An ode to football widows

By Hunter Ford
“Wrote a song for everyone. Wrote a song for truth. Wrote a song for everyone. When I couldn’t even talk to you.”- John Fogerty

I was going to write a column about how great it is that football season is finally set to begin. Then I thought about my poor wife who is going to be a virtual widow from September until sometime next January.

My wife likes football. She isn’t one of those anti-sports zealots who think obsessive fans are crazy. When my favorite teams win she is genuinely happy for me. Yet, she doesn’t really understand why I get so depressed when the Tide is low or why the Dolphins make me cry.

“It’s just a game,” she might say. “You don’t PLAY for the team! You couldn’t have changed the outcome.”

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My dear wife doesn’t understand why we can’t go to a movie, or spend time together away from a TV set on a Saturday when football is on.

“When we get home you can watch that Sports Center thing and see ALL the scores right?” she might ask. “I mean, if you aren’t going to be at the game, then you could do something else and find out the score later, right?”

My wife is so precious and innocent, isn’t she?

She doesn’t understand why I have to be poised and ready for the kickoff of a particular game. She doesn’t understand why, if we are at the grocery store an hour before the kick,

I am squirming like a worm on a hook checking my watch every 30 seconds.

“The game lasts, what, three hours or something?” she might say. “Come on Hunter! Look there’s a sale on chicken, go over there and grab a couple of packs.”

In this football crazy state we live in, there are some women who are just as insane about football as we men. There are married couples that take RVs to every game and camp out from Wednesday through Sunday at their favorite campus.

There are also some wives who eventually learn to accept their husbands’ mysterious ways.

My sister-in-law is like that. I remember one fall weekend a few years ago. My brother and I were listening to an Alabama game on the radio, and watching the game on TV with the sound off. She thought that was weird, but rolled with the flow. At halftime, Brother and I went to the kitchen. When we came back, Sister-in-Law had turned the radio off and was listening to a CD.

When we came back in the room, Brother and I looked at Sis as if a Tarantula had just crawled out of her nose.

“What are you doing?”

“Well, I just thought ya’ll might want to hear my new CD while you were waiting for the game to come back on.”


Sis has since learned that the halftime show is just as important as the game itself, as is the pre-game show and the post-game show.

My loving, patient and understanding wife wonders sometimes why I have such in depth conversations about football with my brother or my “cousin” Shane. (If Shane’s my cousin, how does that make me related to Finebaum?)

“You never want to talk with me like that about things I’m interested in,” she might say. “Can’t we find something we can like together like that?”

Dearest wife, roses are red and violets are purple, and you are as sweet as maple syrple. I apologize in advance for the trials and tribulations you will endure this football season. And I commend you in advance for your perseverance.

If I could take all the passion and creativity I attempt to put into my sports columns, wrap it up and give it to you, I would. I’ll work on it.

“Dang me, dang me…they ought to take a rope and hang me. High from the highest tree! Woman would you weep for me?”- Roger Miller