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Fumbling Like an Idiot

It’s over. The Indianapolis Colts have won. It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is waiting to leap out and gut you like a panther in Apocalypto. Football season’s at an end, and now Monday nights and all day Sunday are free again. We’re out of excuses for not paying attention to our wives, significant others, common-law-commitment-ceremony attendees, or whatever we call the walking blobs of ectoplasm that we successfully avoid during football season. Let me rephrase that.

It’s over. The Indianapolis Colts have won. It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is waiting to leap out and gut you like a panther in Apocalypto. Football season’s at an end, and now Monday nights and all day Sunday are free again. We’re out of excuses for not paying attention to our wives, significant others, common-law-commitment-ceremony attendees, or whatever we call the walking blobs of ectoplasm that we successfully avoid during football season. Let me rephrase that. (Just so you know, it’s difficult to convey in typing how your voice goes up several octaves when you get kicked in the left…well, let’s just say the subject here is sports, and you know what round object many sports are played with. It seems my wife just happened to be walking by the computer and did not appreciate being called a walking blob of ectoplasm.)

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Indeed, I do not literally “avoid” my wife. It’s not like I press my back flat against the wall, peering around the corner to see if she’s coming, and then slink away like a cat burglar when I see her step from the kitchen to the living room. (That was with my first wife, Willow Sunflower. It was the 70s, and you don’t want to know.) But being a man who grew up defining himself through work, and one who is only gradually seeing that there are other ways to go about it, I’m slow to learn that avoiding intimacy is merely the bonus one gets from using football as a distraction. (There again, my voice went up several octaves. I meant to say “drawback” not “bonus.” I didn’t know my wife was still there. Who knew you had to wear a jock strap while typing?)

At any rate, for several months now, I cannot funnel off my feelings into a freakish devotion to the gridiron, so I have decided on a compromise. I will spend more time with my family if they will allow me to use football metaphors as often as I want until next season. After all, we use them in business all the time. (And if one more junior executive describes their marketing strategy as a “full court press” I’m going to surgically attach a beer-holder hat to their freaking head.) (There’s a guy at Monster.com who might need a talking to. Check out his article on football and sales.

As far as things at home go, here’s how I’ll satisfy my football cravings and bring the love at the same time.

  • All bedroom activity shall be referred to as “crossing the line of scrimmage.”
  • Shelling out for a sitter just so the wife and I can have some alone time will be called a “five yard penalty.”
  • My spouse gets four downs to try and regain possession of the remote.
  • Taking a meal together as a family will be called “Nightly Business Report.” (Not a sports term, but it’s what’s on the TV while we’re eating. House rules.)

Anyway, this will have to do at least until spring, and baseball season, when I can start calling my kids’ grades “low and outside,” and wake my wife each day with a ground rule double.

Top Three Takeaways

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  1. Sports fans are naturally drawn to sports metaphors. And once someone explains what a metaphor is, they appreciate it even more.
  2. Many couples are comprised of two people who like sports equally. These couple live in a golden, happy magical fairy land that no one I know has ever visited.
  3. I think this blog did an end run around all the other blogs today. Somebody stop me.

Tom Stern is the founder of Stern Executive Search and the creator of CEO Dad, the syndicated comic strip about executive dysfuntion.