How football is affecting your relationship

How much football is enough?

The Wall Street Journal tried to answer this question in an article a week ago and it got me thinking – where do I fall on this? Let’s see, I don’t really watch too much college football other than seeing my alma mater Rutgers get their ass kicked in the Big 10. But that’s where my exclusions stop. I’m in one fantasy football league, watch Monday night, Thursday night and then about 11 hours of games on Sundays. And this isn’t including the pregame shows and features on NFL Network and ESPN throughout the week. Real talk, I’m a full blow National Football League junkie — I can’t get enough of it. By the looks of that Wall Street Journal article, I’m not alone.

If your man watches ridiculous amounts of football, it can be hard to deal with – especially if you’re not a fan. Maybe you’re married, been with him for years or you just started dating. Know this; his love of football will only grow. You can’t stop it, only hope to contain it.

Here are the different scenarios you could be faced with and few suggestions sprinkled in, on how to deal with a man who consumes copious amounts of football.

What events are more important than football?

None. Do you know how bad we want to slap your friend who decided to throw a Jack and Jill baby shower on a Sunday at 1? Then we end up feeling like the asshole for putting up a fight, because it’s not our fault little Jill didn’t have the foresight to check the home teams schedule first. You want a bunch of men checking their smart phones like psychos, trying to get access to any TV they can find?

You know how many Patriots games I’ve missed since I started watching in 1993? That would be two. I only missed them to go into Boston to celebrate two different Red Sox championships. Short of my mother on her death bed, there is no reason to miss a game. And even then, my mother would probably look up at me and go “what are you doing here, aren’t the Pats on?” Touche mother, touché.

NFL Sunday Ticket.

Personally I used to have dreams about the possibilities of having the Direct TV package. Any game you want, regardless of where you live = heaven. And then they came up with wireless boxes to top it. What’s the big deal about wireless boxes? Take a seat, I’ll break this down for you.

Every man dreams of having a man cave, a place where he can hang all of his old sports memorabilia, rip farts and drink beer. Essentially, he wants his own sports bar from inside his house. Obviously, this sports bar needs some TV’s. Yes, that’s televisions – plural. Wireless boxes enable you to hook up TV’s anywhere. Worried? You should be. If you only kinda like football, never let your man get NFL Sunday Ticket with wireless boxes. Your life will begin feeling as though you only exist on earth for Sundays and nothing else matters. Eat football, breath football, sleep dreaming about football.


Fantasy football.

I’ll freely admit to playing fantasy football and enjoying it. By no means do I let this shit be the highlight of my life like some men. There’s nothing more annoying than listening to someone talk about their fantasy football team – especially when they’re talking about a league you’re not even in. Imagine what your girl friend feels like when you talk about how the Adrian Peterson suspension fucked up your whole season. No one cares. Girls, let your man do all the fantasy football he wants, but don’t let him sit there all week and run his mouth about this crap.

Yes, a married man with children will often treat fantasy football like it’s the only hobby that brings him joy. This doesn’t mean you need to constantly be subjected to it.

Hosting parties.

Planning parties around football games is a great excuse to get friends and family together. With most games starting in the middle of the day, it also allows for convenient timing. As your friends get older, it can be hard to find environments where both kids and adults can enjoy. So go ahead, use his football addiction as an excuse to invite all your friends over. Cook up a storm and drink ya face off. You’re not going anywhere.

How big can football parties get with wireless boxes and Sunday Ticket? Ask my backyard.

Pink hat row.

At any football party, you’ve got the serious fans and the casual fans. In Boston, we have the casual fans who like to pretend their die-hards — this is what we call a pink hat. Set up a row in back (see wooden seats in above photo) or a designated area for the casual fans to talk about TMZ like topics, while the real fans sit up front to focus. You want to talk about nonsense and don’t really care about the game? Fine with us, just go do it where we don’t have to hear you. No offense, it’s game day.

Bye week.

What the hell is a bye week? There are 17 weeks in the NFL regular season and each team plays 16 games. This means there will be a week where you man’s favorite team doesn’t play. Check that teams schedule early in the season and figure out what weekend that is. Treat this as your football vacation/weekend to make him your personal slave. If he’s going to make you sit there and watch game after game, he can at least pamper to your needs during the bye week.

Draft day.

Stay clear of your man on his fantasy football draft day — there are fewer annual events he’ll get more excited for. For months and months he plots and plans which players he wants on his team. He’ll sit there for hours on end watching the NFL combine, where college age kids run around in nut hugging tight spandex. Oh, you got chores for him to do around the house? Nope, nothing more important than fantasy draft preparation. He screws up this day and his whole season goes to shit. Expect him to waste more time than you can fathom in early spring and again in late August. Don’t try to understand it, you can’t.

If you have a boy, he will be dubbed the next “Gronk.”

Wait, you were hoping for a girl? Too bad. Daddy here thinks his little man is going to be a future hall of fame tight end, spiking footballs to the moon. He’ll squeeze his chubby thighs, sizing up his hall of fame potential. Eventually, junior will sport a Patriots onesie, riding shot-gun next to daddy on the couch. He’s slowly grooming another football addicted monster as his partner in crime. Soon you’ll have two male sports addicts to deal with. Sweet.

It’s just a game.

Oh, no it’s not. A guy that’s addicted to football will endure a serious emotional letdown when his team loses. Those emotions get magnified if it’s the playoffs. Sure, it’s hard to grasp getting so emotional for watching grown men run around and hit each other on grass. But, this game is a hobby most men get mentally lost in as a release from reality. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, when your team plays it’s fun to get lost in the moment.

Is this healthy? Well, only when you win. To this day I still have nightmares about the moment when the Patriots took the lead in Super Bowl 42 – about to go a historical 19-0. Five minutes later the Giants matched that score and we were 18-1. The dream season was over. There were 12 people at our house, including the girl I was dating at the time. As the clock stuck zero, I didn’t say one word to anyone, went up stairs and went to bed. “Anything I can do,” my girlfriend asked. I just shook my head, said “unbelievable” several times and faced the wall to hide tears as I tried to sleep. Football isn’t a game, it’s a way of life.

Feed me more!

In denial he’s addicted to football? Here are a few tell tale signs he’s got it bad:

  • He’s in multiple fantasy football leagues.
  • He watches more than one game at once.
  • He won’t let you plan anything for you two to do on Sundays, ever.
  • His mood is affected drastically by the outcome of his team.
  • He’s talked about or own’s his favorite players Fathead.
  • He’s superstitious and believes certain objects or clothing bring good karma to his team.
  • He always has sports radio on when you first get into his car.
  • He owns ridiculous amounts of his teams apparel.
  • He’s turned down a sexual advance from you because “the game” was on.

Can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

Come on, it’s not that bad! So what, you get dressed up in some NFL apparel (not a pink jersey, please) and root for a team. Try to learn about the game, pay attention to what’s going on and ask him questions (during commercial breaks) if you don’t understand something. What’s the worst that could happen? The two of you bond over it and it gives you both something you can enjoy and plan events around together. Plus, you can always hold the guilt trip over him that you watch football with him, so he owes you big time — whatever you want really. Just not on Sundays of course.