Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cardinal Sin

Husband has been off from work since December 24th and that should mean a lot of things: togetherness, bliss, quiet time, romance. Of course, it hasn't.  Instead it's meant this one thing instead:  football.  My nemesis.

Sometimes, in moments of despair, I think, How did this happen to me? How did I end up married to someone whose idea of a really fun, relaxing day is watching football? After all, I'm one of seven sisters, for goodness sakes. That meant no brothers watching football in the house growing up. My father was an immigrant from Poland - that certainly meant no football. He could never understand the importance of American sports - compared to life and death in Siberia during the war? Bah! And because he died right before I turned fifteen, I then lived in an all-female household. No football at all. My whole life was somehow football-free, safely tucked away from the misery of listening to screaming fans on football fields yelling and drinking and eating and throwing punches over the outcomes of games.

Then I married Husband almost seventeen years ago.  Well, actually, I started dating Husband nineteen years ago.  Two years of all the warning signs.  Two years of hugging him and having him position me just so - so he could see the TV with the football game on over my shoulder or over the top of my head. Two years of primitive satellite dishes already beaming football games from all corners of the globe into whatever house we were living in until we moved into this one and a TV that now has about two hundred channels.

And now there's Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter.  Those traitors.  Husband has brainwashed them into loving football. He has taught them all the most minute play information, the philosophical differences between a first down and a fourth down and what you'd want to try for and what you wouldn't if, let's say, you weighed about 300 pounds and wore tight knickers each day to work. And Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter (even my daughter - who should rightfully be shopping with her mom at the mall) sit there glued to the set, analyzing each game with Husband, fascinated by who will make it into the play offs by wins and who will make it by being the wild card.

And to make it much, much worse, Husband has bought tickets to the Cardinals/Green Bay game here in Phoenix this Sunday and nothing, but nothing, will save me from my fate. I have to go. 2:15 kickoff on January 3rd. I can't bring a book and I can't bring my laptop. Bar Mitzvahzilla wants me to wear a cheesehead and Daughter wants me to wear a Cardinal jersey. They should be glad if I get in the car without first being tranquilized.

But here's what I'm going to do: breath deeply, smile happily, know that this should absolutely be the last game I have to go to in my lifetime (I'm averaging one every thirty years), be a good mom/fan/wife for four interminable hours. And then? Never again.


  1. ugh.
    The only time I watch football is the superbowl.
    That is mainly for the halftime show...that and I love to see peoples dreams come true.
    And for some reason, young boys grow up dreaming of winning the superbowl
    watching them (whoever it is) do it makes me cry.
    I am always happy after a superbowl because a life dream just happened for somebody.
    Good luck.

  2. I do not know how this happened to you...It is had the warning could have run screaming frpm the room but Nooo. Something about him being a great potential father...which turned out to be true..and the good provider...true..he cleans and cooks....Ok now you are stuck!!! Wear a heavy coat and take an Ipod!!

  3. Chris, shoot - forgot about the Superbowl! Football AND commercials (why do kids love commercials so much?) AND halftime show! (Okay, great half-time shows) I'll get depressed about that later in January...

  4. dll - okay, I guess I'd marry him again, even with the awful burden of football. Now that you mentioned the cleaning and cooking that is.

  5. Oh my goodness. My husband has watched every college football game this season. Thank goodness he doesn't watch NFL or I would never be able to communicate with him!

    There were NO warning signs while we dated. He didn't even like football. Then, we came to college. Our university has a respected football team. Pretty soon he started listening to the games. Then he wanted to go to the games. What happened?

    I understand you perfectly!

  6. Husband and I are both big sports fans. My favorite is basketball; his is baseball. But our TV is tuned in to football most Sunday afternoons.

    With the exception of this weekend when you will have to be there in person, can you at least use your family's Sunday engagements to do something totally self-indulgent? :)

  7. Loved this!

    I also never got the football gene. Fortunately, despite a testosterone household, my sons could care less about football.

    Once every 30 years? Not so bad.

    Happy new year!

  8. Enjoying your blog, but can't sympathize with your plight. I love football, & have seasons tickets to the Chargers. This year, even followed them to Dallas (See:

    However I do sympathize with your being asked to be a Cheesehead, even for a day. That goes waaay beyond the call of duty. (BTW, if you don't want that to happen again, you might periodically mention to your husband how good the players look in their tight uniform pants).

  9. Ambrosia, football's like any disease, it's progressive and gets worse with time!

    Kristen, Yes, I'm the outcast from the family, off writing in my office while they're bonding over football in the family room. Not a perfect situation but, yes, perfectly self-indulgent!

    And anonymous (nice to see you again, Bryna) thanks for the link to your article and incredible writing! You're not the only female I know who likes football, by the way. My own SISTERS now like football! I'm not even safe there.

  10. BLW - You have sons and they don't like football - wow. Lucky, lucky. I've begun to believe it's some male bonding thing (except for my daughter liking it, that is...) I don't get much sympathy from men, let's put it that way.

  11. Four boys in this house--a husband and three sons--and though the younguns' are still kind of young, the husband isn't into Football, thank goodness. We take in the occasional sporting event--the Olympics, for sure, some tennis, some World Cup soccer--but there is no standing and yelling at the tv, no shouts of "bad call" and "that was out" being tossed about the living room.

    Don't worry, though, I have my own set of male CHALLENGES around here, to be sure. And I actually envy the time you have to go off and do something else whilst they are all engaged in 300 pound men wearing tight knickers.


  12. Sarah, that makes me feel better. I'm not a lost cause - I LOVE the Olympics. But there is something dreary about my whole family, like you said, yelling and shouting at the TV while I'm placidly writing in my office. Alone.