What Two Teams Are Playing Tonight Monday Night Football A Woman’s True Confession: I Finally Understand the Male Obsession with Football

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A Woman’s True Confession: I Finally Understand the Male Obsession with Football

Football season is here, which means that for the next few weeks – 90% of the US male population will be spending a huge amount of their “free time” watching games on TV (the bigger the screen the better), attending football games (Friday=high school , saturday=college, sunday and monday=pro), and of course every day of the week he will whine,

moaning or crowing about their Fantasy League, uh, sorry, in most cases – make that Fantasy League… because you can’t seem to join just one.

Now I grew up in a female dominated home – 3 females (mom, me and my sister) and one male (dad, unless you count the dog… but he tended to be loyal to the person with the food in hand), and I have to admit, we tended to make Dad as miserable as possible because of his “obsession” with football. We squealed and heckled every time he tried to watch the game and sooner or later he would usually give up and let us watch “girl stuff”.

My first husband was never a big sports fan, so for most of my adulthood my exposure to football was minimal, but fast forward a few decades – new husband, new life…new lifestyle.

And suddenly I find myself in the middle of a VERY sports-oriented family – with a special emphasis on football. So, for the first time in my life, I found myself attending Friday night high school games, cheering for my stepson as he ran up and down the field, screaming at the refs even though I wasn’t always entirely sure WHY I was screaming but hey! you really get caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment.

In 3 years, I didn’t miss a single game, in rain and snow, I got together and cheered the team on, sometimes to victory and sometimes to defeat. I grew to understand the game and enjoyed being a fan with every game. I clapped as the team came to the home side after every win and sang their fight song, and endured the long, silent drives home when they lost.

But – I never really understood the “obsession” until my stepson’s last high school game.

The game was over, the weather was cold and rainy, the song was over, and the seniors returned to the field for the last time, helmets in hand. They stood there, silent, exchanging hugs and pats on the back, and one by one, they got down on one knee and just looked around, as the lights went out around the stadium.

The silence was deafening – and the emotion overpowering.

Most of these boys have played soccer together since they were 9 years old, training and playing as a team for long months each year, sharing bumps, bruises and injuries, big wins and bigger losses, developing a camaraderie that few women will ever experience.

And now suddenly – it was over. Most guys would never put on pads and uniforms again, never be a part of that team spirit again. If you play baseball – you can play some form of it for the rest of your life, but football for most men is over with that last Friday night game in high school.

And so the obsession with all things football is born – it’s a constant quest to recapture even just a small part of that high school team experience, the closeness, the camaraderie that made it all worthwhile.

In just a few brief moments that night, I suddenly realized the deep chasm left in these young men’s lives, the sudden emptiness in their hearts, and I felt a sadness for a loss I could never truly comprehend.

My stepson was lucky – now he’s playing college on Saturday, so the “last game” is a bit delayed. I still don’t share the same enthusiasm for weekend soccer marathons as my husband and his two sons – but at least it’s easier for me to understand their passion/obsession, and that goes a long way to a peaceful, happy weekend at home.

Of course, having more than one TV helped…

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