I never knew what a sports fan was until I met Jim. My dad and brothers like sports and watch them. They even pay their hard earned money to go to games sometimes. They call or text me when the Jazz play the Lakers or when BYU is playing. They enjoy sports. Jim is a sports fan. He can watch the same highlights over and over even if he has just watched that particular game. He has been known to watch the same Sports Center two and three times in a row. He will watch old games that are being rebroadcast. He will sometimes even watch things on ESPN like bowling and pool just because they are people with incredible talent competing against each other.
I knew this before I married him. I've tried to understand it, I've tried to love it, I've tried to hate it, now I have just come to terms with it. It is part of the reason I have learned to cross stitch/quilt/crochet/knit. They are things I can do while also being in the same room with my husband during football or basketball season. And through the years I have learned a thing or two about football/basketball/baseball. I actually know a lot more than most other wives and Jim seems to find this sexy (even when I am in sweats and a hat and have no makeup on).
It has gotten so crazy that I am actually part of his Fantasy Football League this year. They needed another "guy" to make it an even number. So I picked my team according to things like who I think is a nice guy, who has a cool name and who doesn't play for the Seattle Seahawks. I have learned a little about some of these guys over the years. As most of our friends and family know I have worked with the NFL for the last five January's. I get a little bit of an insight on what these guys are like when there is no camera and how they treat people that work behind the scenes. (This is the reason I will never pick anyone from the Seahawks.) I probably won't win one week in Fantasy Football. I don't really care. I have often referred to the NFL as the "great and abominable church" referred to in the scriptures. When are their games? All day Sunday and Monday night. Those are times I would rather my husband not be distracted by sports but I give in for 16 weeks in the fall and early winter. It gives me something to talk to Jim about which he will actually respond to.
The other Love/Hate thing I have with the NFL was referred to earlier. I have left my family for the last five years to work with the NFL. I am usually gone between 25 and 30 days. It is a long time to be away from my family. I have blogged about it before. But it has been a great opportunity also. It has allowed me to be able to have the freedom of staying home the other 48-49 weeks out of the year. It has been a blessing both physically and financially. Being home with my three teenage boys is something I feel is very important. There has also been a spiritual aspect to it. Every year I go I gain a stronger understating of what this life is REALLY about. Most people in this world would think that getting your team to the Super Bowl is one of the greatest accomplishments in life and working behind the scenes to help make that final game happen is just one small step behind that. Sure, there is that "cool" aspect to it but every year everything gets bigger and bigger. More money is spent. More stress is added. The pursuit for perfection is constantly lurking somewhere in the pit of my stomach for three weeks. But every year, especially since my sister passed away, the difference between the path toward that pursuit for perfection that the world looks for and the path that my Heavenly Father wants me to be on gets more clear to me. It makes it harder every year to leave my family. My sister left her family unexpecdedly but I know my sister left for something much better than what we have in this life. I choose to leave and making that choice takes a lot of discussion and thought.
So, now that the first games have been played and all the hype has started, I am happy and worried. Happy that fall is well on its way. Happy that we will have many weekends with friends and family at our home watching "the game". Happy that I will be able to contribute financially to our family. Happy to see some of my dearest friends that I only get to see for that time in January. They are my family while I am away from my men here. But I worry that my guys don't eat enough vegetables while I am gone. I worry that they aren't getting to bed on time or doing all their homework. I worry my friends here are doing too much to make up for my absence. I worry that after all my hard work something will go terribly worng with my buses (which means it wasn't totally perfect) and I will be burned at the stake, sent home, or worse, those guys in the NFL will finally remember my name and not in a good way.