Let me start out by saying I’m not a super huge sports fan. Growing up we would occasionally go to the see Cincinnati Reds baseball or Cyclones hockey games.
I also was a cheerleader for about 5 years, who never really understood the game of football. I would like to blame it on having my back to the action but really it just never fully interested me to try to figure out what all of the plays meant.
In college I had the best job in the world. Several of us students were waitstaff at the arena in Dallas. We took food and drink orders on a handheld computer from customers in the VIP sections and then a “runner” would bring down the food. We pushed the buttons, the runners did the legwork and we were the ones who got tipped along with a great basepay. The only time this beautiful system didn’t work was when the runners got behind and we had to pitch in.
Did I mention we got paid to watch professional basketball and hockey in some of the best seats in the house? I got to see Michael Jordan play. At the time the Mavericks played the Bulls they were the worst team in the league. We witnessed a miracle that night when the Mavs beat the Bulls. We also watched The Stars in the playoffs along with many fights. I have to say those are fun to watch. The only casualty of the job was watching out for the occasional puck that would fly into the crowd or dealing with drunk perverts.
So who knew my heart would eventually belong to another fellow college student working the beer stand. I made him so proud when I turned down a player who had sent a ball boy to get my number. The player was injured, had some free time on the bench, and I’m sure I wasn’t the first or last person he had sent a ball boy with the task of getting a phone number from. But it sure made my beer stand boyfriend on Mavs games/ waitstaff for Stars hockey games feel pretty good. (He wanted me to set the record straight)
When you date you do things for each other because you are so excited about the other person. I had never voluntarily watched a college football game before. So there I was on Christmas break, watching Michigan play on New Years Day, all by myself, as a weird form of support for the man I loved. He liked sports but didn’t force them on our dating life. Now granted he was getting to witness them a few nights a week while we were working.
So fast forward into our married life and there is ALWAYS some sporting event going on to watch. College football being on the top of the priority list to reschedule around if possible or be DVR’d with the challenge of not listening to the radio or receiving phone calls until the game could be watched. I will go to any sporting event once for the quest for variety but I’m not fully committed to the home watching participation part.
So how did I win wife of the year from my husband?
By scoring my family (4 )$70 tickets to the University of Michigan game out of PURE LOVE!
My husband had told me about a sports radio station doing a live remote at the local Meijer that was giving tickets to several different sporting events. I picked up the boys from school and headed over to the store, entered the contest, went home to listen to sports radio for an hour and a half to hear them mispronounce my name as the winner,and drove 70mph down Lake Michigan Dr. to beat the other winner for 1st pick of the tickets. Please don’t judge- I was driving with Nascar safety and precision.
I had just scored the best birthday/anniversary gift ever. This was a dream gift for my husband that wasn’t in the budget at all, which made it even more of a blessing. He was now going to be able to share the experience with his family. He had been talking about the experience at the “Big House” for years. So our boys were already groomed to be elated for the ultimate encounter of all things Michigan. My oldest son even gets offended at the sign of a state fan sticker in parking lots or on random strangers walking around with state fan swag.
Our family did visit the free spring game scrimmage this past spring where the boys got to also tour the locker room and watch the warm ups before the game. I met up with them there later joined by a neighbor who brought her boys. She and I were not as committed to the whole day experience.
Getting to watch a real game was the perfect progression. The boys were anticipating the day with Christmas excitement. We found jerseys for everyone to wear and got up early to make the drive to Ann Arbor. We paid the ridulous price of parking at a gas station and made our way in to the stadium. We are normally die hard “always find free parking” people but it’s hard to find parking amongst 110,000+ people.
We were seated across the aisle from the student section. Our seats were great and near the excitement with the band.
The students were well behaved so we didn’t have to explain any life lessons that day. We watched the team score touchdown after touchdown, participated in the slowest “wave” I have ever seen in my life, the boys and I learned the hand motions and cheers to several of the songs as the band played. I can’t say I know football any better than my 5 year still at this point but I did enjoy the experience and it was very surreal to see what 110,000+ people looks like in a stadium.
Sports are my husbands love language and I don’t speak it. Fortunately we have had friends and family who have helped fill that void for him over the years. He is now training our boys with a sports education that includes a morning ESPN ritual. I’m sure as our kids grow and become more involved in sports I will eventually be converted to the cold side of the bleacher. I might even be tempted to purchase a cowbell or wear my Snuggie in public.
One of the compromises when you love someone is sharing what brings them joy.
So it looks like I’m outnumbered on this one and will continue to be very well rounded in my lifelong degree of physical education.
Check out the rest of the year’s football schedule and ESPN to know the schedule for all things sports related.