How to con the missus into watching guilt-free soccer!
This article is written by a dad for all the fathers out there. It's content may NOT be suitable reading for mums or anyone who are champions of women equality.
Ahh yes, the round ball game. Fervently worshipped by billions across the globe and the pawn in many international political arenas, soccer transcends all creeds, race and gender.
Such is the intensity and romance it conjures, the sport has been responsible for thousands of failed marriages, fractured relationships, marriage proposals and even inappropriately name babies.
On a more personal note, soccer is also a point of contention for Michele and I. Oh, it hasn’t been an issue anymore since the birth of Levi. I learnt quickly new parents have far more commitments and responsibilities than they would have hoped for so it’s all about removing what isn’t necessary.
One of the first things we removed was pay television, which also means no more sports on demand. That’s several hours I’ve freed up to spend time with Michele and Levi on weekends.
It also helps when you’re a tragic long-suffering Leeds United supporter. Games featuring Leeds United are few and far between so when they do feature on pay television it’s hard to say no to it.
All, however, is not lost. I do head out to the local pubs every so often to catch a live game. The frenetic energy generated by good-spirited and well-meaning folks is hard to beat when there’s tap beer and finger foods available freely.
It’s not always easy telling the wife where I’m going though. I do have convincing arguments:
• “It’s the Championship play-offs. C’mon! Leeds United is playing!”
• “Game’s at 4 a.m. I don’t think there’s much for a daddy to do at that time of the day?”
• “How about, after the game I’ll get your breakfast from McDonald’s?”
• “Breakfast in bed! Isn’t that what you always want?”
What if however you, like most married male readers out there, don’t have the luxury of heading to the pub? How would you score a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of married life? Easy! Here’s how:
Work For It. Lie. Do Whatever It Takes!
Games beamed live from Europe generally don’t come on till late in the evening or in the wee hours of the morning. If the Missus insists you accompany her to the movies or wishes to do non soccer-friendly stuff with you, try this:
1) “Honey, I’ll clean the house today. I’ll even do the dishes and hang the laundry. Take the Saturday afternoon off.”
Mothers and wives alike like hearing this. To them, it’s like being told to walk into a lingerie store and buy anything they want or being given a credit card to spend with no inhibitions.
2) “The boys are coming over tonight. We haven’t caught up in aaaaaages.”
You only saw them last weekend for dinner but a week is a long time. How else do males bond than a tailor-made soccer game on the telly?!
3) “You don’t understand how important this game is!”
Honestly, sometimes I don’t really care who plays. If it’s a game, it’s a game. The good lady wife wouldn’t know any better. If it means you get to veg in front of the telly for a couple of hours while pretending not to nod off (let’s face it, some games are that boring) then you’ve still gotten your wish.
4) “The batteries in the remote have gone dead.”
I have actually used this myself. Before a game, I switched to the sports channel and did a switcheroo with the batteries. Michele wasn’t pleased and tried switching to a lifestyle channel but of course it didn’t work. If you plan this perfectly you’d have removed any brand new batteries in your tool box as well. The Missus can’t really be bothered walking to the telly channel surfing, so you win again.
5) “This is a delayed telecast!” or “This was the game I missed yesterday!”
You’ll be pretty desperate if you’re trying these excuses. Granted, they look rather legitimate but I have yet to prove how effective they are. If there are any fathers out there, why don’t you let me know how it works? After all, the Missus wouldn’t be able to know the difference!
Soccer holds dear for many of us out there. There’s an almost tribal affection for it and it’s the case for supporters out there who claim their beloved team is “my team”. Our love for the sport ranks above everything else and if you – as a loving husband and family man – ever feel dissension among your ranks then it’s time to review what is more important in your life: Soccer or Wife?
Having said that, the age old adage “A happy wife is a happy life” is still fervently revered by millions of husbands out there. So, taking a chance on your relationship over soccer may seem a little frivolous, yes?
Before I go though, ask yourself this. Do you really think your wife – in all her loving glory – can ever replace the joy of screaming the four letter word out loud?