Passion and Football on the Right Side of the Grass

October 6, 2013

Last week’s Thursday Night Football game between the Browns and the Bills got us to thinking.  It wasn’t a bad game.  Pretty close for most of the first half, as far as we can recollect.   Even so, we fell asleep before halftime.

Which brings us to the utility of passion.

We have a friend who’s getting on in years.  Mostly, when she talks to us, it’s about the past.  You know: ‘the good old days.’  Now, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with a little reminiscing.   Trouble is, you can’t live in ‘the good old days.’  They’re gone.  All the talk and all the pictures and all the flowers pressed inside old birthday cards will not bring them back.

Like it or not, we live in the present.  Which is why it makes good sense to like it.  We love football, and on Thursday night, we had the opportunity to watch a game, and we missed that opportunity.  Mainly because we feel no passion for either the Browns or the Bills.

As it happens, we are passionate Giants fans, but it looks as if it will be a long and painful season.   So does that mean we won’t enjoy football again until next year?  Actually, no.  When the Giants aren’t playing, we still have matchups we can get excited about.  We’re actually pretty good with Philadelphia and Washington and Chicago and Pittsburgh and New Orleans and, now that Peyton Manning is with Denver, we can enjoy them, too.  And hey: we can hang in with the Ravens and the Jets and Green Bay.

And we’re curious to see how Andy Reid makes out with Kansas City.

Also, we enjoy seeing Dallas and New England lose.

That is to say, on any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, there will likely be some team in the competition that will hold our interest.  Still, there are the Bills and the Browns.

Sometimes, life is like that.  Our options do not thrill us.  For our elderly friend, the choice to go back in time is not on the table.  For Thursday night football, we were not consulted about the choice of teams.  Nor will we be next Thursday.

Like the song says: “You can’t always get what you want.”  But that doesn’t mean we can’t get something.  Life really is short, cliché though it may be.  So you might as well get what’s actually available while you’re still on the right side of the grass.  Maybe, when the choices before us are less than appealing, rather than going to sleep, we might consider being a bit creative.

For example, long before we fell asleep, the Browns starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, was injured and had to leave the game.  Now, here’s a little excitement: would his replacement, Brandon Weeden, be able to rise to the challenge?  As it turned out, while we were sleeping, Brandon threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter, the Browns won their third straight game, and took over sole possession of first place in the AFC North.

Given how much we like football, we would almost certainly have enjoyed seeing that.  But if you give up because you decide not to consider any options but those you have preconceived to be the only good ones, you can miss a lot.

It’s like having a checklist for the romantic partner of your dreams.   It may cause you to walk past the true love of your life, who turns out to be shorter or taller or lighter or darker or plumper or skinnier or have a larger nose than your checklist allows.

Keep on living in the past, and you may not notice all the glorious sunrises and interesting new people, and the vast array of opportunities to write or paint or learn to play the trumpet.

Hey, this reminds us of the lyric to an old song: “When I’m not near the one I love/I love the one I’m near.”  Actually, we think that’s a terrible idea on the romantic front.  But as an analogy, we’d say it works pretty well.

Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love and the NFL

October 15, 2013

We’re doing another of our “we-are-the-world” posts. If you’ve been watching the NFL at any time during the month of October, you’ve seen all that pinkness: pink gloves, pink armbands, pink socks, pink shoes . . . like that.

Now, as it happens, pink is one of our least favorite colors. Still, when we see it used in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, it becomes downright beautiful.

So as we were watching our Sunday dosage of NFL football, it occurred to us: while men can indeed have breast cancer, it is far more associated with women. Which is to say that most of those athletes adorned in pink are not wearing it for themselves.

And it reminded us of something we have seen all too often (at least from our perspective) in many online posts. Hey, let’s make the acknowledgement: we find it almost impossible to resist replying to HuffPost comments. We usually regret it, but we continue to do it nevertheless.

Anyway, we consistently find a surprising number of posters who take the position that it is inconceivable for anyone to actually want something good for someone other than themselves. Any benefit for the most vulnerable is assumed to be something we, ourselves, are lobbying for: welfare or food stamps or Head Start or Meals on Wheels or disability assistance or whatever.

Now, lest we stir up a whirlwind that is not our intention, let us hasten to say that, while we are not embarrassed to wear our politics on our sleeves, we do agree that you are entitled to your own. Actually, one of the reasons we often regret responding to posts – or even listening to Sunday morning talk shows – is that we get the feeling we are only rarely hearing what folks actually believe. It seems more like an endless string of talking points and fear mongering and mind-numbing spinning, spinning, spinning. We’d dearly like to hear an honest dialogue with participants from both the conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum explaining in detail exactly why they feel as they do, believe as they believe, without that pointless name-calling that we learned back in high school is simply an error in logical argument.

So please: let’s not go there. Not that you were planning to, oh wise and thoughtful reader.

But what we are saying is this: doesn’t it feel good when we come together to support one another? To ask for help for those in distress when we ourselves are just fine and dandy, thank you very much.

And if it feels good, why don’t we do it a lot more often? We just wish they’d pick another color . . .

Okay. Time for a chorus of “Kumbaya.”

Bob and Kaye Leap from Football and Relationships to SAVING THE WORLD!!!

September 18, 2013

Why is history important?  We’ll get into that in a minute.  But we’ll kick off this post by letting you know that from this Saturday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 25, Amazon will be offering the Kindle version of our book, Football is for Lovers, for FREE.

Now, since it’s the start of the NFL season, and since Football is for Lovers explains the game of American football so that you can finally figure out what’s going on, it’s about time we offered you the opportunity to learn the game for FREE, FREE, FREE.  So that’s what we’re doing (see paragraph one above)!

But Football is for Lovers also gives you quite a bit of the history of the game.  Which turns out to be quite a bit of our social history over the past century or so.

So. You may have noticed that, although we’ve dealt at some length with both the football and relationships aspects of this blog, we have yet to make any statements, profound or otherwise, about the save-the-world thing.  But watching the Washington vs Philadelphia game on Monday Night Football inspired us.

Have you by any chance gotten around to reading Thomas More’s Utopia?

Sarah Palin recently made the statement that man is made to work.  What an odd thing to say, we thought.  Sounds like something the Lords of the Manor would have put up in the serfs’ locker room.

So what does Ms. Palin have to do with Utopia?  It’s a matter of contrast: black and white, so to speak.  Those of you who grew up before the ubiquitousness of the computer and its kin may remember that one of the main hopes for a computer age was that humans would have more time to learn and experience and evolve without being burdened with the need to spend most of their lives in survival mode, working to make a living.

In Utopia (written, by the way, back in the 1500s, long before the computer), they had already figured out that if everyone pitched in, we’d all only have to work half a day, tops.

They also thought money was rather silly, and used gold for toys and plumbing fixtures.  Well, they also had group housing, but when you read the book (it’s in two parts, and you can skip the first section if you’re in a hurry), please bear in mind we can get rid of the group housing thing and still have the Utopian lifestyle.

Anyway, the point is that all Utopians had the time to think about life and explore their talents, and the opportunity to do whatever they did best.  See?  The whole ‘follow your passion’ school of living made a whole lot more possible.

Which brings us back to the Washington/Philadelphia game, and, yes, the history that preceded it.

As we’ve evolved (more or less) over millennia, there has been increasing opportunity for everyone, in spite of the ‘station in life’ into which they were born, to move onward and upward, to ‘follow their passion.’  Once upon a time, a serf was a serf forever, and his children after that.  And, even centuries later, right here in American, a slave was a slave forever, and his children after that.

We moved on in the most sweeping way after the Civil War, but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  We all know about the vote thing, and . . . well, lots of ugly stuff like lynching and other nastiness.

But there are also the little things that kept folks from having any real chance at attaining their dreams.  Oh, there’s the obvious: unequal educational opportunities.  But did you know that there were black jockeys back in the 1800s, and that they were banned from the sport thereafter?  We’d guess for the same reason they were banned from the major leagues of baseball and football.  Why was that?  Hey, you figure it out.  All we’ll say is: look at today’s roster in professional sports.

Anyway, one of the last details in professional sports was the handy little myth that blacks couldn’t play quarterback.  Really.  And there they were, on Monday night football: two black quarterbacks, Michael Vick and RGIII, facing off against each other.  Such an unremarkable sight in 2013 that, unless you know the history, you may have missed the glory of the occasion.  So we thought we’d point it out just in case you didn’t know.

And for a little more pertinent history, we’d also like to give a salute to that marvelous myth-buster, Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.  He got his chance, and he wrapped it up in spangles and silver ribbons.  It was Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins, facing the amazing John Elway of the Denver Broncos.  Mr. Williams led his team to a 42-10 victory, which included five touchdowns in the second half, and won him the MVP Award.  It was Super Bowl XXII.  The year was 1988.

Now, we’re hoping you won’t go all ‘race card’ on us.  If it helps, as far as opportunity goes, let’s remember that women have had the right to vote in this country for less than a hundred years.  And some American adults still don’t have the ‘right’ to marry.  All our presidents until this current administration have been Caucasian.  And male.  And heterosexual (at least as far as we know).

And globally . . . the amount of talent – even life itself – left unfulfilled should make us weep.  It never ceases to amaze us that with all the millennia we’ve had to work on it, this is the world we’ve made.  Come on now: surely we can do better.

For now, though, all we’re trying to say is that we don’t agree with Ms. Palin.  We think humans are made to dream and to experience and to learn and to grow.  All human beings.  Not just those of one gender or color or religion or degree of wealth.

So hey: please read Utopia.  At least the second half.  Maybe there’s a way that this world of opportunity can happen.  And no: this isn’t wishy-washy liberal weeping heart, ah, grow up stuff.  It is both logical and reasonable.  And possible.  After all, who else but us made this world?  Ain’t no Martians around here (at least not as far as we know).   Just us humans.  So we can make our world – and remake it – anytime we have the will to do so.

Which reminds us of a great old Langston Hughes poem:

Question and Answer

Durban, Birmingham,
Cape Town, Alabama,
Johannesburg, Watts,
The earth around
Struggling, fighting,
Dying–for what?

A world to gain.

Groping, hoping,
Waiting–for what?

A world to gain.

Dreams kicked asunder,
Why not go under?

There’s a world to gain.

But suppose I don’t want it,
Why take it?

To remake it.”

Langston Hughes, The Panther & the Lash

 Boy, when we get started on the ‘save-the-world’ thing, we just can’t seem to stop ourselves, can we!?!

Anyway – why not check out our free Kindle version of Football is for Lovers.  It may not lead you to Utopia.  But at least you’ll know a little more about what’s going on with all those guys rushing around on your TV screen.

And if you already know all of that, well, maybe reading our little historical factoids will make you want to read Utopia.  Or not.

Either way, from September 21 through September 25, Football is for Lovers is free, so what the heck.






Winner, Losers, and the Eye of the Beholder

September 9, 2013

We’ve been a bit distracted of late as baseball season wanes and football season waxes.  Our hearts have been broken repeatedly by our beloved Yankees.  But finally, they won one against Boston.  So then we had our hearts broken by our beloved Giants.  Oh, well.  At least Serena Williams came through for us at the U.S. Open.

We know, we know: it’s not about us.  Or so they say.  Actually, when you think about it, it’s really all about us, isn’t it?  We are the ones interpreting good and bad, happy and sad, and all the colors in between.  In the end, the world is what we think it is. 

Yes, we’re about to segue into the relationships part of this football-and-relationships blog.  The tough season our Yankees have had (not due to lack of heart, but to multiplicity of injuries) got us to thinking.  How long do you keep rooting for your team if they’re having a losing season?  That is, are they still “your team,” win or lose?

We’ve had some pretty decent seasons with both the Yankees and the Giants.  But there are teams that go for decades without making it into the post season, let alone the World Series or the Super Bowl, as the case may be.  So.  Do you root for losers?

Then again, how do you define ‘losers’?  See, that’s your call.  Your decision.   If “your team” has a lot of heart, but also a lot of injuries, are they still “losers” when they don’t have a winning season?  What if they’re just not bankrolled as well as the “winners”?  Are they still “your team”?

Which reminds us of our niece.  Actually, this is probably more silly than instructive, given who she had to make this decision about: her sixteen-year old lifeguard son.  The one at the top of his class who won the French medal.  The curly-headed cutie besieged by all the teenaged girls in the neighborhood.  The soccer star.  Yes: that kid.  Winner,winner winner.  Right?

But our niece (Master’s Degree and all) was concerned.  Apparently, her friend’s son did something “better” than her own.  Can’t even remember what it was.  After all, given her own son’s resumé, what’s left?

Which brings us to the point we’re trying to make here: comparisons are . . . well, downright silly, if you ask us.  And even if you don’t ask us.

Here’s the thing: if only “perfect” people could be loved, then we sure wouldn’t be loved.  And we bet you wouldn’t be either.

And yet, if you think about it, each of us is perfect.  Perfectly us, that is.  There’s a car commercial about that.  It says something like: “Be yourself.  Everybody else is taken.”  Good thought to keep in mind.

So your team may not be racking up as many wins as the competition.  But if we only rooted for the “winners,” we’d all root for the team that won the Super Bowl.  Or the World Series. 

So the question remains: win or lose, are they (whoever ‘they’ are) still “your team”?  Moreover, are they your “perfect” team?  Because if you don’t see their perfection, maybe you should choose another team, not just ‘settle’ for a loser.

Ditto for your mate.  After all, who wants to be “settled for”?  But you should bear in mind that if you don’t see his/her true perfection, it’s you, not your mate.  Beauty (and all other good things) is in the eye of the beholder.

 And hey: don’t you want to have your own perfection beheld?

 So go Giants!!  Although we do like us some Colin Kaepernick . . .


The NFL Version of American Idol

August 12, 2013

For those of you whose main gripe about the game of football is being ignored for the many months that comprise the NFL season, you have no doubt noticed that there is a definite progression in your Beloved Football Fan’s obsession with the game.  Of course, there is a certain luminous joy in September for the season opener, leveling off thereafter to a sort of base-level fanaticism that begins to escalate during the playoffs, then culminates in what may seem to you like over-heated fervor for the February Super Bowl.

But if you’ve been tuned in to the first couple of preseason games, you may have noticed that your Beloved Fan is – well, perhaps a bit less enthusiastic than you might have expected.  And you may have wondered why.  Could it be that he (or she) is finally getting tired of this silly game?

Probably not.

The more likely cause is that preseason games simply have less meaning.  If you lose, it won’t go on your record, so there’s nothing actually on the line with preseason football.  For the teams, that is.

But there’s plenty on the line for a whole lot of individual players.  NFL preseason football is the sports version of American Idol.  You won’t see the Big Names play a lot during preseason.  They’re too valuable to risk getting them hurt.

But the rookies – and even some veterans – not so much.  The thing is, there’s a whole bunch of guys who you’ll see playing their hearts out in preseason, but who haven’t actually made the team yet. Because NFL preseason is, just as with American Idol, audition time.

So while it may not mean a lot for the team itself, for those guys who are auditioning, after all the years of blood, sweat and tears it’s taken to get to this moment, the grit and determination to have gotten this close to realizing their dream, preseason football could well determine their entire futures.

That’s drama.  If you’re a fan of those overcoming-the-odds TV movies, this should be right up your alley.  Only this is the real thing.  Not that hokey ‘reality TV’ stuff.  But real reality.

Pressure, pressure, pressure: if you fumble or drop a pass . . . if you make a spectacular catch, or shoot through a hole and sprint twenty yards for a touchdown . . . Quite literally, your life – or at least the only life you’ve ever wanted since you were six years old – is now on the line.

Now, that makes watching preseason football a bit more interesting, yes?  So go ahead: put some skin in the game.  Pick an auditioner.  A rookie.  A vet trying for a comeback.  A guy who’s almost made it before, and who’s trying again . . . maybe for the last time.

Don’t worry: the announcers will let you know who these guys are.  “Butch is looking to fill the last slot at middle linebacker.”  Stuff like that.

Or ask your Beloved Fan.

We picked a guy in the August 4th Hall of Fame Game.  He’s been around since 2011, but he’s looking to hold on as a Dallas Cowboys running back behind starter DeMarco Murray.  The competition is stiff: Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle have their eyes on the same position.  The rap on Tanner is that he’s not initially explosive.  Still, he rushed ten times for 59 yards and scored a touchdown.

Good, yes.  But – good enough?  Will he be there in September when the NFL season kicks off for real?

That is, will his dream come true.

Or not.

You only get to see how the drama plays out if you watch the games.

Oh, and to give you a step up in the understanding-the-game category, we’ve just finished digitizing our paperback, Football is for Lovers, which, as the name implies, gives you the basics of American football along with some helpful relationship tips.  It’s trés cheap, so if you have a kindle, you might want to check it out on Amazon.

What?! You’re Not Ready For Some Football?!

July 29, 2013

It’s b-a-a-a-c-k!!!  Yes.  On Sunday, August 4, NFL preseason begins.  And maybe you’re not ready for some football.

 Well, we’re still working on getting Football is for Lovers, our paperback guide to American football (complete with helpful tips so all you lovers, young and old, can add a little spice to the football-watching experience) ready for Amazon’s Kindle.  In fact, if we can figure out the tech stuff, we plan to have it up pretty close to the beginning of preseason. 

 But meanwhile, if you’re still in the ‘I-hate-that-stupid-game’ frame of mind (which often translates into: I hate being ignored during football season, and I hate that a stupid game like football makes me feel stupid), you can visit our website for some useful information and tips.

 Remember, though: NFL football season lasts a l-o-o-o-n-g time.  And it will be back again next year.  And the year after that.  And . . . well, you get the drift.

 So yes: learn what you can about the basics of the game (at our website, in our book, ask a friend, or google around for what suits).  But for now, don’t put any pressure on yourself.  Maybe plan a little party with your favorite comestibles and your favorite family and friends to kick off the preseason. 

 When the Big Day comes, sit back, nosh, and sip on your beverage of choice, be it chamomile tea, Bud Light, Dr. Pepper, or Kettle One on the rocks.  Whatever it takes, get that ‘ol dopamine flowing!

 Be sure, though, if you’re doing the hosting thing, not to slip into martyr mode.  Stay out of the kitchen; plop yourself down in front of the TV with your guests.  Let the guy at the pizzeria do the cooking.   Use paper plates.  Uh . . . but not ones with a flower motif.   A team logo would be nice.  Or just bright colors.

 Then – observe.  That’s right: just sit back and watch.

 We were at a wedding once where all the kids were doing some kind of complicated line dance.  We’re not kids, by the way, and the kids were moving mighty quick.

 So we just observed for a while until Bob (who is far lighter on his feet than Kaye) tried a step here, a step there . . . In fact, he was almost up to speed by the time the music ended.

 Kaye may possibly be ready by the next wedding.

 Point is, proceed at your own pace.  Understanding the game will certainly make it more fun to watch, but don’t ignore the good stuff that can be had just by the camaraderie of watching.  Make yourself comfortable, enjoy whatever you can of the experience (like maybe the vodka).  For the time being, just focus on the party aspect of the game.

 Then, as preseason progresses, watch, learn, imbibe, maybe do some shouting as you start to figure out what’s going on.

 Who knows?  Maybe by the official start of the NFL season on September 5, the game will start making sense.

 Or maybe by the time the Super Bowl rolls around.

 Or maybe next season.



NFL Preseason, Luddites, Lovers, and Pizza . . .

July 22, 2013

Be still, our hearts! It’s that time again. NFL Preseason Football kicks off with the Dallas Cowboys vs the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, August 4, at 8:00PM on NBC.

Actually, that’s sort of pre-preseason football, since it’s technically the annual Hall of Fame Game, played in Canton Ohio.

The Official First NFL Preseason Football Game is on Thursday, August 8, at 7:30, between Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

We’re giving you all these details about preseason football out of a sense of guilt. We realize we haven’t been there for you for a while now. Oh, it’s not that we haven’t been thinking about you. Much of our time has been taken up with writing a novel that, although it has nothing to do with football, does expand on the ‘lovers’ aspect of our paperback guide to the game, Football is for Lovers. Also, we’ve been creating a website that gives you more details about football plays and football positions and football trivia and football history and just more good ol’ football stuff then we could ever fit in our blog.

But there’s one time-consuming activity we’ve been soldiering on with (with which we’ve been soldiering on?) that really pushed our empathy button. We’ve been trying to digitalize (or . . . er . . . is that ‘digitize?) Football is for Lovers so that it would be available on Amazon’s Kindle Program. Given that we’re not even sure of the correct terminology, you might guess (and rightly so!) that we’re in deep trouble.

The thing is, we’re hopeless luddites. Cyber tech stuff like this digit-whatever that would take your average ten year old about five minutes to master takes us more like a year. Still, we’re hoping to have it ready at the beginning of NFL preseason. And we do mean 2013 NFL preseason. Then again, as Kaye’s Mom always said, “Live in hope, die in despair.” Anyway, we’re working on it.

But here’s the ‘empathy’ part. It’s been a reminder (as if we needed one!) of just how frustrating it is to try to learn something new. Especially something for which you might have little aptitude. And even less desire.

For us, writing (in case you’re wondering, the novel we’re working on now is about lovers and pizza) is always a joy. Hey, we’ve been writing stuff forever, and we’d keep on doing it even if nobody ever paid us . . . which is probably a good thing, since, mostly, nobody ever does.

But tech stuff?! Sheesh. Like we said: luddites through and through. But after Bob’s stroke, a lot of stuff we did before, we couldn’t do anymore. So Internet, here we came! Maybe we lacked desire, but certainly not motivation: the survival instinct is a great catalyst.

Heck, we even taught ourselves how to create webpages with HTML. Not great webpages, mind you. But adequate. And definitely not easily.

What’s that got to do with you? Well, it occurred to us that, for many of you, our conquering HTML might be sort of like your understanding football.

Which brings us back to the catalyst requirement. Why do what you don’t want to do if you don’t have a good reason? Well, learning football may not rank too high on the list of needful things for survival.

But not being estranged from your beloved from August NFL preseason through the February Super Bowl might at least provide some incentive.

And then, there are all those lovely little romantic perks we talk about in Football is for Lovers. And that we will continue to talk about here all through football season. And beyond.

So do stay tuned.

We’ll try to make it worth your while.

Guys: How About Some Sweet Alternatives to the Football Widow Thing?

September 30, 2009

Look, guys: we’re football fans, too. But you’ve all heard the expression, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And you know it’s true. So why do you insist on making momma a football widow? Trust us: there’s a better way.

Hold on, now, football fans. We’re really not asking you to give up the TV clicker.

Or Sunday Night Football. Or Monday Night Football. Or –even if you’ve got that cool new option that let’s you watch all football games everywhere, even if they’re on the sunny side of Mars . . . we say: go for it!

Hey, we’re football fans, too.


If you’ve noticed a decided chill in the home-sweet-home atmosphere starting in August pre-season that lessens a bit after the February Super Bowl, but that . . . well, kind of leaves a little residue of frost in your relationship all year long . . .

. . . you might want to ask yourself: is there a better way?

We mean, why isn’t your dearly beloved curled up next to you on the sofa in front of the TV, cheering along with you?

Perhaps – uh – celebrating with you after the game?

What’s that you say? She hates football?

Really? But football is fascinating, exciting, balletically graceful, even intellectually challenging.

So what is it she doesn’t like?

Oh, come on! Please don’t give us that “she doesn’t understand the game” crap!!!

You know darn well football is as easy to understand as peeling a banana.

So if she doesn’t understand the game, it must be because – aha! You haven’t taken the time to explain it to her!

And why might that be?

First, let’s accept that she may not have had your advantages growing up. The female of the species is less often initiated into the Joy of Sports than the male.

Also, bear in mind that adult learning tends to be more difficult than the childhood variety, so we admit this may require your patience and understanding.

Perhaps your tutorial might be softened by a slim (so as not to intimidate) paperback of football basics tied up with a pretty bauble, a love note tucked inside telling her how ardently you desire to share all of your life with her.

A nicely chilled bottle of champagne couldn’t hurt.

The main thing, though, guys, is: be gentle.

But be firm.

There’s a lot riding on this.

Consider what’s in it for you. Oh, yes: and for her, too.

You know: all those little side bets you can make during the game once she knows the basics. Will they go for a first down with a yard to go? Will it be a pass play or a running play?

Name the bet. A foot massage, perhaps. Or . . . well, you can figure it out. Be creative.

Then after the game, when you’re both euphoric – or perhaps in need of cheering up – collect your winnings.

If you’ve bet right, it’s a win-win kind of thing.


The Loneliness of Being a Football Widow . . . and What To Do About It

September 9, 2009

Football season is about to begin. Again. You both get chills. But for oh such different reasons.

For the football widow, winter starts in August. The NFL pre-season. He’s glued to the TV. His hearing begins to fade. He can still hear the sportscasters all right. Both the color commentators and the play-by-play.

It’s just that he can no longer hear you.

You wrap your sweater around you a little bit tighter. The chill has begun.

And you know it will last until the February Super Bowl.

Unless . . . is there perhaps a way to rewrite this worn out, tired old script?

Mercifully, gentle Football Widow, there is.

Let us call your attention to your dearly beloved Football Fan. You will note that, in fact, he is not cold at all. Quite the contrary! He is positively ablaze . . . at least when his team is winning.

Okay, then. Let us acknowledge that there is considerable heat being generated. Why, then, are you so cold?

Could it have anything to do with your being in a separate room, sulking? Or perhaps you’ve just returned from the mall or your mother’s or wherever hoping to find the game finally, blessedly over.

When you find it isn’t . . . well, uh, that draft you feel is you slamming the door.

Why? When all the heat is there waiting for you in front of the TV, why do you continue to refuse it?

But you hate football! Oh, really? What exactly do you know about the game?

Are you willing to agree that you have to know something at least a little bit before you can reasonably declare that you hate it?

Then, consider this: if you did learn about football, maybe you’d find out that you liked it after all.

Really. It could happen.

And, hey, what would it take? At least check out a book that would teach you the basics of the game. Make it a thin book. A paperback. We’re not talking Webster’s Unabridged here.

Of course, if you’re planning on coaching the game, we admit it can get downright complicated. Like chess on Astroturf.

But since the fundamentals you need to understand and maybe even enjoy the game are more like the fundamentals you need to understand checkers . . . well, you should be ready to cuddle up on the sofa and at least know what’s going on in no time.

Okay then. A quick read. All that heat waiting for you on the sofa. It’s gotta be worth a try, wouldn’t you say?

Unless somewhere in the recesses of your devious little heart, being a football widow holds some sort of dark attraction.

Hey, to each her own.

Why Your Guy Loves Football: He Won’t Tell You – But We will

September 4, 2009

Maybe if you understood why your guy loves football, his obsession wouldn’t drive you quite as crazy.  In fact, play your cards right, and you may find out you can make his obsession work for you instead of against you.

Football, football and more football.  From August NFL pre-season through February Super Bowl, that’s all your guy thinks about.  A bunch of Neanderthals running around in circles: what, you may have asked, is the big deal?

Well, of course, there’s the obvious guy-stuff bonding.  Depending on where you fall in the range of femininity – we all have varying proportions of yin and yang – that might mean for you lunch with the girls, a political rally, book club, or yoga class.
But, you say, you are not obsessed with yoga class.  Or book club.  Or lunch.

He, on the other hand, is obsessed with the game of football.

Indeed.  Because that’s only the top layer.  The cover story, as it were.

Obsession runs a lot deeper.

The thing is, your guy is not only bonding with his beer-guzzling buddies.  He’s bonding with the guys out there on the field.

Oh, sure.  He’s a successful accountant, fireman, construction worker, police officer, salesman, bond trader, truck driver, dentist: whatever.

But even the President of the United States acknowledged that he’d rather be shooting hoops.

Yes: that’s basketball.  The point is, it’s a sports thing.  And sports are the embodiment of the dream of . . . well, heroism.

Powerful stuff.

And the dream lives.  The boy who pictured himself leaping in the air to pull down that football and score the winning touchdown in the last two seconds of the Super Bowl lives on!
In your living room.

And we say: beat up on the dream at your own risk.

Because there’s a vibrancy still in the dream.  And it’s part of what keeps your guy vital and alive.

No kidding.

So it’s in your best interest to encourage it.  Give him the clicker.  Cheer him on!

Isn’t he more alive, happier, energized when he’s watching a game then when he’s heading off to the office (or store or construction site or firehouse or route 56)?

So why would you want to throw cold water on that?  Personally, we think refusing to fan the flames of all that – uh – manly vigor is not your most electrifying choice.

Unless, of course, you hate sex.

Otherwise, we suggest you try rooting along with him.

We’re pretty sure you’ll like it.

At least after the game.