Football season has once again graced us with her presence. She has crept in, slowly and seemingly from nowhere, yet all-at-once and with a bang – she’s here! And I do mean “she.” Football is like the other woman. In my home, football season begins with the draft and doesn’t end until the last play of the very last bowl game. Every year she gets my husband’s undivided attention, his time, and loads of his money.
Where does that leave me, you ask? I am the quintessential football widow. As a 12 year veteran widow, I can honestly say I have tried everything to find my niche during this time of year. I have tried to participate and enjoy the games with my husband. That worked great for a few years, until all my birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gifts started to have the NFL logo on them. And I don’t care who you are, a woman only needs one football jersey. Besides, when the game’s on, my husband doesn’t even notice that I’m right there by his side, much less which jersey I’m wearing. He doesn’t notice I’ve spent hours shopping and cooking to prepare his favorite football foods and snacks for the game. “She” has his undivided attention and all others cease to exist for a few hours each Monday and Thursday, and most of the day Sunday.
I’ve tried complaining and boycotting the games, saying they take way too much time. Time we could be spending together as a family doing other things. He argues that he only watches one game on Monday night, not too bad, right? Well, that’s true, but he fails to mention he also watches the pre-game, the post-game, and all the highlights on the late night news. When combined, it totals many hours, much more than “just one game.” And let’s not even talk about Sundays. Football all day. NFL Ticket seemed like a nice gift idea at first. Boy, have I learned a lesson with that one. Getting him the NFL Ticket from our satellite company was like inviting the other woman in to our home and saying, “Make yourself at home, stay a while.” Generally a bad idea for a marriage.
Usually, having a mistress requires a man to spend money – taking her out, buying her gifts, and generally wooing her. While thankfully my husband doesn’t have a real mistress, let me tell you, the cost of a day at the stadium for a family of four can’t be much cheaper. Ticket prices have climbed off the charts. Tickets for seats in the nosebleed section have cost us $75.00 each, plus food, drinks, gas, and sometimes even a hotel room when we’ve traveled far for a game. And to top it off, he wants to sit closer to the field at each game. He looks down at all the people seated in the lower sections, and picks his next seats. “Next game, we’ll sit down there,” he says as he points to a section a few levels down and towards the 50 yard line. Ka-Ching!
We’ve been married 12 years so far, and during the last few years I’ve pretty much given in to football season. I don’t fight it. I don’t condone it either, but I no longer fuss, complain, hide out, or fight back. I sort of pretend it doesn’t exist, and like no one can tell it’s there. Things are all right in my house. The life of a football widow has started to feel natural. I find stuff to do, I go shopping,or I visit friends. And sometimes I even grab a beer and watch a game or two.