American football is an enormous enterprise. The National Football League, in which the game is played professionally, operates with billions of dollars and provides events that garner hundreds of millions of viewers. Its cultural relevance seems to only grow and grow, and its star players are household names that are just as much celebrities as the most famous actors and musical performers of our time.With such a massively overstated importance, and countless fans around the world so passionate about its following, football has managed to pose a powerful force in affecting people. It can stir strong feelings and evoke action, to an extent that it begins to affect relationships. But what is football’s effect on relationships? Truthfully, it varies person-to-person and case-by-case, like most other things in life. Fortunately, there are a few basic responses a relationship can have in reaction to the presence of football.
Perhaps it is a father and son who wear matching jerseys to home games, or the husband and wife that foster a mutual love for the game and host the big Super Bowl party every year. Maybe this is the group of friends that plays muddy football in the backyard, or the church group that has a tradition of playing on a certain day every year.
Whatever the case may be, football is just like any other hobby or interest: It can serve as a focal point of commonality between people. Regardless of their background or state in life, if two people like football, they immediately have a connection point, and can even have a rewarding conversation. Human beings are meant to form positive connections, and football can actually be one beneficial source for them.
There is an urban legend that has persisted through the years that, essentially, states that the rate of domestic abuse steeply escalates on Super Bowl Sunday. Supposedly, millions of married men get so frustrated and disappointed over their favored team’s loss that they take it out on their lives.
While the legend is probably based on a shred of truth, it is also largely exaggerated. However, it does raise a valid concern over the negative aspect of football’s effect on relationships. But like any other pursuit a husband (or son, or father, or wife, etc.) can get into, if it begins to infringe on other portions of the relationship, it has consequences. In other words, if one person is so involved with football that it begins to cut away at the time, the money, or the affection in the relationship, it probably needs to be scaled back.
This one is simple: Football’s effect on relationships is minimal when neither party cares about the sport. In these cases, football becomes like any other vaguely heard-of item that only distant hobbyists seem to care about, relegated to occasional mentions in talk, or perhaps on the news.
Again though, in the end, football’s effect on relationships is different in each case. The key for it being a healthy ingredient is to avoid excess and stick to moderation. Once football involvement has become so intense that its consequences outweigh its benefits, someone needs to scale back a bit and work on the relationship.