‘Tis the season. No, not that season….

For those of you who read my blog and are not related or close personal friends, I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve been (fairly) happily married for twenty-three years.

My husband watches football.

He also does other things. He works. He’s an IT guy. He used to be just a geek until somebody figured out that computers DO in fact run the world, so now he’s an IT guy. He must be good at his job because he will get phone calls at three in the morning from some other IT guy in Belgium who is sure that my husband is the only person in the world who can help him fix a problem. Even though it is three in the morning. And my husband is home rather than in the office.

All IT guys are NOT created equal.

My husband is named Gene, by the way. He’s also a father, all-round family man, raker of leaves and doer of other husband-type chores. He does his own laundry.

Pretty good, huh?

And he watches football.

He also watches baseball, but baseball games are several nights a week, so it seems like there’s ALWAYS a baseball game on, from April until some vague date in October when the play-offs suddenly do or do not matter.

Football, it seems, is more of an event. The games are on Sunday, often two or three in a row, so it’s possible to start watching a game in bright sunlight and emerge from the ManCave after the last play in total darkness.

Yes, he has a ManCave. We started calling it that well before it became a well-used phrase. The Man Cave is the lower level of our house, nice Pergo floors, but with dark wood paneling that screams 1978, as well as pseudo- rustic trim and a fireplace of fake stone you could roast a fake ox in.

I keep wanting to redecorate, but have met resistance. Apparently painting the walls a nice medium taupe will damage the ‘Cave’ aspect of the ManCave. I’m trying to find an angle, but this one is tough.

The ManCave is home to a large screen HD TV (3D over my dead body) an elaborate surround-sound system, a leather recliner and a prized collection of beer mugs and Bobble-heads. It’s where Gene watches football. Often, Gene’s brother, Gary, comes over. Gary is another lovely man who watches football. Which, at my house at least, is in itself a team sport.

They yell a lot. They also tend to swear a lot. They advise the coach. At concert pitch. In fact, I often wonder how the coach does NOT hear them. They are also rather critical of certain players, what they do, how they do it, and who they’re doing it to. And then they make suggestions about what they can do instead, even though, to someone like me who knows nothing about football, the suggestions sound anatomically improbable.

Maybe it’s because they’re Jets fans. For anyone who is not a Jets fan – boy, are you lucky! The Jets are the kind of team that you think somebody somewhere would throw a game or two their way out of pity. The Jets have not won a Super Bowl game in a really long time. It’s frustrating for the fans. I imagine it’s frustrating for the team as well, but at least they’re getting paid. Gene and Gary experience every play, groan on every tackle, analyze each miss-step, and they aren’t getting a red cent.

This year, it looks like things could turn around. Of course, I hear that every year. And to be truthful, both Gene and Gary are pretty realistic about their team. In fact, if the Jets are winning, say, 178 to 3 and there’s less than two minutes to play, Gary will sigh and say with complete confidence “They can still lose”.

But this year…there’s something going on with New England that I will never understand, and then there’s the NY Giants ( hey, they’re a New York team, and they seem to win a few, so why can’t you root for them?). There’s a Wild Card, and the play-offs, then more play-offs, or is that just baseball? And that East-West thing – is that just baseball too? So this year…maybe…

…maybe the IT guy in Belgium can explain it to me.