Catherine Durkin Robinson: For those of us who don’t get football, we can still see its value with the men in our lives

I live with three boys, counting Marc, and for the past few years, when our oppressive Florida heat downshifts into simply sweltering, they begin The Ritual.

This annual event involves fantasy football spreadsheets, sports radio and worrying about things called “stats.” It involves sitting on the couch with sperm-killing laptops. It involves shouting about hamstrings and zero effort, not to mention inept and sometimes corrupt referees, as well as a few hoots and hollers if the Bucs or Pats score a touchdown.

It involves confusing the context of “deep penetration” and frightening all the kids and half the adults in the room.

Oh wait, that’s me.

Every year.

What were we talking about? That’s right. Football season is upon us.

I don’t understand what my family is doing and I don’t care. You want to know why? Because the kids are earning good grades in school and my husband sat through Trainwreck.

In fact, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Therefore, they’ve earned one afternoon a week.

If your man works hard and occasionally completes his honey-do list the first time you ask, why shouldn’t he relax with his kids or friends and root for his favorite team? It’s a bonding experience and a lot like their interest in power tools – we don’t need to get it, but we should support it.

Football season benefits us as well.

It’s a golden opportunity to enjoy some guilt-free alone time. Fill the tub with bubbles. Grab a good book. Exercise that fat ass. Learn a trade. Take up a hobby. Give the guys in our life some breathing space and enjoy the break we all deserve.

If this sounds like a wacky idea, maybe the problem isn’t football.

Are you stuck with a lazy man who hangs around the house every day, ignoring you and your lists, while carrying on an affair with his WiFi? Organized sports might not be the problem.

Accepting maid status instead of something more might be.

Believe me, I’m no football fan. Hockey and basketball games are fast, exciting, and played inside arenas. I heart arenas. Outdoor sports in Florida are disgusting. Sweat, mixed with sunblock, drips down into my eyeballs and I can’t see a thing. If I don’t wear sunblock, I sit there dying of skin cancer.

What’s fun about that?

Arenas eliminate problems and the fans are almost always fully clothed.

Live and in person, football is expensive and to say it lasts forever isn’t exactly accurate – it lasts much longer. Watching the game on television is better because we can leave.

But then the commercials belittle and objectify women. So there’s that.

Plus the NFL cares so much about its players, it has historically lied to them about the dangers involved in playing the sport.

What else? One can tell, from penalties and fines, that the NFL believes it’s better to deflate a female than a football.

Brain-dead fans idolize spoiled athletes who are indulged and overpaid. Then they cheer and yell and get worked up about…wait for it…the achievements of others.


Cause that makes sense.

A solution? We periodically enter the family room on Sundays, from September through February, offering insight and wisdom where potato chips go to die. Drop comments like:

“Real women can’t do *that*.”

“Those are fake.”

“He’s no hero. He catches a ball for a living. Teachers explaining to teenagers how the Versailles Treaty led to World War II are your heroes.”

“Wow, that player has quite a scowl. I wonder if that’s what his girlfriend sees right before she loses consciousness.”

“Did you know more women are battered during the Super Bowl than any other time of year?”

“If you don’t start using coasters, I will sell you to Mexico and use the money to buy weed.”

“Beer makes you think stupid women are attractive and pretty soon, you’re stuck with a bimbo and several venereal diseases.”

Marc usually responds with, “That Super Bowl story is a myth; beer helped me convince you to get married and real women do *that* all the time.”

No matter, the point is that we’re in the mix, reminding impressionable kids about important values and helping them to filter out the garbage. Moms and dads can’t ignore bad messages, hoping they go away.

We tried that with Donald Trump and look what happened.

This isn’t to say that all women don’t like or understand football. Some enjoy it and totally understand the benefits of a nickel defense. They don’t mix up the teams and cheer for the wrong one during touchdowns.

So we need to be careful when generalizing. If this doesn’t apply to you, Football Lady, that’s fine. Recently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned that lesson when they tried mansplaining the game and posted super helpful fashion and cooking advice for fans with lady parts.

Their campaign went over about as well as my honest review of 50 Shades of Grey to a group carrying Lane Bryant shopping totes.

But for those of us who don’t get the sport, we can still see its value with the men in our lives. At the very least, we can hang around and pick up interesting talking points that impress male colleagues.

Try this at the next board meeting: “Hey guys, I’ll take an injured Peyton over a healthy Eli any day of the week. Am I right?”

That makes no sense to me, but my stock goes up at work and my men are happy at home.  In the end, they’re satisfied with a silly game, decent sound system, some pizza, and a few chicken wings. Football is mindless entertainment and a way for them to escape and bond for a few hours.

What’s so bad about that?

Catherine Durkin Robinson co-parents twin sons, organizes families for advocacy purposes, writes syndicated columns, mentors kids, runs a few races, and accidentally cheers for the wrong teams’ touchdowns. Follow her on Twitter: @cdurkinrobinson. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Guest Author


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