Loving A Man Who Really Loves Sports (When You Don’t)
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Okay, so maybe it’s easy to get excited about the super bowl. I mean it is the biggest football game of the year. Some might say the largest sporting event of the year next to the World Series, world cup and Stanley cup. The super bowl is so big that when anything else is considered important it is called the super bowl of said event. So we get it. It’s huge! But what happens when maybe you are not that into football or any given sport for that matter but your significant other is? What do you do if they are a super fan and you don’t get all the hype? Well, don’t worry about it. I got you covered in four easy things you can do when you’re in love with a super fan.

1. Do you!
It’s important to show interest and support however it comes naturally to you. Let’s face it, some of us like to shop, and by some of us I mean me. I like to shop. So when I realized my then boyfriend (now husband) has been a crazy, ridiculous Carolina Panthers fan since he was a kid, I took to the NFL store in a big way. This was a few years back and players change often so maybe buying jerseys wasn’t my smartest move. But the look on his face the first time I sat next to him wearing his favorite team’s jersey was priceless (in a good way), especially because he knew I had very little knowledge of the sport. Sure, I could have cooked or tried to make something but then we would have all been in trouble. For me, the jersey was the safer bet.

2. Celebrate their love of the sport!
At our house, I find little ways to incorporate my husband’s love of the Carolina Panthers into our daily life. On a trip to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina one year, I stocked up on holiday panthers gear so we’d have it wherever we were stationed. During Christmas, he and our youngest son would wear their teal santa hats and I’d hang our black panthers football ornaments on the tree. For his birthday, I always order a panthers cake from the bakery and he wears various teal and black items throughout the year. It doesn’t take that much effort or time, but the fan in your life knows how much you care about them by the little things you can do off-season.

3. Compromise, compromise, compromise!
At one point I collected expensive Betty Boop collectibles. I’d been a collector since my teens. My friends used to ask what happens when you get married assuming no man would ever want to live with such items and they probably were right. But the truth is not every woman fantasizes about living in a house decked out in hockey gear or football paraphernalia either regardless of how valuable it is or how tidy it is thought to be kept. The saying is true one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So it’s important to allow your loved one a space to display those items that are special to them.  In our house the office is where the gear is and a Carolina Panthers front door mat. It doesn’t quite go with the décor but people know as soon as they step inside a panthers fan lives there. Plus it’s a long hallway and not much goes on there right now anyway.

4. Don’t fake it!
Listen, if football or any sport is not your thing don’t try to make it your thing. I think this is just plain common sense. You won’t gain anything in your relationship by being fake and phony. If you lack a general understanding I’m sure your partner will be glad to help you but if you are simply uninterested don’t waste their time. Or yours. Everything is not for everyone and it’s not supposed to be. I’ve not yet met a fan of any sport that would not relish uninterrupted time without their partner. So if you don’t want no parts of the sport I’m sure there’s no loss there. The sooner you are honest about this with yourself and your partner the better. Take the time and do something you like. Meet up after the game and enjoy!

Sharisse Tracey is a writer, educator, counselor, mother of four and military spouse. Her work appears in print and online. Sharisse Tracey’s family is stationed in upstate New York where she’s currently working on a memoir, In Spite Of. Follow her @SharisseTracey.

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