I'm not sure you'd call this a problem, but it's been on my mind lately, so I thought I'd run it past you. I'm a graduate student at the university and have been dating a woman (who's also a graduate student) since last spring. We're very close, but it's become clear to me in only the last few weeks what a rabid sports nut she is. I knew she was a jock in high school, lettered in three sports and went to the state track meet. And I knew that her father and her older brother are high school football coaches in Texas, where she's from. But I had no idea what a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader she is, even though she warned me when we first met.
It turns out she can recite statistics all the way back to Tom Landry's early days. And she's met Roger Staubach before. Her parents have season tickets, and she's heading down there in October to attend a game with them. Meanwhile, she's glued to ESPN for the latest news about 'my boys.' All of this is perfectly fine, of course, even charming, but her intensity, especially during a close game, is interesting. And she likes to go to a certain local sports bar, where the guys are crazy about her because she's beautiful and actually understands how the game of football is played. I'm not sure how we wound up together, since I'm not all that into sports. But we have many other things in common, including our area of academic endeavor.
I guess I'm wondering whether this might actually grow into a problem over time. I really like that she's passionate about something, but I'd never have guessed that I would wind up with a woman who's in love with the Dallas Cowboys.
Back-Up: Congratulations, dude, you're the first documented case of a football widower. We've been hearing about football widows for years ' women who spend five months out of the year mourning the deaths of the men they thought they married, women who get so tired of knitting scarves while their husbands are in there having group sex in front of the TV that they finally sign up for a Caribbean cruise featuring the Chippendales dancers, women who don't know their Astroturf from a hole in the ground. Consider the book Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game: A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football, which I haven't read, but why would I? Thirty years ago, the book would have been called Here's Your Beer, Dear: A Woman's Guide to Helping Her Husband Love Pro Football. And it would have included instructions on how to knit a scarf.
You've come a long way, baby ' so long that I should probably explain to my younger readers that 'You've come a long way, baby' was a phrase used in a cigarette ad directed at women back before my dear mother died of lung cancer. But you have come a long way, baby! Or have you? I seem to remember a study done in the mid-'90s where the researchers proved ' to their own satisfaction, anyway ' that the football-widow 'syndrome' wasn't as widespread as everybody thought. (Must have conducted their phone interviews during the off-season.) Regardless, I don't think you really have a problem unless you choose to make it a problem, Back-Up. If the guys at the sports bar start to commit personal fouls, you might want to talk to her, but be sure to bring it up before the game, not during or after. (What if the Cowboys lose?)
Oh, and refer to it as a 'chalk talk.' She'll understand.
Whether you're overdoing it or over doing it, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR E-MAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.