This post is dedicated to my loving and patient wife, Lindsey. With the football season underway, she has truly become a “Football Widow” and I, for one, am very grateful to her for it. Click that link for an awesome post about football widows and some tips if you are still adjusting to life as one. I would like to add a few tips of my own however:
1. Sign up for emails from the team. Lindsey gets a daily email from the Red Sox with news/updates and, sometimes, even ticket offers. I assure you, there is nothing better than getting a phone call from your spouse because he/she wants to talk about what the Sox will do now that Kottaras is on the DL or because the team just released a block of seats for the game that night. Knowledge is sexy and nothing beats sports knowledge.
2. Understand that 2 minutes doesn’t actually mean 2 minutes.
3. If you are going to watch the game, make sure you have a couple of sports-related comments or reactions prepared and understand the proper time to use them. Last night, we were watching the Packers-Bears game and Lindsey, after a particularly jarring hit, made a ouch sound and commented that that looked like a painful way to fall. She waited until after the play, during the reply to make the comment and left it at that. Perfect! (NOTE: This is an advanced tip and must be practiced before being used in a game situation)
4. Understand and appreciate the pain your significant other feels when he/she has to miss a game. It could be for a happy reason (wedding, art show) or a sad reason (funeral). The pain is still there and anything you can do to ease that pain is appreciated. Along those lines, learn early on if getting the score is what is best, or if your partner prefers to wait until later to watch highlights or DVR or something. If the latter, then you must do everything in your power to protect your partner from score information. You are like the secret service and the score is an assassin’s bullet. It is that serious.
5. Even if the game has just ended…and your partner has watched the whole game…he/she will still want to watch the highlights. Highlights provide additional insight, extreme pleasure/pain, and are a relaxing way to wide down after the game. The “5th Quarter” isn’t as important as the first four, but it can be close. However, don’t force the highlights on them. If their team has suffered a terrible loss, they may choose to not watch the highlights. Respect that.
6. Let me give you a sense of the requirements of each day of the week during the football season:
Monday: Wind-down after an exciting Sunday. Trash talk (nicely) your colleagues who may be fans of other teams. Read MMQB on cnnsi or whatever your favorite recap articles are. Prepare for the MNF game (s) by making any last minute changes to your fantasy lineup and game watching plans.
Tuesday: Celebrate or cry over your success/losses in each fantasy league you are in (including pick ’em, or eliminator) and begin to game plan for the upcoming weekend. What worked/didn’t work and how can we make appropriate changes. Today is also a good day to spend some quality time with box scores looking at all appropriate information (how well did your players do? What defenses showed some holes? How involved were players in the game plan? etc…)
Wednesday: First injury reports are released today, so be prepared to act accordingly. Also, many fantasy leagues have a 3-day waiver period, so today is a really good day to pick up someone you want to have available for the coming Sunday. (Of course, if there is a Thursday game, this throws a wrench into these plans….)
Thursday: If there is a game, make sure you make all your picks and line-up changes in time. If there is a game on Thursday, it is nationally televised so the NFL thinks it is a game you will want to watch. Trust them.
Friday: This has been the day that I tend to make my picks and “finalize” my lineups. Obviously, I will make late adjustments as the games draw near, but I like to spend some time on Friday looking at injury reports and making decisions about which team will win
Saturday: 3 important jobs: 1. Finalize your game-watching plans. 2. If you are into CFB, watch some games. 3. Do any chores/errands so you are not feeling stress on Sunday.
Sunday: Football time starts early. Make sure you have a good pre-game plan (shows? cooking?). As game-time draws near, pop open that first beer (try to make it from the region your team is from but, at the very least, do not drink a beer brewed in your opponents city. That is asking for trouble!) and enjoy the games.
Anyway, I’m lucky that Lindsey has become a true Red Sox fan (hard not to in Boston), is really into the Bruins, is getting into the Celtics and tolerates the Patriots. Maybe she’ll have more insight into coping mechanisms or how to make the transition from casual fan to true fan. Because, when all is said and done, the best way to watch a game is with your interested and excited partner.