On men and football

Dear Daughter,

There’s an old song that says, “When a man loves a woman, can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else.” I feel the songwriter should have added a line: “(Unless it’s football season.)”

It’s one of the many mysteries that perplex women. She could be the center of her man’s world, the subject of his undying attention, but come Sunday afternoon, she’s as good as non-existent. On Sundays in the fall and winter, be prepared for your man to focus more of his adoration on the Tom Bradys and the Brian Urlachers on the television screen rather than on you. It will feel akin to infidelity, but don’t worry, after about four hours you’ll have his undivided attention again. Well, unless his team loses. Then he’ll continue to be preoccupied by loathing and self-pity.

I’ve learned there are three types of men in the world:

1) The kind who could care less about football. These are few and far between, so don’t expect to find one easily. And even if you do, he likely will replace the obsession with something else, like art or music, and those are year-round things so really you’re not much better off.

2) The kind who likes football just enough to watch it every week, but that’s about it. This is the most ideal kind of guy. He probably has one team he favors so he watches only that team’s games. He’ll still ditch you for the game, but it’s only a once-a-week thing. He doesn’t have any extracurricular interests. (See below.)

3) The kind who lives, breathes, and dies football. I’m guessing about 80 percent of American males fall into this category. These guys watch every game they can, not just their team’s, just so they can assess the competition. They listen to sports radio during the week, wear their team’s jersey to church on Sundays, and obsess about their fantasy football team almost as much as, if not more than the real thing.

If you end up with Guy #3, may the good Lord bless you. I recommend starting a hobby of your own, or a support group with other unfortunate wives. Or, you could share in your guy’s obsession… follow his team just as closely as he does, help him select his fantasy picks, wear matching jerseys to church. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

I’m lucky to have found a man who resides in the second category. When the Bears game is on, he goes into his own little world, but the rest of the week he’s present and accounted for. I hope you find such a man, but if not… don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Love,
Mom

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