You may call them first world problems, but sports fans often run into some real, heartbreaking issues outside of the sports they choose to cheer. We need love, too and despite many attempts, for some, finding a companion who is also a sports fan is not high on the list. As Paula Abdul once said, “Opposites Attract” and for sports fans that sometimes means making some sacrifices when it comes to watching the big game while in a relationship.
Luckily, we are introducing a new pied piper to the Good Men Project family, “The Relationship Quarterback.”
I am here to answer any questions you have when it comes to love and sports. Because in the end, the two go hand-in-hand. Love and Sports, sweet and savory, Hip and Hop, the minute hand and the second hand, the Kardashians and drama.
Without further ado, here are the first questions:
Dear Relationship Quarterback,
The Big Game (the actual name of the big game has been changed because the NFL refuses to let people call it by its real name because they do not like fun) is coming up and I just found out that one of my kid’s classmates invited him to his birthday party that day! Where the heck are we living? Do people not understand that Big Game (actual name redacted) Sunday is a national holiday and should be treated as such. What do I do? I want to be a good dad and husband, but it’s the Falcons vs. the Patriots, Brady vs. Ryan, the “dirty bird” vs. “Deflategate”.
I need your help,
Bumming in Bismarck
Dear Bumming in Bismark,
Let me start off by saying, you are not alone. Most parents book parties not thinking about other events scheduled on that date. They are just trying to make sure there are no other kids parties going on that day, all family and friends can make it, and any logistical nightmare that might ruin that special day for little Jimmy. Having said that, it is THE BIG GAME (actual name redacted). It should be required that someone in each respected family have some sort of working knowledge of a sports calendar. But that is not your place. What you need to do, much like Usain Bolt, come out of the gates quick and hard and take a lead, then whatever happens after that, it’s not your fault.
My wife and I follow a simple creed, first to arrive, one of the first to leave. You get there early and the hosts recognize your thoughtfulness. They appreciate your sincerity in celebrating the occasion with them. Just make sure you leave at the right time. If there’s entertainment, get out before its too late, the likelihood of your toddler stealthy escaping when the Drumming Dave is banging on those bongos is as good as Roger Goodell being psyched that Tom Brady is in another “Big Game.” Here’s what I suggest: Tell your significant other that you will be there. Your wife will acknowledge that you are putting your family before sports and will reward you. Be one of the first show up and one of the first to leave and you’ll miss the first few snaps, which if history proves is littered with errors as teams try and settle down from the magnitude of the game. Then, your wife knowing the sacrifice you’ve made will give you carte blanche to celebrate America’s most popular unofficial holiday any way you choose.
Dear Relationship Quarterback,
I just started dating this girl and she is absolutely amazing. The only problem is she doesn’t really care for sports and has been dragging her feet on the prospects of going to a Big Game (real name redacted) party.
What should I do?
Newbie in Naples
Dear Newbie in Naples,
Fret not, Newbie, the answer is staring you right in the face. And no, it’s not encouraging her to the party to watch the commercials. It ain’t the halftime show either. No one can hear either with everyone reveling during America’s most popular unofficial holiday. You like this girl, then encourage her to come along to meet your guys’ girlfriends. This is your opportunity to sow the seeds to double date nirvana. Couples are always looking for other couples to hang out with. It’s as if once we find a person we like, our brain instantly hits a switch that searches the world for others to share in this new found bliss. Yes, we love spending time with the people we care about, but how much greater would it be to multiply that love!
What I suggest is that you appeal to her caring, thoughtful nature and ask her if she’d come to meet your friends’ girlfriends because you really want them to hit it off. You think this relationship is important to you and this would mean a lot. It will show her that you are committed to the relationship. (I bet you haven’t even noticed how I’ve subtly thrown the word relationship recklessly through this answer, you should do it, your new girlfriend will eat it up) She’ll talk with the ladies as you yell and scream at the TV for 8 hours. Win-Win.
Dear Relationship Quarterback,
I need you to look deep in the playbook and pick out a winner. My buddy just got tickets for me and him to go to the Big Game (real name redacted). What do I do! There’s no way my wife’s gonna go for it. But it’s the Big Game (real name redacted) and it’s Touchdown Tommy going for win number 5. THE MOST EVER!
How do I make this happen!?
Hopeless in The Hamptons
Dear Hopeless in The Hamptons,
Does your wife love you? Do you have an amazing, powerful, intelligent woman to stick by your side through the good times and the bad times? Does your wife understand your passion for the Patriots and “Touchdown Tommy?”
If yes, then your answer is two-fold:
#1 You need to draw deep in the playbook and draw up the old “Hail Mary,” The “Hail Mary” is a relationship term I use when you just have to tell her the truth and hope it all works out with what you need. Be completely honest, appeal to her sympathetic side. Imagine you are Atticus Finch standing in that courtroom trying to get Tom Robinson off. You need an intelligent, honest, impassioned speech that resonates from the hilltops of Vermont to the seas of Manchester. Atticus Finch doesn’t work for you? Think Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, William Wallace in Braveheart, Reece Weatherspoon in Legally Blonde. Then, once she agrees to it, because you married an amazing, powerful, intelligent woman, you cannot take it for granted. You must shower her with true gratefulness. Spend more time with the kids, do more chores around the house, cook a few meals if you aren’t doing that already. In Houston, you have to check in A LOT. Let her know that while you’re there you haven’t forgotten her generosity. Because once you check in a few times, she’ll give you the green light. She’ll ask you to stop bothering her and go have a good time. Once she does that do it. But don’t be an idiot.
#2 Bring back some souvenirs for the kids and then hit Mom/Wife with the ultimate thank you. President’s Day weekend (in two weeks) you have set up an amazing couples vacation, or at the very least a staycation. Get someone to watch the kids and pamper the heck out of your wife.
When you look back, she’ll see positive memories and not resent her decision to let you go. You’ll see you’ve not only won the chance to go the game, but you’ve also created some memories for you and your family.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?
The Relationship Quarterback
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading!
Submit your questions via email to [email protected] or in the comments, below. Watch this column weekly for answers.
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