NOT EVERYONE IS
 A SPORTS FAN
(Posted June 7, 2016)


    My wife doesn't understand me. She thinks I'm shallow, demented, obsessive, compulsive, misguided and generally ridiculous.
    I wouldn't necessarily disagree. But she frames her opinion of me for all the wrong reasons. She thinks I'm all those things because I like watching sports on television, and she doesn't.
    Take the epic playoff series between our beloved Golden State Warriors and the evil Oklahoma City Thunder that concluded last week. Game six, a week ago Saturday, tie score, four minutes left, Warriors fighting for their lives, facing elimination if they lose.
    "Do you think I should buy our nephew a Quiksilver t-shirt or a pair of Levi's for his birthday?" she asked as she cluelessly wandered into the room where my sons and I were watching.
    I was standing up, too nervous to sit. I probably noticed her, and probably heard her words, but couldn't respond. I could only hope she would go away.
    "Excuse me," she added, knowing she was being ignored. "I have to get it in the mail tomorrow. Could you just stop watching your stupid game for a moment?"
    There was a whistle and a break in the action. It was a short timeout, and the network didn't cut away for the usual seventeen commercials. The camera locked in on Stephen Curry, who looked a lot calmer than me.
    "Ooooh, he's cute," cooed my wife. "Is that what's his name?"
    As my two sons' heads hit the table, I chose to respond. "Cute? Cute? That's the Baby Faced Assassin, the greatest shooter on the planet. You can't just say he's cute."
    "Well, I just did. And that guy's pretty cute, too," she purred, pointing at the television.
    The camera now had its sights on Steve Kerr, the Warriors Coach. I happen to have a man crush on him, so I completely understood her excitement. She'd have to fight me for his love. But if that's what it took to get her interested, I was on board.
    But it was not to be. The action resumed, and her interest waned. The Warriors' Andre Iguodala went in for a driving layup and was clearly fouled. No call.
    Pillows went flying. Chairs were kicked. Words were spoken that aren't often heard around our house.
    "Oh, my God!," cried my wife, clearly disgusted. "It's just a game."
    Just a game. Please. This was life and death. I told her if the Warriors won, there would be a Game Seven on Monday, culminating one of the great comebacks in NBA history.
    She twirled her finger, obviously hoping there wouldn't be a Game Seven. "Go Thunder."
    Such loyalty. Just then the phone rang. Since it was yet another timeout, I answered, knowing it was someone calling about the excitement of the game. After a very brief conversation about the no-call on Iguodala's shot, I hung up.
   "Who was that?" asked my wife.
   "It was our oldest daughter," I explained. "She's watching the game and wanted to whine about the referees."
   My wife couldn't believe it. "NOOOOO!!!!" she wailed. "Don't tell me she's gone over to the dark side."
    I beamed, proud papa that I was. "Yep," I answered. "Another convert. You're the last one, all alone with your crossword puzzles while the rest of the world enjoys watching sports."
    Then again, maybe she's coming around. I only say that because of something that happened last Monday night, when the Warriors and Thunder went at it in a monumental Game Seven.
    As usual, I was on the couch, screaming my shallow, demented, misguided, ridiculous head off. My wife was in the bedroom, alternately reading a book and watching educational TV. I think it was either a PBS documentary or "Dancing with the Stars." As the Warriors exploded in the third quarter to effectively seal the game and the series, the screaming reached a crescendo. My wife called me to the bedroom.
    Since it was yet another timeout, I obeyed. "What?"
    She didn't look at me, but she didn't have to. It was a defining moment in our marriage. "What's the score?" she asked.
    Got her. Bring on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

 

 

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