Confessions of a Football Widower

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 12:46 PM

It is that time of year to which so many look forward. The weather has become colder, there is a scent in the air.  We see people dressed festively with a look of joy on their faces, and we know what has arrived.

Football season.

To many men of my generation it is a time of unusual happiness, where they can spend their Sundays parked in front of the television or even better driving to the crowded parking lot of a stadium to see it live.

My problem: I can’t think of anything I would enjoy less. 

I hate to play Scrooge to the rest of the world’s Bob Cratchit, trying to ruin everyone else’s fun due to my own lack of interest.

Especially that of my wife.

My wife’s father loved football, so as a child she developed an interest in stats, players, teams, and a bunch of other things that sound like a foreign language to me.

So, of course,it is a great cosmic joke that the one woman I know who loves football is married to me, a man who not only doesn’t care for it, but avoids it at all costs.

I suppose it comes from my childhood, whereas the youngest my brothers had no wish to play sports with me, or the fact that being on stage was my true interest, or I find the whole thing repetitive and tiresome.

To me, football has a lot of fast action involving a ball, followed my a lot of inaction where people stand around and commentators tell us what just happened. This relates it in my mind to baseball, where the guys hits the ball and there is a lot of action, but most of the time it is people standing around getting ready to hit a ball.

This has not lead to peace in my home, for on a Sunday, the television is tuned to the relentless ranting of pregame, game and postgame, while I sit in my chair asking “Isn’t there SOMETHING else on?”

I have over the years, tried to always be busy on Sundays, so that my dear wife can watch her games in peace, and I can continue to live in ignorance of even the basic rules of the game.

I had an opportunity to perform for the NJ Devils at a holiday event, for the players and their families doing close up magic. (I also know nothing about Hockey, either.) The interesting things was as I did manipulation and made eye contact with the players they shied away and avoided looking in my eyes.

At one point, I finally understood.  Usually when someone looks at them, they want something. I really wished I could’ve told the guys, “Relax, I have no idea who you are or what you do.”

Come February, I will dutifully gird myself to watch the Super Bowl (for the commercials) and ask my wife about whether someone got a goal or a home run, which makes her roll her eyes and sigh deeply.