I’m not a football fan.
Not even a little bit.
My favorite part of a football game is the halftime show.
And I’m not referring to kind showcasing Katy what’s-her-name or wardrobe malfunctions and the like.
No, I’m quite thankful I’m married to a man who makes an effort to miss those halftime shows.
My kind of halftime show is the marching band kind.
Which also happens to be the kind that’s sadly lacking from the NFL.
And guess what else?
I’m also not what one would call a social butterfly. I’m far more likely to commit a social faux pas than a home run any day. I’m really more of a foot-in-my-mouth-while-blushing-furiously-and-savagely-yes-I-said-savagely-kicking-myself-later kind of person.
It’s not that I don’t like people. I really do. I’m no shrink, but I suspect I have some deep-seated insecurity issues.
Join the club, right?
Anyway, now that you know this about me, you might find it strange that I was excited to throw a Super Bowl party with my husband. It’s a tradition, actually. We’ve been recording the Super Bowl since the days of VHS, watching it later with other church-going friends.
You see, he is a football fan. Not to the extent that he’s in a bad mood after a tough loss or a bad call. But he does love to watch a good game, whether or not his team is playing.
He also loves to get together with friends. And though he may commit his share of social faux pas, he knocks far more out of the park…or into the end zone…or whatever. I’ve actually come to the conclusion that he’s a social Midas, because even when he does stick his foot in his mouth, he still somehow manages to spew forth rainbows that have people cackling loudly with laughter.
I really admire this about him.
So back to football…early in our marriage, I realized I had a choice.
I could make football a sticking point. A thorn with which I frequently poke him and leave him irritated and raw. I have plenty of justifiable reasons in my mind for doing so.
I despise the fact that the prime time for NFL football also happens to be times when families should be in church. No, my husband never chooses to miss church for football; but principally, I object to an organization that interferes with the command to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”
I loathe the fact that the NFL and its advertisers use sex to attract the attention of men, with scantily clad cheerleaders and dance teams, risqué commercials, and Victoria’s Secret ads that are downright pornographic.
I detest that our nation spends billions and billions of dollars on something as trivial as sports, in light of such travesties as child hunger, human trafficking, the orphan epidemic, and a host of other issues that really matter.
I really don’t like the way a football obsession can encourage a man to pour hours of time into a basically worthless pursuit, while tuning out his family, his responsibilities, and his God for several months of the year.
All of these just might be valid arguments. I might have even been able to beat him down with them years ago, had I chosen to go that route.
But the thing is, as much as I dislike the institution that is football, I love my husband more.
And I recognize that while I object to so many aspects of football, my husband has always done a remarkable job of negating the impact of those sticking points for our family.
And so each year when he suggests having people over for the Super Bowl, I (mostly) happily agree. We talk about who we’ll invite. I offer to help with grocery shopping and food prep (though he really prefers to do most of it himself). I straighten up the house and remind him one last time to record the game. And then many laughs and touchdowns and faux pas later, we close the door as the last friends leave, and I hug my beaming man.
“Thanks, babe,” he says.
And with those two words, I get over the lack of marching bands.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another.