Confessions of a Football Widow

Tips for Surviving Football Widowhood

Author's note: This was written in the fall. Since autumn is still aways off, there's plenty of time ladies, to plan your mode of attack on this tragic malady. We don't have to suffer anymore.

Good luck to us all.

Ed. - I forgot to mention that this article is a reprint of one I did for The Old South Advocate, in the '90's.

The irritating shrill of a referree's whistle signals the start of football season.
The irritating shrill of a referree's whistle signals the start of football season.

The Prelude

 

Ah, the sights and sounds of autumn. Trees trying to out-do each other with colour, crisp leaves rustling and crunching underfoot. The irritating shrill of a referee's whistle. I know that fall has arrived when that horrible sound assaults my ears, even though it's coming from a television two rooms away.

Classic football position.
Classic football position.

The Symptoms

Without having to look, I know that my husband is sitting in his favourite chair, glassy-eyed, nearly comatose. His left hand is undoubtedly clutching the remote. To his right is a table of snacks and beer, and directly in front of him is that all important grid-iron that is sirening him away from his family. For the next few months, I am a football widow.

The Call For Help

Sure, I know I'm not the only one. In fact, the number of football widows in this country is probably pretty high. You would think there would be a support group, but I haven't found one.

You'll need a pair of these for the perfect look! (the shoes, not the guy below)
You'll need a pair of these for the perfect look! (the shoes, not the guy below)
Bye, bye hubby.  See ya after football season.
Bye, bye hubby. See ya after football season.

The Tips

For you other women out there in desperate need of coping strategies for the football season, I'm sharing some tips that I've picked up over the years. If you have any good ones yourself, let me know.

For starters, put all your sexy lingerie in storage, you're not going to be needing it. The only way you'll see any half time action for the next little while is to don a helmet and some really big shoulder pads. Whether you wear anything else or not is up to you, but don't forget the black stuff under the eyes. Author's note: some men (or so I hear) insist that the cleats are an essential part of the ensemble.

One year, I decided to try hiding the remote control. I figured if nothing else, my husband would be forced to stop the aggravating practice of flipping back and forth between games. Wrong. When I peeked into the den, he had his chair pulled up to about a foot away from the TV, his hand clamping the channel changing knob.

That reminds me. Having liniment on hand is very practical for this time of year. At the end of the day, your man will need you to pry the remote out of his hand and massage the stiffened appendage back to its original shape. Failure to do this could cause permanent damage, and eventually make the removal of the remote impossible. This would mean that you and the kids will only be able to change channels without getting up when Dad's hand is nearby. Author's note: A little callous rub may be helpful for the button pushing thumb.

I know it sounds otherwise, but this whole football thing isn't all bad. When your husband's team is winning (you'll know by the whooping and screaming that suddenly bursts forth), you can use this to your advantage. Supper burnt? It really isn't very important after a good touchdown. Want a little extra money? Now's the time to ask! You might also want to take this opportunity to impart some news or information that you've been holding off telling. He won't really hear, and in all probability, will offer a grunt in response. In fact, you could probably tell him that you are going off to have an affair with George Clooney, and he would say, "Have a good time.". Author's note: completely ignore all of these strategies if hubby's team is losing (you'll know by the cursing and screaming) as this will reverse the positive effects.

FOOTBALL WIDOWS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

Let's band together & beat this thing!
Let's band together & beat this thing!

The Rant

We endure a lot, don't we? How do you think our men folk would like it if we spent three months a year keeping a constant tunnel-visioned eye on something that interests us. Can you imagine yourself parked in one spot and ignoring people for entire weekends and Monday nights, jumping up out of your chair and swearing at the tube when the Quilting Lady sews an ugly block in place? Disgusted about that, you can surf over to the Gardening Guy and hoot and whoop that he made a save of the petunia patch and beat out the weeds. On over to the Knitter's Corner - boring, but the other two shows are on commercial, and the three based-on-true-life movies you want to see don't start for four more hours.

I don't think they would put up with it.

© 2008 Shirley Anderson

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Comments 53 comments

Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

I can relate, Shirley. Although I've never really been a football widow, at different times I've been a fishing widow, bowling widow, and am a permanent year-round golfing widow.


topstuff profile image

topstuff 8 years ago

wow interesting.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I think the symptoms are basically the same, just a different sport.

On the plus side, we women have plenty of free time to persue our own activities. Actually, I don't have to deal with it all anymore....we're divorced now. No, it wasn't the football.


Shaur online profile image

Shaur online 8 years ago from Kansas City, Ks

Very humerous. You forgot the part about stomping on the floor, pounding on the arms of the special $800.00 vibrating lounger with built in speakers, and at throwing popcorn and chips at the TV. And Super Bowl weekend with all the guys over, booing and stomping, etc, etc. Thank God for charge cards and malls. Knowing what I'm doing while he's doing what he's doing is all that keeps him sober. HA HA


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Lol...you're right, Shaur. You can tell that you've experienced sports widowhood.


R. Martin Basso profile image

R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California

This is really, REALLY clever writing... Nice job, Shirley!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thx, Reid!


grumpyjacksa profile image

grumpyjacksa 8 years ago from south africa

My wife is starting to hint at being a computer widow . Guess I'll have to work on my time management ..........


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

LOL...I'd be interested to know what kind of getup she devises to woo you away from the computer.....pocket protector and glasses with electrical tape around the bridge? Maybe spouting IT terms seductively in your ear.


Stooge profile image

Stooge 8 years ago

Ahh reminds me of "Fever Pitch".. has anybody seen the movie?

Girls, however hard you may try, whatever logic you may devise, Football is one area where you don't really have much of a say :)


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

No Stooge, I haven't seen movie, is it good?

Re us not having much to say when it comes to football, I finally came to that conclusion and quit trying.

I don't understand and am shaking my head.  Guess you have to be a man for this to make sense.

Thx for confirming the male's side of this. :)


Stooge profile image

Stooge 8 years ago

Oh yeah... its good - a typical mushy mushy romantic comedy about this guy who is an obsessed fan of Boston Red Sox, and his girl friend who gets fed up with his obsession. She tries a lot of things including developing interest in the game, but fails to do so. At the end, when the guy is ready to sell his membership because he doesn't want to loose the girl, it is the girl who does some heroic aerobics and stops him. A win for our guy - he gets the girl as well as her lifelong approval for his obsession :)

That was a short review for you - may be you should see the movie and understand the male side of this issue. Think it this way, your guy's obsession towards Football is the same as your obsession towards your children or may be your kitchen.

If you really do not want to be bothered, here is the best advice for you - Become a more obsessed fan of your guy's fav team. As I always say, "Make your enemy a friend, if you know you can't beat him."


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thx, Stooge. I'm going to have to see that. I don't have to worry about taking notes though, because I don't have the husband anymore. Now I can use the remote all year round. :)


Stooge profile image

Stooge 8 years ago

Oh, I am sorry. I did not know that. Apologies.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks, but I'm not sorry and it was a long time ago. I'm sorry, I guess it's hard to tell from my wording if he died or we just parted ways. It was the latter.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

My wife and I both got lucky on this issue. I don't really like football, or baseball, for that matter (I have been called a traitor for this). Turns out, she really likes the only sport that can hold my attention. Hockey! We live in sporting bliss! I even give her the remote, once in a while.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

You are lucky, RMR! I don't think that happens a whole lot. Hey, you must be part Canadian if hockey is your favourite sport. Did you hear about the Hockey Night in Canada theme song?

I actually have known 2 women who really like football, but it's unusual, isn't it?


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

I am 50% Canadian, 50% Scottish, and 50% American (I know that's 150%, but I'm a pretty big guy). What about the Hockey Night song? I haven't watched CBC since the season ended.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

We've lost the right to use it. The composer wanted 3 million dollars to renew for another season, and they turned it down. That song's an icon here, been going since Hockey Night's inception. It just won't be the same - or right. And I don't even watch hockey.

Last I heard, they were thinking of having people audition their compositions. Hmmm.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

OMG! I grew up looking forward hearing that song! This is even worse than when they retired Peter Puck! I wonder what Don Cherry has to say about it.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

I may be forced to send in the jackalope, to straighten things out!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

If I watched that stuff, I could tell you, but I'm afraid that I don't know. It's the end of something huge.

Don Cherry's clothes hurt my eyes. :)


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Oh, yes please! A jackalope, all wound up and high on butter tarts! That'll teach 'em.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

My wife snuck across the border, and stocked me up as a big surprise. I should be able to wind him up tighter than a $3.00 watch! Now that you've informed me about this, I think I feel a hub coming on.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Oh goodie! I'll be looking for it.

Glad you got some tarts. What a nice wife.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Shirley, you are such a great writer. I love this hub and am glad I am not alone in my widowness (is that a word?) But anyway my husband has a sport for every season. Hunting season, golf season, and so on. It's annoying. Stupid sports!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Gwendymom. Actually, this is an article of mine that ran in The Old South Advocate in the mid '90's. I don't have the husband anymore, so I get to use the remote all I want!

I remember what it was like though, and you have my deepest sympathies. Considering I hear that it's football season, I think I can hear Tapps playing all over North America.

Thx, Gwendymom!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Although, I don't have a husband and I no longer watch tv so much (as in almost nil lately) I had fun reading this hub. :) And I laughed at the caption - Football Widows of the World Unite LOL


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

I don't have this problem but I do share a similar one! I say, bye bye hubby, see you after tax season! At least he makes money! (for me to spend) LOL


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Ripplemaker - that's okay, I don't have the husband anymore either. :) Glad it gave you a laugh!

Dottie - your hubby does it right! Good husband.

Thx for commenting, Ladies!!!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Do you and Ripplemaker want to share him with me? I am a very generous person!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Awww, Dottie - you are sooo sweet!! Yes, please!

Now, he'll be an extra happy hubby knowing what a wonderful wife he has!

Hmmm.....what'll I spend the money on first?


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Dottie, you are so sweet and funny! LOL Hmmm... when it comes to spending...would he like to sponsor our trip (you, dayzeebee and me) to visit Shirley in Canada??? LOL If you both say yes, I think I will fall off my seat. Hahaha


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

YAY!!! I'm having company! Can't wait to see you all!! Word of advice....get here before winter or after it....Canada in the winter is COLD.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Ripplemaker...the answer is Y E S and the net is awaiting your fall!

Shirley...I'm thrilled you can't wait our company!

If we come before or after winter we can come by the way of the Canadian Cycle Tours since Ripplemaker and Dayzeebee have just invested in new bikes, and my motto is "I can learn". 

The Ontario Cycle Tour is now accepting reservations and my hubby, (I mean our hubby) will be our gear sponsor and will provide us with chamois butter a.k.a. butt lotion...weird I know but a must have for a long bike tour.

Can't wait to see ya ALL soon!  ~Dottie~


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

LOL....that would be a longggggggg bike ride for Daisy and Michelle. Sure hope they pack scuba gear and water wings. BTW, they might need more than butt lotion after a ride like that.

I'll put on the coffee and mix the marguaritas!


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

gosh i never knew football could affect its fans in such ways. thanks for the "educational" read. glad michelle told me about this hub and the "trip" exchange going on around here.

michelle is off to work and specifically asked me to tell you dottie that she is dead serious. LOL. oh and shirley when we do get there you will surely have your hands full aiding ladies with bruised butts. i hope the coffee and marguaritas will do the trick LOL. onward to project canada!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

YAY AGAIN!  We have a goal and a plan!  If I were you ladies, I'd do a bit of training, especially for the underwater riding trails that you'll have to navigate - those'll be tough!

Don't worry though, I'm sitting on the deck drinking a marguarita and sending you good vibes.  That'll help a lot.  :)

Thx for dropping by, Daisy!

Oh Dottie - do you think you guys could swing around and pick up Mr. Furry Pants? Since we didn't make it to his place as planned, I hate to leave him out.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Dayzeebee you can tell Michelle that I am dead serious too. I like your energy "onward to project canada" LOL.

Shirley - I'll make sure Mr. Furry Pants is in tote. Your wish is my command! Thanks for the good vibes! ~Dottie~


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Ouch, my butt is hurting from my fall! Hahahahahah

Seriously though, my wish is to see autumn. There is something about watching the leaves turning brown, golden brown that excites me. Shirley, is autumn in Canada beautiful?


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Ripplemaker, we'll have to get you a pillow to sit on when you get here. :)

Oh yes, autumn is beautiful here. The colours are glorious! Usually, the leaves turn brown, gold, orange or red - different trees do different colours, so when there are a lot of trees, you get to see all the colours mixed together. When you walk, the leaves rustle and crunch under your feet. You can smell the leaves in the air, and the fall mums are blooming like crazy. It is the same where Dottie lives.

You only have until about Hallowe'en though! After that, the trees are completely bare.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

That sounds beautiful Shirley! :) Simply marvelous... Dottie, Dayzee let's goooo!!! LOL


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Let's goooo! Let's goooo! Let's all get up and goooo!


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

YAY!!!  Party in Canada!

Michelle, we will have to rake the leaves into a big pile so that you and Daisy can jump into it. That is a lot of fun!

Okay Dottie, I know it's my fault that you ate 4,000 airline bags of peanuts before, but just think how many pitchers of marguaritas I'm gonna have to drink waiting for you!

Actually, I don't even know how to mix a marguarita (so I'll still to beer and wine), but if I did, just think!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Shirley, dottie, dayzee...thank you for making me smile a whole lot. I'm in a senti mood right now so I am going to hold that thought in my heart - a bag of peanuts (my fave too!), autumn awesome leaves with us jumping into it, fresh fruit juices (I don't drink LOL) and the company of great people like you! Awwwwwww...

And to all the football widows in the world, better start finding big pile of leaves or whatever that makes you happy while your hubby goes into the tube! :)


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Shirley...we can also collect the colored leaves and iron them between 2 pieces of waxed paper so Daisy, Michelle and Compu-smart can bring them home to keep for memories.  You did do that before with the colored leaves didn't you Shirley?

I also learned something new.  I did not know that Canada had fall foliage, I thought that was a New England and surrounding state thing!  Thanks Shirley for expanding my horizon!  I can't wait to jump in the beautiful crisp colored leaves with all my wonderful friends.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Michelle, you're gonna love it!  It's fun to jump in the leaves and emerge with them stuck in your hair and clothing. Not to worry, if you want juice, you shall have it!

Oh yes, Dottie.  Our seasons are the same as yours.  I've been to Boston a couple of times(Stoneham, actually), and through Vermont and New York state - beautiful!  The part of Ontario that I live in doesn't have the mountains like you have near you - that's in other parts.  If you are in the Boston area, you are probably 10-12 hours away from me by car.  At least that's how long it took in the '80's using the New York State Throughway.  Don't know if there have been shorter routes opened since.

Yes, I've done the leaf pressing, but not for a LOT of years.  At camp (when I was 10), we would pin the leaves to a sheet of white paper, put some paint on an old toothbrush and rub it back and forth across a piece of screen over top of the leaves.  Then, when we removed the leaves, we'd have our picture - splattered background with the leaf shapes in white.

Looking forward to frollicking in the leaves!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Hey Shirley....you were in Stoneham?  Stoneham is a 10 minute drive from my house.  The quickest way to Ontario from Boston would be the Mass Pike (I-90) which connects the New York State Throughway (I-90)    So 10-12 hr. drive about right.  That's not too far away when you stop to think about it. 

So, if I left my house right now (2:30 p.m), I'd be at your house between 12:30 - 2:30 a.m.).  I am assuming we are in the same time zone.  Too bad I'm still minding my neighbors doggies or I'd hop in the car and take a ride over for a marguarita!  Which reminds me I'd better head on over to the doggies! ~Dottie~


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Yeah, my ex-husband's aunt and uncle lived in Stoneham.

Should I stay up and wait for you???


Keith 6 years ago

Shirley, do you think that football(and we're talking about American Football & the NFL here)is just a bunch of guys in shoulder pads & helmets running around chasing a ball?


Rambling Singleton 6 years ago

Lol, this is hilarious! I know this post was written sometime ago, but if you're still blogging, would you consider writing a similar styled post for a new blog called "Ramblings of a Singleton"? Contrary to what the name suggests, it is intended as a forum for people to share their relationship experiences. This type of thing would be ideal! It only launched yesterday so it's pretty bare at the moment, but I have plenty of posts and some 'guest bloggers' signed up so keep an eye on it over the coming weeks. If you'd be interested in being a 'guest blogger', please feel free to email me at confessionsofasingleton@gmail.com L xxx


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi, Keith. Don't shoot me, I don't know anything at all about football except that the players wear tight pants. It's all in jest. :)

Thanks, RS. For reading and commenting, also for the invitation, which I may take you up on. It's been quite a while since I've been married but I think that I remember back that far. :)


Keith 4 years ago

Well, Shirley! It's that time again! Football season is around the corner! We've got the NFL preseason games leading into the regular season(I'll be rooting for my hometown Chicago Bears and other NFL teams)What will you be doing during the 2012 Football season?

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