Ok guys, it’s that time of the year again! Break out the cold drinks, chips, remote control , and the la-z-boy because it’s football season! My favorite sport to watch all year is NFL football, and I get so excited when September comes around…as I know many of you men do too. Even though I love it, and even though I cheer for my Falcons, Eagles, and Yellow Jackets, I believe there is a hidden downside that many people don’t recognize, and often don’t choose to care about.
Just like eating warm Krispy Kreme donuts, watching football can be a lot of fun. However, if you don’t show restraint in how much you consume, you may find yourself dealing with other side effects that you didn’t want. What I’m talking about is balance in life. Let’s picture a guy who is WAY into his football watching. Saturday, college football is on TV all day long. Sunday, NFL is on all day long. And of course, he can’t miss the Monday night game. And oh…this week there is a Thursday game too. Plus, don’t forget about all the ESPN update shows in the middle that analyze what’s happened and is going to happen. Realistically, this can very easily add up to 25-30 hours of football watching per week! So, outside of work, sleeping, commuting, and watching football, how much time is this guy devoting to meaningful conversation or activities with his wife and kids? Probably not much…because there is not much left.
Now, most of you probably aren’t like this guy. But, still I would venture a guess that MANY guys reading this will watch 1 maybe 2 games on a Saturday, 1 maybe 2 games on a Sunday, and maybe one more during the week. That’s easily somewhere between 10 and 20 hours per week. Again the question is…how much time is left for the family?
Now, don’t think I’m against football because I’m not. Often I end up watching a LOT just because it’s there, and I love it. Julia always rejoices though when February comes around and there is no more to watch. Even if she’s partially joking about celebrating it being over, that means some part of her feels neglected during that time…and I hate that. I think actions sometimes say something that we would never put into words. And if I’m being honest, there are some weeks where my actions have spoken loud and clear to Julia telling her that I love football more than her. And for me…that’s just not acceptable.
So, here’s my plan that I try to go by… On any given day, I pick out which game I am most interested in and ONLY watch that one. If she’s going to be gone, maybe I’ll watch more. Or, if she’s going out that night, maybe I’ll TIVO a game and watch it when she leaves. And I try to make a point of spending time with her and Eli whenever I can.
My challenge to you:
If you love watching football, think about how much time you spend doing it. Think about what message it sends to your wife. And evaluate if you need to change something up. Remember what is important! At the end of your life, are you more likely to think back and wish that you spent MORE time watching football? Or are you more likely to wish you spent more quality time with your wife and kids?