My Husband Is Obsessed With Sports...How to Survive It!
Here It Comes....Hockey Season
Oh no!!! Hockey season is here (and/or football, baseball and even golf!) . This is the lament for millions of women starting in September or October when pre -season hockey starts, and one of those millions is me. We know that until the Stanley Cup is over, our weekends, and many of our weeknights, will be devoted to hockey. Our men turn into someone we barely know and much of their lives (and by default ours) will be planned around “the game.”
And it is not only the actual games for the real die hards, it is the highlight programs, Don Cherry and his crazy coats, it is the news morning, noon and night with the sports section turned way up. It is him scouring every newspaper and sport website for any tiny detail he may have missed while watching the game. It is the stats, and the players stories and histories and who is injured and what that means for the team. It is endless debates with his buddies on which player makes how much and is he worth it. It is him watching every player trade with the attention you and I would grant a major world crisis.
A Book He Will Love
How 'bout them Canucks?
And the phone calls before, during and after the game with his sports buddies dissecting every move, every fight, every referee call, every goal and every penalty. Every time you go out and he bumps into someone he knows or starts chatting up a stranger in the grocery store line up with the line, “You see the Canucks (or Bruins or Ducks) last night?” And then you know you will be standing there, politely nodding and smiling and pretending to be interested for a long and boring time. (Hint…you can really save the polite nodding and smiling and pretending….they have forgotten you are there). It is the superstition that he must wear this or that shirt or cap while watching the game or he will jinx his beloved team.
And when the game comes on and he transforms into this wild eyed adrenaline drunk crazy man. He hollers and cusses and goes ape shit when his team does well, and if his team doesn’t do well he hollers and cusses and goes ape shit. He cares! As amazing as it is to you and I, he truly cares about a bunch of grown men chasing a bit of plastic (or ball) around on the ice (or field).
If They Lose???
If his team loses you know you are going to be dealing with a grouchy face for who knows how long? He may swear the team is going to the dogs and just not putting on their game face and may declare he is done with them and hockey…yup…he is dumping them like some cheap cheating woman… (you see, he takes these losses personally). Of course you know he is not done with hockey, but for the sake of his injured pride try to refrain from guffawing. He and his buddies will pout and gossip about this player or that and call them a bunch of bums and Jesus that ref!….what is he blind or something??
If They Win?
But if they win he will be over the moon happy, pick you up and twirl you around, look at you with boyish happy eyes and with his hand held up wanting you to high five him….many times. He may also pound his chest in an ancient show of male victory and virility and refers to the team he favours as “us” and “we” as if he himself is out there slap sticking, facing off, checking, off siding and scoring amazing goals. He may also be quite amorous and sweet and tell you what a good sport you are for tolerating this entire hockey with such good grace. Ahh…it is going to be a long winter!
Boys Will Be Boys
So how do we hockey widows deal with all this testosterone? Well, in a word (or two) graciously and gracefully because, as it happens, it really has to do with testosterone.
According to Lucy L. Brown PHD from Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, testosterone spikes when men are watching their team and it goes through the roof if their team wins. And sports have long been identified with traditional male ideals like domination, risk taking and competition says Douglas Hartman PHD from the University of Minnesota. Basically, the poor dears just can’t help themselves! We women just need to understand this is all just a good, clean and safe outlet for men’s aggression. You wouldn’t really want him to have less testosterone now would you? After all, that is part of what makes him the yummy the man that he is!
Go ahead....be honest!
What is the hardest thing to put up with as a hockey widow?
Yeah but...What About ME?
But still….what about me??? I know, I know….here are a few tricks I have learned over the years to keep the peace at home during hockey season.
Negotiate. If I watch the game with him or at least pretend to watch the game (shh….he doesn’t know about the pretend part…I actually really have no idea what is going on) then he comes to church with me and then we go for brunch. (OK…brunch is bound to be at a sports bar with about twenty big screen TV’s showing game highlights, or baseball or football or even curling…all of which will do if there isn’t any hockey available), but hey, it is still nice to be out with him and a nice glass of chardonnay and some sliders are a treat! I have also negotiated the latest chick flick I want to watch on Netflix or even the movie theatre. A word to the wise here though, start and finish the negotiations before the game starts!
Count his hockey time as “me” time. Indulge in a long girly spa type bath. Or you could do a little online shopping for the fancy additives to your spa bath (he won’t likely make a fuss about the cost if it keeps you happy while he is getting his game on.)
Buy or borrow from the library some great Audio Books and listen to them on your Ipod. There are so many excellent Audio Books available now and you can do household chores or work on your hobbies all the while listening to a fascinating book. And a bonus is since you have the headphones in it drowns out (most) of the NOISE of the game.
Learn to love the game. Ok, I tried this, I really did. Even my sons played hockey and even then, I never got it. But lots of women love hockey! A female friend of mine is equally as obsessive about sports as the any man on a testosterone rush! Maybe, if you learned the game, you too could enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
He Shoots....He SCOOOORES!!!!
But, in the end, as with all things in a relationship, it is all about giving and taking. He loves it, right? And you love to see him happy, right? RIGHT?? Of course you do. You could even help him enjoy the game by having a few beers in the fridge for him and fix him some chicken wings. And if he grumbles while you are waiting in line to see the latest musical you have been dying to see, just sweetly ask, “What time are the Canucks playing tomorrow hon?”