For women, it seems like even after we find a man to coast in our heart’s deepest ocean, the thought of smooth sailing is coupled by a few unnecessary tidal waves. For starters, you already have to compete with his friends to be in the running for some of his time on Friday night. If he hearts his mother the way we ladies do ours, then you already know you’ve got big shoes to fill and even higher expectations. He probably loves his car just a smidgen more than he should ever admit to, and if he has children from a previous relationship, you’d be lucky if there wasn’t some baby mama drama blocking the corridors to your happiness. So what could be worse? Everyone has a little baggage, right?
The only thing that could topple any minor or easily adaptable issue is if apart from those tolerable problems, he is consumed by something more demanding, something gripping, such as… an addiction.
Addiction is the perfect enemy that disrupts the makings of a beautiful relationship. They’re all packaged differently, but emit the same troublesome energy. Some men are addicted to themselves; you can simply call that Narcissism. Some men want to “Blame it on the Goose”; back in the 1800’s they coined that term as Alcoholism. Some men are addicted to other women, nowadays they call it sex addiction, but I’ll always refer to it as a Trifling Man Cheating (TMC).
But not every mistress in your relationship is as clearly outlined as the Graphblack hue dripping from your freshly applied MAC eyeliner. Sometimes a man’s addiction isn’t the precursor to an ultimatum or the shadow in the ink drying on your Dear John Letter. Sometimes the mistress is more annoying rather than heartbreaking. Sometimes our men are in a private affair with a mistress you can’t get rid of, known to most as SportsCenter.
The home to everything sports related residing at an address somewhere near you. From basketball to curling, then on to track and field, mix in a little gymnastics, and maybe even the cheerleading championships right before the start of The Worlds Strongest Man Competition. No matter the sport or time of day, if your man is an addict, he’s locked in and happy, leaving you left by the wayside like a benched player waiting for an injury so he can get in.
I dated a man once who told me the only relevant news to him were the headlines that were lucky enough to catch his attention as they scrolled across the bottom of the screen on SportsCenter. Yes, he actually said that. Now had I known of his obsession prior to the moment he roped me in, I may’ve ran from his advances and sought solace from someone else, maybe a Star Trek fan. (That’d lead to a whole other set of problems, really.)
I saw the little signs in the beginning red-flagging him as an ESPN junkie but I thought nothing of it. Most men like sports, so it’s only natural that you sit back coolly and watch them exercise that necessity, right? Yes, all up until the day it begins to interfere with your happiness in that equal partnership. The day I received football tickets as my 27th birthday gift, when he knew I disliked football, was the day his affair had become an open problem.
Dudes, how many times can you watch the same highlights, reread the same scores, or watch Stuart Scott mutter off the same endless headlines?
When a woman repeats herself relentlessly, men call that nagging. But on the other hand, when SportsCenter replays every couple hours, men are right in front of the TV screen entranced by the same information. Madness. I still have yet to understand the big hype about ESPN or SportsCenter, but when it comes to detecting if it’s in fact your man’s mistress, I’ve got the perfect clues to help you read into that possibility. Game On.
His idea of a date night is hanging out in a sports bar or attending a sporting event.
What ever happened to a stroll in the park or dinner and a movie? When your man starts trading romantic outings for front row seats to a Lakers game, you need to pay close attention. If he has you hanging out at ESPN Zone, so he can flirt with the scoreboards in between beating you in foosball, then you have a genuine problem. In the beginning you may not see a reason to complain, because as women we like to show support for our men’s interests. Don’t be fooled though ladies. Him taking you to a sporting event, when he could be riding there with his friends, is a selfish venture perpetrating as a moment of “togetherness.” It appears like he’s doing something nice for you by sporting you on his arm, but ultimately he’s only using your needs as a bridge to feed his own addiction.
He wants to huddle or use a chalkboard during discussions.
It’s bad enough he uses his hands like a game of charades to relay phone messages or tell you how his day was. But if you have to decode the grocery list from a play by play chart outlined on a drawn map of the Supermarket, you don’t need me to tell you that dude’s got a major problem. Also: Steer clear of the huddles. Yeah, he seems like his coming in close to give you that sense of male security, but all that arm over arm action coupled by aggressive shouting, is not him showing you he cares, rather he’s preparing you for another day in his crazy arena. “Break!”
All his Ringtones are well known sports anthems.
You already suffer through the theme to SportsCenter every time the TV is turned towards ESPN, but why when his mom calls to check on her “baby” do you have to relive the same horror over and over again. Don’t forget the sleeper hits that at first listen seem like innocent ringtones. After sitting through enough half-time shows and sporting events you’ll quickly discern their major significance. Crowd Anthems, songs used to rile up the audience and stir emotions. Even to those faithful fans peering at a game through a 13” TV screen, these jams still have that heartfelt meaning. To them, these anthems are probably more important then what was playing on the radio when he gave you your first kiss. Get acquainted with a few:
* The Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get It Started
* Queen, We Will Rock You
* Baha Men, Who Let the Dog’s Out
* Prince, Let’s Go Crazy
* Kevin Rudolf, Let it Rock
His idea of meaningful conversation is discussing draft picks and rookie stats.
So what, Brett Favre may be getting picked up by the Minnesota Vikings. Check this out: Yesterday when I was bringing the garbage out to the dumpster, I discovered an alien spaceship docking right underneath our window. Amazing? Naw, what’s amazing is that since I wasn’t talking about sports I don’t think dude really heard me. Shame. If you’re not talking about Manny Ramirez, Lebron James or Tiger Woods, dude is probably tuning you out until you get to the part about final scores and rankings. Yeah, you may have stubbed your toe at work today, but if you want him to feel your pain then you need to bait it with something sports related. Try this, “Baby, I hurt my toe just like Li Xiaopeng the gymnast did right before he competed in the 2008 Olympics.” When even the mere mention of a sport like gymnastics is enough to make his ears perk up and immediately become attentive, then dude is seconds away from needing a 12-step program.
When they watch SportsCenter during intimacy.
Whatever happened to baby making music? Can someone switch my iPod onto some Maxwell of Luther Vandross please, or is that like asking for a small miracle? If the radio left the bedroom long time ago and was quickly replaced by a 50 inch Plasma screen TV with a surround sound system blaring ESPN, then your sex life has slid way past the edge of reason. Expect timeouts, interferences, fouls and possibly some traveling. When he’s driving it to the hole, he’s probably following the lead of Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant, if he’s secretly watching while he’s supposed to be… working. So, if your man needs to hesitate when it comes to love making, or schedule it in around half-time or commercials, then you need to hide the cable bill or unplug the television. His love for SportsCenter is overtaking the lovemaking that should be going on in your bedroom. Timeout.
His Homepage on his computer is set to ESPN.com
As if he didn’t just turn from that dreaded channel before he got up from the television screen, yet now he’s in front of his computer looking at the same information. Zombies. Note: Don’t assume it just ends at his desktop computer, ladies. Check his Internet Homepage on his cellular phone. I’m certain he’s locked in even when he’s just walking to the corner store.
Please feel free to add to the list Clutchettes and Gents, and if anyone has the answer as to what the hype about SportsCenter really is… dish it