Archive for the ‘football’ Category

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.

The True Meaning of Football . . . or Should That Be The True Meanings of Footballs?

November 9, 2008


A young friend of our acquaintance demanded of his father, “What was I born to be?”


“President of the United States?” asked his father, feigning innocence.


“No!” the kid declared, puffing out his seven-year old chest with absolute confidence.  “I was born to play football!”


For this particular kid, football is a challenge and a delight.  Even at the age of seven, he appears to be a rather gifted athlete.  So who knows: perhaps his dream of being a wide receiver for the New England Patriots could become a reality.


For Kaye’s brother, who had severe asthma throughout his childhood, football was more nightmare than dream.  His limited athletic ability had to be confined to escaping from the bullies who, like the poor, we have always with us.


For Kaye, being the robust sibling, going with her Dad to football games (he had been a star center at Flushing High School, and was a player/coach in the local semi-pro league during Kaye’s childhood) was a way to be closer to the father she adored.


So learning about football, understanding it, being able to discuss it with her father had a great payoff.  For Kaye, football will always be bound up with mostly wonderful, yet slightly painful memories of her father, who died while she was in high school.


Clearly, football has an emotional meaning that varies with the connection one has had to the game.


Bob was a high school quarterback, so football has just been a natural part of his life, as it so often is for the male of our species.  But boxing was his preferred sport, and anyway, he knew from early on that he wanted to be a singer.  So football was briefly fun to play, and remains fun to watch without being a dominant force in his life.


That is, football touches different lives in different ways.  It takes on different memories and different meanings.


There’s the kid who ached to make the football team, but couldn’t.  And there’s the co-ed who dated the quarterback.  And the co-ed who yearned to date the quarterback, but couldn’t.


And the kid who was working to become a concert violinist or a nuclear physicist and didn’t give a rat’s ass about football.


And the kid who was working to become a concert violinist or a nuclear physicist and played first-string varsity.  Or maybe was a cheerleader.


Anyway, the part – or lack thereof – that football plays early in our lives will usually have an effect on our feelings toward the game later in life.


But that’s only the first layer of The Meaning of Football.

Football and Oatmeal: the Connection.

October 5, 2008

Most things in life – including football and oatmeal – work on at least two levels.  Usually a lot more. 


There is, of course, Football the Game.  It’s a specific sport played with it’s own set of rules and regulations.


To begin with, there is a difference between playing the game and watching it.  And what that means to the individual player and to the individual watcher.


Same with oatmeal.  It is, of course, a cereal.  It has rules of a sort: half a cup of dry cereal to one cup of water.  Or milk, if you prefer.  A dash of salt.  Unless you’re on a low sodium diet.


But oatmeal may also be considered from the differing viewpoints of what it means to the individual who cooks it and to the individual who eats it.


For the parent preparing oatmeal for the kids on a cold winter morning, it may be an act of love.


Ditto for the significant others who prepare oatmeal to help lower the cholesterol of their dearly beloveds.


The eater, then, may obtain from oatmeal more than insoluble fiber.  The memory of Mom or Dad making a raisin face for the morning oatmeal may provide solace on other cold winter mornings long after the kids are no longer kids.


That is, there is the thing itself – like oatmeal – and then there is the feeling attached to that thing.


For the kid whose parent burnt the oatmeal and screamed at the kid to shut up and eat it anyway, the memories may be a tad less heartwarming.


And that’s the way it is with football.  Granted, at bottom, it’s just a game.  But, like oatmeal, it can also be a good or a bad memory.  Or a power play.  Or even a weapon.


Next post, we’ll explore at least some of these possibilities.


Football . . . Relationships . . . World Change: Time to Connect the Dots

September 28, 2008

Okay.  We got a little sidetracked.  We love football.  And we could go on talking about football and talking about football and . . . well, need we go on? 


Actually, that’s the point: we have gone on.  And on.  That is, thus far, football is pretty much all we’ve talked about.


But we really did name this the Learn Football, Improve Your Relationship, Change the World Blog for good reason.  So we think it’s time we moved on and started connecting the dots.


For now anyway, we’ll leave the play-by-play to consummately capable pros like John Madden and his broadcasting brethren and . . . how would you say that?  Surely not sistern?


Anyway, that doesn’t mean we’re done with football quite yet. 


The thing is, football – like most everything else in life – has many faces.


What the heck do we mean by that?  Well, in our next post, we’ll begin by pointing out the connection between football and oatmeal.


Favre Fever: The NFL Opener (Later for World Change)

September 8, 2008

The 2008 NFL season is underway. You might not have noticed this by reading our blog.

Sorry. We got so caught up in telling you about the history of football, we sort of dropped the ball.

So, in case you didn’t know, today (Sunday, September 7, 2008) is the day that Brett Favre and the Jets faced off in their season opener against Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins.

Chad Pennington, you will recall, is the quarterback Brett Favre replaced.

Anyway, it was a good game, in doubt up until the last seconds. And both quarterbacks played well.

Okay. That’s what happened. But our tardiness in letting you know about this alerted us to the possibility that we may be losing our focus.

We told you this blog would be about football, relationships and changing the world. But if we try to tell you everything there is to know about football, we’ll never get to the rest of it.

So. We’ll leave it to Wikipedia to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Super Bowl III.

And, of course, as promised, we’ll try to field any questions you may have about the game, or at least put them up on the blog for someone else to field. You know: if you’re watching Monday Night football, and the commentators start throwing around jargon you don’t understand, just ask. Okay?

Meanwhile, we’ll try to strike a better balance between football, relationships, and changing the world.

Oh, by the way: the Jets won 20-14.

Learning About Football: Why History Matters

September 1, 2008

 Learning about the legends, about the history of the game, is a big part of learning about football.  And it’s not just so you can talk the talk.  There’s nothing wrong with community theatre.  But to truly understand the craft of acting, it helps to have watched actors like Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. 


Of course, you’re not likely to see Brett Favre on Turner Classic Movies.  But knowing something about history – be it of movies or nations or football – really is necessary to understanding . . . well, whatever it is you’re trying to understand.


For example, if you only understand the present . . . let’s go with nations here, since the example is a pretty clear one: to know that George Bush is what a president is is not to know what George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy or Richard Nixon were as presidents.


That is, to only know about Dubya is not really to know a whole lot about what it means to be President of the United States.


History provides perspective.


What does it mean to be good?  To be great?  To be mediocre?  To be awful?


You need a frame of reference.  Only an understanding of history can give you that.


The same holds true for quarterbacks.


Of course, Brett, to be fair to the old guy, is only recent history.  Still, he’s a legend in his own time.  So he’s made enough history already to be relevant to our discussion.


Okay then.  Getting back to movie icons, Brett Favre, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is of French and Choctaw Indian descent, has the square-jawed, aw shucks good looks of a Gary Cooper.


Which has nothing to do with his being an NFL legend.  Just thought it might give you a little incentive to pay attention to the game.


So what does make Brett Favre an NFL legend?  Well, now: where do we begin?


How about nine trips to the Pro Bowl?  That’s the football version of the All-Star Game.   Which is to say, Pro Bowlers are the best players in the National Football League.  And All-Pro is the best of the best.  Brett was selected for that seven times.  He was also the NFL’s Most Valuable Player three times, which is the most in NFL history.  And he led the Packers to the ultimate championship in the world of NFL football by winning Super Bowl XXXI.


He has so many ‘mosts’ in his career that you’ll think we made this up.  Most career NFL touchdown passes (442), most career NFL passing yards (61,655), most career pass completions (5,377), most career victories as a starting quarterback (160).  And the guy is still playing!!!


No wonder Jets fans are juiced!!!


By the way, since Brett Favre is almost synonymous with the Green Bay Packers, many people (perhaps even your resident expert) think he was a Packer from the start of his NFL career.  Not so.


Consider this a factoid that could put you one-up on the know-it-alls in your living room.  Favre actually began his NFL career in 1991 with the Atlanta Falcons.  It was not until the following year that he was traded to Green Bay, where he became the starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 NFL season.  And he remained Green Bay’s starting quarterback for every game over the course of the next sixteen years.


But besides his status as legend, what makes his trade to the Jets so exciting is that the last (and only) time the Jets made it to the Super Bowl was back in 1969.  Now, that game is an all-time Super Bowl classic for a couple of reasons.  Reasons you really should know about if you’re gonna be able to talk the talk.  So in our next post, we’ll tell you all about it.



Football, Relationships . . . and Brett Favre?

August 22, 2008

We’ll begin our Learn About Football, Improve your Relationship Series with some facts about an NFL legend.  Brett Favre.  After playing for the Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for sixteen years, Mr. Favre has just signed with the New York Jets.  We live in New Jersey, but we’re right on the banks of the Hudson River, so we can shake our fists at New York from our living room window. 


Now, we think it’s truly cool that Brett Favre is now quarterbacking the New York Jets.  Even so, our proximity to New York is not why we’re writing about Brett Favre and the NFL.


It’s because the first question we were asked after our book was published was not about how the game is played, or even how to look sexy while watching Sunday Night Football.  It was about Brett Favre.


So this is in answer to our ophthalmologist’s wife, who felt dumb because all her husband’s friends were talking about Brett Favre, and she didn’t even know what a Brett Favre was.


Which brings up an interesting point about relationships: why didn’t the good doctor just tell his wife a little bit about Brett Favre?  See, here’s the thing: many of you guys complain about being asked “stupid questions” by your beloved while you’re trying to watch the football game.  But how can you learn if you don’t ask?


So our question is: why not take a little time to explain the game a couple of mornings over breakfast or on a game-less Tuesday evening?  Then maybe you could just root together in peace on Sunday night, yes?


Meanwhile, if some of you football mavens would share your knowledge with us by posting on this blog, you might have a peaceful breakfast, too.  Sound like a plan?


Anyway, we’ve got Brett Favre covered.  We’ll tell you all about him in our next post.  But feel free to add anything we may miss.

A Co-Op to Learn About Football, Improve Your Relationship, and Change the World

August 19, 2008

Learn about football. Improve your relationship. Change the world. We wrote the book. We thought we were done here.

We were feeling pretty smug, if you want to know the truth. Hey, we thought, with Football is for Lovers, you guys could learn enough about football so that you could watch a game, know what was going on, and even enjoy it. Plus (we thought, blushing) we showed you how learning football could be sexy so that you could use it to spice up your relationship. Heck, we even provided the wardrobe for you: basic black logo T-shirt and an infinite supply of official NFL jerseys.

And then, we put plenty of football factoids in the book so you’d know some cool stuff your beloved probably didn’t, so you could maybe feel a little smug, too.

And as if the book weren’t enough, we began writing a bunch of articles about football and relationships and like that, and we posted them to our website.

We mean, geez, guys. We already gave you the blueprint for intimacy, romance, sex, M&M’s, and whole new way of looking at football. We even threw in a Burma Shave sign.

What more could you want?

Well, we got the answer to that question pretty darn quick.

Seems like we didn’t tell you Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Football and Relationships after all. Well, we did warn you in the book that nobody knows everything, and nobody is ever completely ready for anything. Even so, when you feel dumb, you don’t feel sexy. When you feel smart, you do. So obviously we don’t want to leave you stranded with unanswered questions.

Okay, then. Here’s the plan: we’ll get this blog rolling with more football facts and relationship tips, and try to tell you what you want to know. Still, we’re only Bob and Kaye. Can we get a little help here?

Which brings us to the Big Co-Op Idea. You guys can ask whatever you want, and maybe we can all give each other some answers. About relationships, NFL teams and players, when it’s time to call a quarterback sneak, the best way to accessorize a Raiders jersey. Whatever. Bob and Kaye may not know everything, but among us all, we’ll bet we know quite a lot. Maybe even enough to change the world.