Today is a very important day in the Nickels Household. Preparations have been made weeks in advance for just this very day. The venue has been set and reserved. Proper supplies have been arranged, and in cases flown in, then conveniently situated in order to minimize cessation of said activities in addition to minimizing the main participant’s movement while this particular event takes place. It’s a yearly event so colossal that it takes on an almost religious significance to its arrival.
I am, of course, talking about the season primer of Monday Night Football. Yes, Monday Night Football. That great American Football institution that where for the next approximately three and a half hours, I sit in my comfortable recliner, wolf down massive amounts of whatever food Mrs. Nickels prepares for this testosterone fest, and yell at the flat screen over some bonehead play or vicious hit while consuming copious amounts of beverages far too many to list in this limited space.
When Monday Night Football is on, I am not. Now, the previous sentence may seem a little confusing, but allow me to explain. When I am watching the game on Monday Night, it means Dad (yours truly) is not available for anything. Now, just in case you missed the significance of the previous stringing of words into a cohesive line of thought, let me reiterate. When Dad, (Moi) is watching Monday Night Football I AM NOT AVAILABLE FOR ANYTHING!
Are we on the same page here?
If you need a ride to the mall? Too Bad. You don’t call me after 5:30 when the game starts because I won’t answer my phone. If your text isn’t football related to things like “Did you see that?” to which I will reply “What do you think?” it isn’t even going to be acknowledged My mother-in-law has fallen and can’t get up? Wait till half time, then, depending if the highlight show is any good, maybe we can make an appointment for some future date to bury the body after the game. I don’t care if it’s a PTA meeting, Parent/Teacher Conference, someone requiring CPR, 4 alarm fire, even if one of my kids gets cut and needs to go to the hospital (their mom can cover that), there is nothing short of the second coming of Christ Himself that is going to get me out of that chair, and move me from my food, drink and away from that game.
Now, before you all get your panties in a collective bunch, allow me to let me you all in on a little secret: My family (Wife, kids, grandkids and even members of my church) know this about me and realize that this is a non-negotiable part of my life. I am usually available to everybody about 97% of the time during the rest of the year. But when it comes to Monday Night Football and/or The Super Bowl, it’s Dad time.
Mrs. Nickels is all on board with me when it comes to Monday Night Football and/or The Super Bowl. I once overheard her tell a friend when asked why she puts up with my zoning out of the world during game time and her response was classic “Because I love him and it makes him happy.”
And that, my friends, is how it should be.
See, when you love someone, you look for those little things in life that bring a smile to their face. It’s the smile of them enjoying what you’ve either publicly or covertly done for them that makes it all worthwhile. Even if what that person enjoys would make people who are in the upper echelons of Mensa say “Got me why he likes it”
But Mrs. Nickels understands.
She knows that I am a big kid (with a huge vocabulary and even bigger attitude) at heart. She knows that I love watching football. She knows I get all crazy when I watch the games. She knows I do things like: Yell at the Refs for a bad call against my beloved Cowboys (any call against my beloved Cowboys is a bad call). Or maybe ask very loud and rhetorical questions of “It’s 3 and 15 and you run a draw play? Listen, guys, the white lines on the side are the out of bounce markers, not stuff you snort and make bad decisions with!” Then there is always the time where I will look towards the ever expanding universe and asking the non-existent football gods the following: “Who in their right mind schedules a feminine hygiene commercial during the last two minutes before halftime?”
But the things she knows the most is that I am in my element of testosterone bliss and having the time of my life. Which, because she loves me, makes her smile. And when I can look over in a flash of non-football related coherency and see the love of my life sitting on the couch, casually reading her tablet, next to my chair with a little smile on her lovely face, I can realize that all is right with the world.
That is until the Ref makes another boneheaded call against my beloved Cowboys.