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Ask the Good Enough Guy: How Do I Cure My Boyfriend’s Sports Obsession?




Hi Good Enough Guy,

I have a question for you. My boyfriend James is a sports fanatic. Football, baseball, basketball, he loves all of them and he’s obsessed with his favorite teams. In addition to buying one of those cable packages where he can see just about any game at any time, he also gets all the home game tickets he can and buys a ton of merchandise.

We want to buy a house soon and cutting back on his sports spending would really help. I understand he’s a fan but we’re not in our 20’s anymore. Don’t you think it’s time for him to prioritize?

Marla, New York

Hey Marla,

So, you want me to tell you, and all of the other GEM-fan wives, how to get a sports fanatic husband to be less devoted to his teams? I’m starting to think that some of the readers are trying to get the Good Enough Guy killed!

Marla, if a torch-wielding, sports jersey-wearing mob shows up outside my door, are you gonna come save me? Well, at least if they did show up, I’ll bet that before they tarred and feathered me, they’d let me finish watching the game… just out of respect.

So, James is fumbling the ball and you need to figure out how to get his head back into the game? Well, you’re in luck: that awesome sports package he’s watching has his mind jam-packed full of the very things you’re trying to explain to him. You just have to put it into language he’ll understand.

THE NEW GAME: Call it whatever you like: House-ball, Home-Team, Escape From Mom’s Basement, it all means the same thing. Practice time is over; it’s time for James to suit up and get on the field. If he’s as serious about you as he is about the Knicks, make him understand that you’re serious about buying a home, and that if he wants to keep playing for your team, then the two of you need to be focused on the same goal.

THE RULES: The object of this game is for you and James to run as much of your paychecks from one end of the month to the other end, get past as many of life’s obstacles as you can, and spike what’s left into your savings accounts. Make it clear to him that you fully understand how much he loves his favorite teams, but that the owners of those teams, as well as the owners of the stadiums, the product lines, and all the other gears in the merchandising machine, are the away team. They are your opponents and they are at the other end of the field doing everything they can to contain, control, impede, block, intercept, deflect, and a host of other sports terms that all mean the same thing: STOP you.

THE STRATEGY: No one knows more about boundaries than us sports nuts. We fully understand that even one toe over the line means out-of-bounds but you can’t just tell us, “Past that tree is a foul ball.” Set up a budget (a play book) that you and James agree on, and then watch each other’s feet to see that neither of you steps over the line. Make sure that an agreed upon amount is set aside for his sports spending, but don’t be afraid to blow the whistle if you see him trying to do a quarterback sneak, and let him know to do the same if he sees you try to double dribble at the shoe store.

THE PRE-GAME PUMP: Tell James that he’s your defensive line and you’re counting on him to get you through to the goal. Tell him you understand that it will be tough but that he’s tougher. Tell him nobody comes onto HIS field and pushes him around. Pump him up, cheer him on, jump up and down, wave your pom-poms… and yes I do mean that literally. The better your half-time show, the less of the game he’ll watch (wink-wink).

THE TROPHY: This is why we play. This is what it’s all about. It’s why we push forward all season and what we look back on at the end. For you, it’s the house. For James, promise him the whole basement as his “Man Cave/Sports Den/Media Room”. Or tell him that the next goal you two set together can be that Super Bowl Weekend vacation he always talks about. Once he sees that the post-season payoff is worth the pre-season sweat, the next goal will be a lot easier to set, and to reach.

Well, that’s all the X’s and O’s I have for you. Good luck to you, good luck to James, and good luck to his teams next year… (but only if he’s a Raven’s fan!)

Will Jones

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.



  1. keith

    May 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I dont see anywhere in here where she actually talked to him about this…seems odd to me that it doesnt say he REFUSES to prioritize. Just says he hasnt yet.

    Perhaps simply talking to him period would be a good idea lol

  2. Will Jones

    May 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Good catch, Keith. She’s probably “kinda” mentioned it a couple of times. That’s why I talked about being clear on the boundries. She can’t expect him to catch something that she never threw.

  3. Irene

    May 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Okay…I am gonna give the Die Hard Cub’s fan approach to this…and be the 1st to say that Will Gem’s by nature are not conspiring to see what letter will finally cause a full frontal head explosion on your part. We are equal opportunity all the way….

    I didn’t see anywhere in her letter to you about what this young lady is willing to sacrifice and cut back on for the time being to help. So, Marla, as the bill payer that I am I realized after a few fumbles (pun intended) that if we ask our spouse to cut a few corners there are probably a few things we can cut back on too.

    Happy Memorial Day….great post this Saturday…can’t believe I beat my hubbie over here this is a pretty good blog post.

  4. m.e. johnson

    May 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Will, you’re the greatest (don’t tell Ali)! The lady doesn’t say how long they’ve been together, if she all of a sudden wants these changes. Might make a difference, yes?

    And if she reads this, Girl, don’t buy no house with somebody you ain’t married to. So now, save for the doggone wedding first.

    Although I know people will be enjoying this Memorial Day, ‘happy’ seems inappropriate to wish. Hope you all remember to pray for the safety of our service men and women and for an end to this stupid war.

  5. Will Jones

    May 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Irene- Cub’s fan, huh? I knew I liked something about you! I’m not as worried about the head explosion as I am worried that, somewhere, one of the readers is married to a line-backer or a cage fighter or a mafia hit-man. Eventually, somebody is gonna throw a bag over my head and drag me into an unmarked van and tell me to stop “manswering” questions. As far as what she might give up, I did mention cutting back at the shoe store, but only because that’s where my own wife ties two credit cards together and starts swinging them like nun chucks.

    M.E. I did notice that she didn’t really mention how long they’d been together… just that they weren’t “…in their twenties anymore…” which could mean that they’ve been together for a long time but haven’t married, or could just mean she’s getting older and ready for a commitment. Either way, you’re absolutely right; buying a house with a boyfriend is the easy-pass lane to disaster.
    Thanks for the comment. I wouldn’t say I’m the greatest… but it sounds great when you say it! 🙂

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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