Say Yes to the NFL RedZone!
The Tale of Two TV Shows
It's a tale of two TV shows.
She, Say Yes to the Dress.
Me, the NFL RedZone.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of TV times.
It was a time of foolish spending on overpriced wedding dresses by indecisive women.
It was the age of Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Manning and Brady throwing spirals deep down field to sure-handed receivers.
It was the busy wedding season at Kleinfeld's bridal store in Manhattan, New York City--the epicenter of stylish bridal wear.
It was the winter of a full schedule of professional football games on the NFL's RedZone. Where you see every touchdown from every team every Sunday during the regular season.
Then on the TLC channel, the beautiful, young bride picked the right dress all by herself and without her family's interference. She said, Yes to the Dress!
The next moment, a football team muffed a kickoff return and it ended in disaster while another booted the winning field goal and the other intercepted a tipped pass and scampered 60 yards for a touchdown, and just like that the RedZone flashed to a game where a player was doing the goose-step the last 10 yards before jumping into a somersault in the end zone.
But in the end, we watched these shows together, abeit different days and different channels. One show with a lot of lace, silk and bling. The other with a lot of blood, guts and concussions. But we watched these two shows with a lot of love and a lot of understanding.
Meet the Parents
Like a Brood of Hens and Roosters
We were like a King and a Queen sitting on thrones watching a slew of helpless women make decisions on the perfect wedding dresses with a whole lot of self-made obstacles.
We watched the women try on dress after dress after dress. Slipping one tight dress off, putting one loose fitting dress on. Fixing their full-sized boobies so they don't flop out. Lifting the veil up over her head and revealing the severe overbite.
We watched one pressure-packed moment after another. Will she find the dress of her dreams? Will it be in her budget? Will it be ready by the time she walks down the aisle?
We watched the bride's entourage gather in a semi circle like a brood of hens and roosters, some were immediate family, some were friends, while others were frenemies and troublemakers and drama queens.
We watched as Randy and Camille were planning how to fit the right dress on a woman who already bought the perfect dress at a different bridal shop. But her and her mother just wanted to break the stones of the staff at Kleinfeld's.
We watched Nitsa try to alter a dress that was unalterable in less than two weeks while the bride was crying and her divorced parents were arguing nonstop.
We watched as the super-rich Daddies and the enmeshed Mommies say-- "Whatever my girl wants, she'll get"-- as the spoiled sister rolls her eyes and as the impatient brother checks his watch. This is the stuff of dysfunctional families.
We saw the indecision in the young girls faces. We saw some hearts break because they couldn't afford the dresses that they wanted. We heard them say no to a strapless and yes to a more Victorian style. She paced back and forth in her bare feet, thinking Do I want some bling, or is it more lace that I desire? Do I want to rebel and buy a dress that will shock everyone and will be outrageous? Or do I want to say the heck with the dress? I'm way too young to get married. And besides, I don't want to spend the rest of my life with a guy with bad breath.
A Touchdown Frenzy
Every Touchdown From Every Game
About 9:55 am, the house becomes silent. The two of us gather on the couch, hand in hand, locked in cuddle mode, as we count down the seconds to the RedZone---10,9,8,7,6,5...
Loud music ensues like it's New Year's Eve. Lights, camera and Scott Hanson's face appears. He begins talking nonstop like he's been injected by heavy doses of amphetamine.
It's finally here. We made it once again to Sunday at 10am, Pacific Time. Thank god, the cable is working!
For the next 7 hours it is football, no commercials, no breaks--just Scott Hanson, split screens, statistics and a host of big plays, and describing, ad nauseam, all the action in the RedZone. The red zone is twenty-yards or closer to the goal line. It is where all the heart of the football game is. It is what separates the men from the boys.
Once the RedZone comes on, you forget about your life as you know it. It becomes a testosterone high. Your television set becomes your bong and the football the smoke that fills up your lungs and your heart and your mind. You get lost in the opium den of professional football.
There's no channel changer. There's no mindless flipping back and forth when a lousy commercial interferes with football. If you have to go to the bathroom, you tend to put it off and hold it in. And forget about breathing regularly. You breathe after every touchdown that is scored. If the team doesn't score in the RedZone, you are out of luck. Strap on the oxygen mask.
You might grab for an M&M or crack open a few pistachios. But for the next 7 hours, food isn't on the menu because it's all football, all the time. It's the touchdown that feeds your soul; the 50-yard field goal that triggers your neurons; and it is the big, bone-crunching hit that makes your life worth living.
Every touchdown from every game on every Sunday during football season.
A Relationship is Like a Roller Coaster Ride
If you find a woman who is willing to experience the RedZone with you and to sacrifice her entire Sunday in front of the TV set for the man she loves, count yourself very lucky.
Women, if you're lucky enough to find a man who could watch Say Yes to the Dress with you and sacrifice some of his manhood, then you're very lucky as well.
My girlfriend and I are an extremely lucky couple because when Say Yes to the Dress comes on, I am watching and commenting on the show just like the metrosexual guy that I am. And while the RedZone is on my girlfriend can predict what the officials will do when they are reviewing a touchdown.
A relationship is give and take.
You scratch my football back and I'll try on a wedding dress for size.
A relationship is having fun, sharing each other's interests and not begrudging or judging the other for their TV interests in life.
And if a couple can give and take, amazing things can happen. Like I can really start to enjoy watching Say Yes to the Dress and really become interested in a woman choosing a wedding dress and bagging on her if she chooses a gown that doesn't go with her skin tone or body type.
And because my girlfriend allowed herself to give the RedZone a try, she's now able to enjoy the game of football almost as much as I do and she understands the rules and follows the subtleties of the game, perhaps, better than I do.
In the end, it's about love. It's about love begets love. It's like a touchdown begets another touchdown. Or what Randy Fenoli, bridal expert, says, "A wedding is like a roller coaster ride. Either throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride or put your head over the side and throw up!”
So is a relationship, Randy.
One Last Randy Fenoli Quote
"I love wedding dresses and think they're works of art, but I think they're also clothing, and meant to be worn. I viewed a wedding in the Cayman Islands on the beach in an Oscar de la Renta gown. It came time in the ceremony for her to kneel, and she knelt right down in the sand. And I applauded her--like, 'yes! You go girl!'