How co-parenting and an equal marriage gave me the guilt-free space to be a huge sports fan.
I'm a San Francisco Giants fan. Now, while I might seem the perfect candidate to be that sports guy — that obsessed fan who almost ruins a marriage — I'm not.
1. Keep your relationship equal.
John Keilman wrote this about "the New Man" in the Chicago Tribune:
"The New Man keeps a tidy home. He washes dishes, sweeps floors, and does laundry with nary a peep of complaint. So when he and his buddies destroy a hotel room in Vegas, the missus will have to write it off as an aberration."
Exactly. We're talking about an evolving masculinity here, and our co-parenting lifestyle reflects that. Not that I destroy Vegas hotel rooms, but men can gain a lot from taking on more responsibility.
2. Make time to watch other shows she likes.
It makes no difference that I actually liked America's Next Top Model and Project Runway once upon a time. What matters is that I passed up on many games to watch them. Instant credibility for when it really matters.
You have to pick your battles. And anyway, I would take Tim Gunn over any NFL linebacker in a bar brawl.
3. Understand how important sports are to him.
Not how important the beer and the food is; not how important the flat-screen TV is. No.
She's heard the stories about how I went to Buffalo Bills games in the rain when I was 5. She knows how wrapped up this all gets with my own years playing football and baseball, and blowing my knees out and loving the hard contact.
4. Live outside the sports-crazed United States.
This means that a huge chunk of games are on in the middle of the night. It means that I'm not surrounded by other fans. It gives me ... perspective. Who needs perspective with sports, right? Well, it turns out perspective is good. So a little conscious separation has been good for me.