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
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
Since it was yet another timeout, I obeyed.
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.