In elementary school, my husband was small. Short and skinny, but undaunted in the world of sports. Not big, but fast and scrappy. He didn’t much care how tall he wasn’t as long as he was on the field or the court or wherever the action was.
At 5’6″ he has never outgrown his love for sports. As a concession to family life, he has curbed his sports viewing from twenty plus hours a week to about four per week between September and January. Should I meet an early demise, this would be subject to change. For now, he’s taken it down to the bare bones necessities, aka, football.
It’s a game about men in tight pants pushing and shoving each other, I say.
He rolls his eyes.
Football is like his bike from high school. When he was in high school he traveled across Canada with a bike team. The aging bike he rode then is dusty and unused. I have pulled it out for selling or giving many times but he is immovable. It is an amazing bike, he’s keeping it, and the fact he’s keeping it means it’s possible he’ll ride it again. But whether he ever touches it again, or whether or not I understand doesn’t change the fact that he’s keeping it.
The count down to New Years Day has been whispered with growing excitement for a week now. New Years: the first game of this year’s football season. (Football’s place in his heart is more entrenched than the bike.) All yesterday, I felt him practically twitching with excitement, knowing the season would start that night. We don’t have cable. Football hits our tv for Sunday games only. Thursday he catches the scores by radio or the internet. Excitement dimmith not.
There are things about the game I find sincerely irritating, maddening, troubling even. But it would be almost impossible to love this man, and not give in to the palpable joy on a Sunday afternoon after kick off. A loyal fan with some common sense (rare commodity), he loves the Cowboys, but advised the kids to choose a different team to love.
I’ve tried, he’ll say. I know they have “issues,” but I can’t help it. I was born in Dallas. They’re my team. They’ve always been my team. It’s like they’re in my blood. They’re my team.
So it’s true. At County Road 21, where we grow our own meat, make our own bread and yogurt, and try to keep things simple, we also watch highly paid men in bright, often striped, pants, push and shove, and chase each other around a field in an attempt to advance a brown leather ball in one direction or another. There are those who watch for hours and those who watch for minutes. The latter often bring snacks to the former.
Happy New Years everybody. And for my husband, upon whose temporal happiness it depends- Go Cowboys.