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All Cracked Up

My Life as a Football Widow

The wife of a fanatic shares her humorous take on football
My Life as a Football Widow
Published on September 27, 2010

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It’s that time of year again—that time when the leaves begin turning colors, the air becomes crisp, and I become a football widow. Between the Huskers, the Nighthawks, and the Mavs, I don’t plan to see my husband for more than five minutes every weekend from now until he either runs out of snacks, the house is on fire, or the football season ends.

When I do manage to see my husband, it is usually at the breakfast table where he talks to no one in particular as he pours over the Sports section. “Oh no, Number 96 has a torn ligament,” he announces, “Looks like he’ll be out of for the season. This can’t be good for the Husker defense.” The dog stares at him. I glance over my section of the paper at him. My husband pushes his cereal bowl away and grumbles to no one in particular, “I’ve completely lost my appetite” and, with great fanfare, disappears to the basement to spend another sixteen hours straight in front of the television.

In the beginning of our marriage, I tried to watch football with my husband. Older, more experienced wives just smiled when I declared, “My husband and I really are so in sync. We want to do everything together, so this weekend I’m making a potpourri of delicious snacks and planning to enjoy one game after the other with him.” I ignored the giggling and whispering as I walked out of the room. Sure I had to brush up on my football lingo, but I truthfully could not think of anywhere else I’d rather be than in a dark, cold basement with a guy who was doing what he loved to do—watching one game on the television while listening to another game on the radio while checking the Internet for other game scores.

As I plopped on the couch next to my husband, I noticed he was wearing the same ratty t-shirt that I had used while dusting the house the day earlier. Apparently, what I thought was a dust rag was really the lucky football shirt he had worn during every game for the past five years. “Snacks?” I asked as I handed him a bowl of chips.

Suddenly, my husband was standing on the couch, waving his arms wildly, and screaming, “WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? CAN’T YOU SEE THE GUY WAS CLEARLY OUT OF BOUNDS?” I stared at the snack bowl, which now lay upside down on the floor. Chips were strewn everywhere.

As I watched my husband absentmindedly picking up chips off the floor, eating them one-by-one, and scratching himself in places I never knew itched, I quietly asked, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”

Fast forward eighteen years. Now when football season begins, I kiss my husband goodbye as he heads down the stairs never to be seen again until we’ve all opened our Christmas gifts, celebrated a new year, and shoveled the driveway three times. Then I call all my girlfriends to see if they want to tailgate at the mall.

We all think it is a lot easier to spend money on a full stomach.

VickyDVicky DeCoster Author of "The Wacky World of Womanhood" and "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" Visit her web site at