Posted by: chlost | October 14, 2012

A season of hurt

It is the same, every year right about now.

Merle tries to resist, but somehow, he is sucked in. He tells me he doesn’t care. He knows nothing about them. He hasn’t kept up.

But on a Sunday afternoon, he is somehow back in front of the television, watching. Talking. Yelling. Jumping up and down.

Yes, it is football season.

Merle will again be traumatized by the annual trial of being a fan of a “small market” team.

My husband has been a fan of the local professional football team since he was a child. He knows the names of all of the old-time players. He tells me he doesn’t know the newer guys. But he does.

Each year, the team will win a few games. The national sports media has no respect for this team. Merle feels personally slighted by this. He feels that the team has strong players. Maybe it is the coaching. Perhaps the owners are not dedicated enough. In his mind, however, there is always hope. With the perfect consolidation of players, coaches, and teamwork, his beloved team could really win. They could be great! They could be champions!

They have never won the championship.

At the end of each season, he claims that he is no longer really interested in following the team. He has had enough. They have broken his heart once too often. He will not make the same mistake of getting involved in another season.

Yet, it is Sunday, and he is now sitting in the basement in front of the television, popcorn popped, cold drink in hand, ready to forgive that team. He has forgotten the feeling of disappointed and anger he felt so strongly last winter. The resolve he felt after last year’s miserable season is gone.

He has fallen for it. Again.

He believes that they can win. He is cheering. He is yelling. He tells them what they have done wrong. He coaches the players who are struggling. He laughs ruefully when they cannot make the simple plays.

Yes, my husband has fallen in love once more. With a football team which will only break his heart.

And I can only watch and wait for the inevitable.

Oh, football. You are cruel.

Please be kind to him.

He is a good man.



  1. Sigh. So true. But at least he has a reason to eat popcorn every week, and that makes it worth it (?) In all seriousness, women do this with giving birth. They forget how much it cost them and usually move on to having more.

    • You’re right. Popcorn is worth it all for him. As to women forgetting about the pain of giving birth-I agree with the old saying that if men gave birth, there would never be more than one child born in every family.

  2. Yep, you’re absolutely right about everything you said.

    • Thanks. Glad you stopped by.

  3. I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker that showed a guy doubled over in front of the television and the wife was saying something like, “But honey that’s the beauty of football – your vicarious defeat is perfectly mirrored by someone else’s vicarious victory.”

    • Yes, that is perfect. Why do fans take it on so personally? I had a friend who used to say “If we could get 70,000 people into all of these stadiums each week to put as much energy and money into fighting hunger, just think how much progress we could make.” Makes me shake my head every week.

  4. Chlost, we have all been there… and are there again. It’s amazing how football season affects lives. I’m not a dedicated fan. Will watch occasionally, but can’t watch it 24/7… (DH does. He’s been watching all day. Then the phone calls start and the games are discussed at length… gee-eesh!) But hey, it could be worse, right?

    • I suppose it could be worse. My husband is here, and he is enjoying it…at least at some level. He tends to only watch “his” team’s games, and will even turn them off it it gets truly hopeless. I m glad that football season is not as long as the baseball or basketball season.

  5. I hope the football season goes easy on your husband. My husband was having quite the interaction with the TV during a game earlier today (couldn’t tell you who was playing.) Can’t wait til the season is over!

    • Yes, let’s hope we all survive through the season.

  6. My DH is dealing with dual-personality-fan syndrome. His heart belongs to the team up north that he’s faithfully followed for years. But the team in our new state calls a siren song he finds himself with torn loyalties. The day they play each other – I’m going hiking, all day!

    • It is very difficult to figure out football loyalty for some people. I don’t really understand that….it is just a business. I also don’t understand when my husband refers to the team as “we”- as in “We just got a touchdown!”. He and I certainly had nothing to do with that touchdown. I like the idea of a hike.

  7. For some reason I enjoy football season – even though I understand little about the game. The sounds from the TV remind me of happy days when my father would be peeling apples as he kept an eye on the game, while my mother was preparing a pie crust. Even now the sound of a football game in the room makes me feel content. Usually I read while my husband watches now, and often I drift off to sleep, a weekend nap!

    • The picture of your dad peeling apples while your mom made pie crust does sound quite soothing. I can almost smell the pie baking. MMMM.

  8. My college roommate was the product of a mixed marriage. His mother was Swedish and his father was Norwegian. We would sometimes go to their house to watch “The Game” on Sundays and the absolute worst aspects of that mix came out during Vikings games. I often had to leave the house.

    • I love that mixed marriage. But most Scandinavians hold in their emotions….I have to wonder at what happened that would send you running. Lutefisk wars?

  9. You manage to make the sport I hate the most sound charming. No, wait. It’s your husband who’s charming.

    • Aw, he is charming at times. I used to enjoy watching the football games with him, but as he’s gotten older, for some reason, he takes it more to heart. It is hard to watch him watch them.

  10. Football teams can be real heartbreakers. Loved how you wrote this.

    • Thank you.

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