going to learn everything there is to know about things like “offense”, “defense”, “special teams” and the different positions in each one. You will learn what the actual rules are, because you will be a member of the group. No more asking “what does that mean?” or “why do they do that?” and “when will the game be over?”
Then we realize that we left it too long. Our day-to-day routines have left little time to sit down and decipher the foreign language of “rules & regulations”, “playbooks” and intra-team lingo. We slowly lower our fist, let our shoulders droop and shuffle into the kitchen to begin making dinner. As we sit down to an indifferently cooked meal, we listen to the excited chatter from around the table. Football…..football…..football……………
Isn’t it just ducky?
Hi. My name is Echo & I am a football widow.
The man I love has suddenly become the world’s greatest coach. Everything his chosen team, the opposing team and the referees do is wrong. The refs will make all the wrong calls at all the worst possible moments. Defense will not sack the quarterback, tackle the running back or wide receiver, pick up the fumble or block the field goal. Yet again, the offense will fail to block the defense, drop the ball, throw for negative yards or step out-of-bounds at the wrong time. My personal favorite is when they throw the short pass to the side and get tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Oh, how he starts to bounce in his chair, as though he was Skip from ESPN’s First Take, which is pretty impressive since he is in a wheelchair. Every year I wonder if we will have to replace it after each game. Luckily, they make them very sturdy these days.
As football widows, we get to sit and listen (during the game) to how that play should have been done, why that ref is blind, where that particular WR should be sent (because he is so slow, clumsy, fast, etc.) and whether or not the QB should be benched for such poor decisions. After the game, we get to listen to a play by play breakdown between him and his friends. Each play is dissected down to its individual foot movement, arm movement and body position. Friends that were unable to be here are called and the whole game rehashed over the phone. The debates go on and on. Usually, they last longer than the game did. You hear it at the office, in the parking lot and in the grocery stores. Finally, we only hear only the occasional comment. That is, until the next game (usually the next day, or on the next channel, depending on your cable package).
Whatever happened to football on Sundays and holidays? When did it become a daily ritual to go through the TV guide searching for each & every game time? How did my home become the coaches’ box multiple times a day? How did we get transported continuously to exotic places like Denver, Indianapolis and other states? Who realized that college football would be as addictive as the NFL?
For almost every day of the week, for the rest of the year, we will be watching & listening. Trying to learn & understand what it is we are hearing. As we listen, we think that we are actually learning something about that game called “Football”. That all-encompassing, illusive sport that sucks our men’s attention away from “normal” life. We think to ourselves “I am really going to be able to join the group this year.”
It never occurs to us that we think the exact same thought every year. And every year, we go through the same process. From preseason to post season, we hold tight to that vow we made. The refrain “Never Again” echoes through the minds of football widows across the world. Never admitting to ourselves that when post season is over we will go back to the mundane routine that interfered with learning about football in the first place.
Football widows are so naïve…………….
……..My dog is in here cowering. I think she is of the opinion that “daddy” is mad at her. If she could just figure out how to get into that little box, onto the field and chase those “idiots” in the right direction then “daddy” would stop yelling. She is such a sweet, loyal, misguided, naïve little puppy. You would think that she would have learned, after 8 ½ years, that this happens every year.
She is a football widow also.