We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

24
September

Are you game or do you call foul? How do you feel about football season?

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As we move toward fall, many men across the country will undergo a change. It is the time of year when men who previously would happily join you for a leisurely morning brunch, a long hike or a meander around the farmers market, suddenly become affixed to the couch. Their moods become erratic, unpredictable, and highly sensitive. That’s right, I’m talking about football season.

Autumn is a magical time of the year for the average sport-lovin man; college football has begun, baseball is moving into the post season and the NFL is getting started. It is the time of year when, on a weekend, one could be watching some game or another virtually all day if one were so inclined and had the right cable package.

Which means it is also a time of great frustration for the women who want to spend quality time with these men. Suddenly whole evenings, even entire weekends, can be monopolized. Men who are normally quite even tempered can be thrown into a weeklong funk by a bad call.

There are really two options for the wives or girlfriends of these sport enthusiasts; one  is to develop a taste for the games and watch them too. The other is to accept that a certain times of the year they have a lot more time to read/shop/take a yoga class/hang with their friends. I guess there is a third option – put up a fight and attempt to get the guy to continue to brunch/hike/farmers market with you despite his desire to be watching the game(s), but that option rarely works well for either party.

For some women this changing of the season is a welcome one. Many women enjoy the additional time by themselves or the community of other ‘football widows’. Claudia lucked out. Her guy is a huge sports fan, but when she started dating him she also got all his friends’ wives/girlfriends in the bargain. They are an awesome bunch of ladies who created the US Weekly fantasy league to coincide with the guys’ fantasy football league. Win win.

But for some women, football season in particular is a lonely time. They miss the time and attention they used to receive. It can actually put a strain on the relationship. There are some guys who aren’t just content to watch their team’s game, they want to watch every game and will do so no matter how it affects their partner. This type of guy is one if our Zero archetype: The Jockstrap. There’s nothing wrong with loving football, but when you give it more time, attention and emotion than your wife or girlfriend, there’s a problem.

Sports aren’t an issue for me. My guy hates organized sports, dismissively lumping baseball, basketball and football into the term ‘sportsballs’. But he has his own equivilelent: apple products. He looks forward to a keynote address the way most guys look forward to the NFL draft. The idea that anyone would let his mood be effected by a game is ludicrous to him, but this past weekend was derailed by Apple and AT&T. Having ordered his iPhone 5 at six AM the day it went on sale, a mere 3 minutes after he ordered mine (he is a gentleman and believes in ladies first) in order to have it delivered on Friday, he was more than a little miffed when mine arrived and his did not. I offered to give him mine but apparently it doesn’t work that way thanks to SIM cards and whatnot. At first he acted as if he wasn’t bothered. Over the course of the weekend I watched him go through Kuler-Ross’ 5 stages of grieving, only hitting acceptance sometime around Sunday afternoon. I tried to point out that having ones weekend ruined because his iPhone was delayed a few days was not entirely dissimilar to having ones weekend ruined because one’s sport team lost. He disagreed. Totally different. “Besides, I wouldn’t say my weekend was ruined,” he said a bit defensively, “ I’d say it was, you know, marred”. In the words of Nikki Costa, everybody got their something. So I get it.

What about you? Do you look forward to football season as a period to have more time to yourself and with your girlfriends. Do you resent all the time and attention your guy spends on watching men run around fighting over balls?

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