Tales Of A Football Fan—And His Wife


How does a woman understand her husband's passion for football? The shoe metaphor.

Part I. by James W. Powell

My wife doesn't understand the pain I'm suffering. I can tell by the way she's looking at me—tilting her head and studying me as if I were an extraterrestrial. I'm lying in bed next to her with the lights on, staring at the ceiling fan, my mind racing with What Ifs and Shoulda Woulda Couldas.


There's comforting concern in her eyes, but there's bafflement in there, too. "I don't understand why you're so upset," she says, reaching out to caress my shoulder.

I take a deep breath and sigh yet again. The wound is too fresh. I'm not sure I can open up to her. And honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever recover. It still hurts to think of that 4th and 26 from three years ago.

God, why did I have to think of that again? Not now. Please, not now. The Green Bay Packers just lost the NFC Championship, so of course all the past disasters and missed opportunities are surfacing again. But how could the Packers lose this one? The championship. At home. To the New York Giants. In overtime.

Oh God, just put me out of my misery. "It's not every year my team gets this far," I finally say, trying to make her understand. "I'll be lucky to see the Packers this deep into the playoffs before I'm 40."She doesn't respond.

"I was just hoping they'd get a chance to win the Super Bowl one last time —especially before Favre retires."

She stares at me. I can tell she still has no idea what I'm talking about. I try again, pushing through the pain.

"You know when you were a kid, and you had a best friend in school?" Again with the blank stare. "Remember being inseparable? You talked everyday, played during recess, went everywhere together. You wouldn't dream of doing anything without each other?"

Stephanie answers me only with her eyes, but I can tell she's intent on learning what it's like to support a team so strongly. How To Manage His Love Of Football