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
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!)
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.