The temperatures were warm last weekend, a final farewell as the official end of the summer, but we had to close all the windows.
Why? Because it’s football season and the Carpenter’s language was about as colourful as the logo of his favourite NFL football team. I was worried neighbourhood children would be afraid of the screaming man in our house. It’s funny, but loud. Sorry neighbours.
At least the kids and I get advance notice of the hysterics hours before the Carpenter settles into his couch coaching position. It’s really more of a warning than a courtesy. It’s delivered as the Carpenter’s Sunday decree: the Seattle Seahawks game will be televised at 4pm and for the duration of the game, he will be unavailable for comment, except, of course, for the vocal cheers and jeers directed at the TV.
Carving out his personal space and time, dressed head to toe in Seahawks gear, the kids and I know that we cannot do the following: ask him a question, expect an answer (if we forget rule #1), attempt to engage him in dialogue, require assistance with mundane tasks, or offer criticism of his team as we casually tote the laundry hamper from one floor of the house to the other – because, you know, laundry still needs folding.
Nobody asks the Carpenter to multi-task if Russell Wilson is on the field. In fact, it’s best we clear any inanimate objects from the living room, because my husband is an animated football fan and while harmless and humourous, anything of value within a certain radius should be removed. He is prone to sudden movements, limbs flailing in an acrobatic array of jumping, air fighting and a touchdown dance that is, well, uncomfortable to watch. So we don’t watch. Even the dog leaves the room.
Sometimes, more out of compassion than actual concern, I inquire about the score of the game. I’m just looking for numbers, not the actual game play rundown. I get the latter. I blink a lot. It’s like he’s speaking a foreign language. Yards. Fouls. Downs. Plays. Flags. There is a logic I am missing. For a moment, I am completely enamored by his enthusiastic passion for the game. It’s adorable. But then, the moment passes and I realize I’m not getting the television for three more hours. Love is a fickle game. Football is not.
I do like watching Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pace and chew his gum with an intimidating enthusiasm, like a cougar with a penchant for positive dental hygiene. Maybe I should get the Carpenter some gum, a clipboard and give him lots of space to pace too. Surely the Seahawks would benefit from two coaches. I’m confident that if they just listened to strategic plays called by the Carpenter from his post on the couch the whole game would shift in their favour (cough).
I tease my husband, but the truth is, football is one of the only ways the Carpenter really kicks back and relaxes. I know he deserves this time to escape from the pressures of work, home and laundry; a chance to leave all his frustrations out on the field, so to speak. A true fan. The ultimate spectator. A good guy.
And the touchdown dance? All I can say is, love is blind.