Copyright © 2006, 2007 by Diana Estill
During football season, throngs of men thrive on nachos and “brewskis” and intentionally ignore their best interests—their wives. For football widows like me, this period can be frustrating. So I thought I’d offer a few sports definitions to encourage better marital communications. Both parties need to understand football terminology.
“Okay. The white lines mark yardage, but what’s that yellow line?” I asked recently. I pretended to be engrossed in a televised football game.
My husband snapped, “It shows how far they have to go to make the first down.” His tone revealed his irritation and the extent to which I’d interrupted his thoughts.
For a second, I considered his explanation. Surely the distance needed to make a first down changed with each play. Maybe he’d only half heard my question. After all, the TV camera operator had zoomed in on a bouncing set of mammary glands right about then. “Well, how do they get someone down onto the field to paint it so fast?” I pressed.
Anyway, if someone (I won’t say whom) had better communications skills, I might have understood that the yellow line was only a digital enhancement! It distorts the real image, kind of like those camera filters they use to video cheerleaders’ thighs. (You’d never suspect those are the same gals who do the Dove ads, now would you?)
But I’ve digressed.
For those like me, people whose partners are incapable of breaking down football to its lowest form, let me define a few basics.
Football game—A game of physical challenge in which two groups outfit themselves to look like they’ve tripled their normal body bulk. Opposing team members, who hurl themselves at each other, pretend the fate of civilization hinges upon the control of an inflated piece of pigskin.
My team—Unless your partner has just returned from a corporate training event, “my team” refers to an imaginary assembly of football players who are either coached or quarterbacked by your mate. (Note: a precursor to “Fantasy Football”)
We won—During football season “we” can mean “yes,” sort of like it does in French. When your partner says, “We won!” you can pretty much interpret this to mean “yes” to anything you want for the rest of that day. (Important Exception: “We lost” carries the opposite meaning of “yes.” In fact, this phrase can suggest a number of performance issues for men—both on- and off-screen.)
Game Day—The best day of the week to shop, especially when your spouse shouts “We won!”
What? Are you Blind?—A phrase yelled to no one in particular in an effort to displace latent authority issues. Typically, this habit is accompanied by a violation of some
sort—most often to your eardrums.
Football pot—1. A seasonal expansion of girth or, 2. The elusive explanation for where your food budget monies have been disappearing.
Halftime—The sports-altered time frame in which all meals must be served even if this means sitting down for dinner at 4:00 p.m. Also the quantitative measurement used to compare the pace of meal consumption during football season to otherwise normal eating habits.
Fourth and One—A period of seconds preceding either an eruptive scream of jubilation or a dangerous time for house pets.
Hel-lo! —An expression that indicates your guy is sharing a virtual moment with the woman of his dreams. As in, he’s pretending that if he could meet the half-nude cheerleader on the screen she might actually make eye contact with him. This presents the ideal time to mention that bald spot on the back of your fellow’s head. Don’t worry. He won’t get mad because you already lost him at “Hello.”
In some small way, I hope this has been helpful.
Diana Estill is the author of Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road: Humorous Views on Love, Lust, & Lawn Care, (Brown Books), from which this story was excerpted. Her book is available in bookstores and online.
(Watch the book trailer video on YouTube.com.)