My wife and I have watched football together once. It was the last Alabama-Georgia match up. It was when I discovered the depths of her insanity. Our viewing taught me what my wife knows, likes, and dislikes about football:
- Her dad is a Cowboys fan, but “they’re kind of sucking” right now.
- The Ravens are his hometown team. They are also the team that will induce me into a 30-minute rant about how they embody the psyche of the real Cleveland Browns, which makes her want to remove her fingernails with a pair of pliers every time I get started. As an alternative to self-mutilation she suggests (in a far more primitive way) that I see a therapist.
- The Browns are the worst name for a football team and the uniforms are “fugly.”
- Speaking of defense, a tackle made with a trip or a wrap is not proper hitting form. A lowered shoulder with a wrap and pile-driving force to the turf is “a start.” A spear elicits a “that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.” A clothesline earns a “now that’s how you do it!!!” I think I married Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane.
- Her favorite football players are the “big, corn-fed guys that hit people.” I have to admit, she’s already won over the most diehard football analysts I know. Chris Brown is somewhere nodding with silent approval.
- Kickers are useless and most of them look “girlie” when they do their job. You need to know that my wife has two distinct personalities (among many others). On the job and in public she’s girlie. From what she wears to how she talks, you’d think that dirt hurts. But dirt don’t hurt; especially when my wife has a cigarette dangling from her lips as she’s is digging a trench the width of our backyard after spending the morning putting a pick axe to Georgia Clay. My wife is one-part debutante and one-part semi-pro safety who just got off a chain gang and works construction during the week.
- Brett Favre should have retired years before he did.
- With an 11.2-second, 100-yard dash to her credit during the 1980s that is on par with (pre-doping) Marion Jones – still her high school’s record – speed doesn’t impress her.
- Think I’m exaggerating? I just emailed her to name 10 things she likes, dislikes, and knows about football. She doesn’t even know why I asked, but immediately sent me a list of 11. I deleted the last one because that subject is for another time and place. (Although I agree with you in principle, Honey):
- I like the hits (the real ones, not the girlie ones)
- I like the names
- I like the colors
- I like that it can bring a city together
- I know that that Terry guy is famous in corporate America
- I know that the Browns, the Colts, and the Ravens have some sort of sordid history that makes your eye twitch
- I don’t like the Browns—stupid name, ugly color when paired incorrectly—as they have done
- I don’t like the Bangles…who the hell named them after women’s jewelry?
- I don’t like all the rules that make them have to play like girls. For all the money they make, I expect to see blood, bone or both when it’s over. I had more pain during childbirth than most of them have during an entire game. You’re MEN….earn your f#&king keep.
- I don’t like kickers or kicking—all that pay for a dancer to come on the field for 5 seconds and get what? An extra 1-3 points. Stupid. If footballers played like MEN, they wouldn’t need the kickers delicate asses.
- She’d love Marshawn Lynch if she ever saw him play. Especially because his mom gives him skittles, but she wouldn’t dig the name.
I rest my case.
Since that premarital Alabama-Georgia game, we haven’t watched football together. She believes that her blood-lust scared me off. Truth be told, her viewing pleasures are far more vicious: gangster movies and Dance Mom marathons. Football can’t compete. She’d also weigh me down by asking me to rewind and slow-mo all the personal fouls while I’m trying to study blocking schemes or routes. I have deadlines.
You can imagine how surprised I was when I received a challenge to play Fantasy Throwdown from my wife. Although she doesn’t know anything more about football than what I mentioned above, she didn’t want me to help her. Here’s our draft:
You can click the image to enlarge. Here’s a quick blow-by-blow of our draft:
- My wife opted for the first overall pick so I selected the Browns-Raiders and Cowboys-Eagles games.
- My wife then showed fascinating intuition and picked what will likely be the most violent game of the week: Steelers-Ravens.
- With the first pick, my wife thought about taking Ray Rice but the name reminded her of Rae Carruth and as a native of North Carolina, she can’t make that call.
- Since she didn’t recognize any of the names I’ve mentioned, although intuitively Ray Rice caught her attention first, she decided to block the Raiders defense.
At this point, you might think the draft went downhill. However with Throwdown, the block can be utterly useless even with a well-conceived plan. It’s the wildcard. And with Cleveland, you never now, it might prove ingenious.
- So I took Rice and Trent Richardson. The wife then opted for names she liked. Joe Flacco was one of them because it sounded like “Shane Falco.” Flacco kind of is the Keanu Reeves of NFL quarterbacks. Good times.
- Marcel Reece and Felix Jones were also names she liked. She didn’t like “Dwyer,” and couldn’t get with “Anquan Boldin.” I told her she’d like Boldin because he plays with the kind of mentality she likes. She shrugged me off.
- I blocked Bryce Brown. She asked me if that was the dude that I was yelling at on Monday night and cheering like a real fan (usually she just hears the clicking of my keyboard when a football game is on in my office). I told her yes. She told me (in a roundabout way) to see a therapist. I followed up with Tony Romo.
- The wife then chose Mike Wallace and Riley Cooper. The Eagles receiver I could have known about ahead of time because it’s the type of name she’d want to name any future children we have. She’s all about those Madison, Delaney, Riley, and other girlie, Holly-Hobby names. Ain’t happening. However, her choices continued to surprise me.
- I opted for the Steelers and Jason Witten and when she realized that ‘K’ stood for kicker she groaned and ultimately took Sebastien Janikowski because that was the only name that sounded like he could really kick. Again, great intuition. She then opted for Brent Celek for Heath Miller because “Heath (Ledger) is dead.”
- I ended with Dan Bailey.
Ten minutes of personal hilarity. I’ll never live it down if I lose.
Need a laugh? Or, better yet, haven’t cried in awhile? Challenge your wife to Fantasy Throwdown today. It’s quick, convenient, and addictive. It’s also free.
Also read Zach Law’s interview of Mike MacGregor, who is a big reason why I’m doing what I do here.