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It’s that time of year again. NFL teams are already engaging in preseason battles...skirmishes…spats. In the college ranks, young men are trading in long summer nights playing Xbox for early mornings filled with wind sprints and the dry crunch of shoulder pads. High school players, eyes gleaming with dreams of glory, have begun strapping up and learning what exactly a chinstrap is good for.
Yes, football season is here. In light of that, I thought I would take this opportunity to share five reasons you might want the season to end before it starts:
1. Wrist Fatigue/Injuries
Fantasy football is great, but there is a lot of mouse-clicking involved. Whether it’s plying for a blockbuster trade, digging up a free agent quarterback during Aaron Rodger’s bye week, or analyzing the Raider’s weekly matchup to determine whether or not to play their third-string wide receiver in your open Flex slot, the pressure of dominating a fantasy football league can take a toll on a man’s tickling wrists.
Sure, maybe there’s a good wrist-strengthening workout that will afford a dad with ample strength for both clicking and tickling. But modern day toddlers and preschoolers wait for no man–or his workout regimen–when it comes to playtime.
Again, fantasy football is great. But there is no rest for a Tickle Monster.
2. Weekend Widower
On the matter of family obligations, why does my wife disappear every weekend during the football season? As a loving husband and father, I really enjoy bonding together as a family over a football game. But on weekends during the football season my wife is constantly sneaking into the kitchen and only coming out to distribute tasty morsels of food.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was trying to fatten me up in order to sacrifice me to the ravenous children whenever bedtime rolls around…
3. Weight Gain
Speaking of rolls, does anyone else find it nearly impossible to maintain their summer beach body once football starts back up? I’m all for a good football party and a little community-driven, food-centric indulgence, but it begs the question: Does every dish have to be either fried or covered/stuffed with cheese?
Yes. Yes they do. It’s a delicious way to prepare food. And I’m pretty sure a lot of those recipes are God-inspired.
But God has also asked me to take care of my body, so I can better serve Him and my family (and maybe stick around to teach my son how to throw a football), and this is a difficult task during football season when the backyard chefs of the world are conspiring to stuff me full of buffalo wings, fried cheese, and an overabundance of pigs-in-a-blanket.
4. Emotional Distress
It’s hard not to wonder if serious emotional complexes can be developed from simply being a football fan. The highs and lows of our favorite team’s season often prove to be nothing short of an emotionally exhausting roller coaster. This goes double for fans of the NY Jets and the Dallas Cowboys. (Thank goodness I was born in Cheesehead Country.)
I know it’s healthy for dads to be emotionally honest with their kids in the right circumstances. But no child should have to see his grown father sobbing into a couch cushion–or biting said cushion–just because another grown man kicked an oblong ball a little too far to the right (or way too far to the left, either way).
The extra healthcare costs for over-indulging in the food are high enough.
5. False Idols
Let’s be honest about something else here. It is way too easy to make football (or other activities/hobbies of your own choosing) an idol. Sure, I could try to over-stretch the point and make a pithy comment about how the Lombardi Trophy kind of looks like it could be an actual idol, but that’d just be covering over an actual problem that needs addressing.
I won’t draw this one out. Most of us know when passion and excitement go too far and become unhealthy. So get painted up, eat a lot of food, and cheer loudly when your team does well. Just remember to do the same and more for your own family. Be their biggest fan. Throw blocks for your wife when you get home from work and the kids are hanging on her legs.
Or something like that. I never said I was great at sports analogies.
If there is one thing I hope you gain from this list, it’s that it is okay to appreciate the blessed art of football and the good things it can add to our family time.
If there are two things you gain from this list, I hope the second one is a cheerful admonition to be sure to strike a healthy balance between football and family this fall.
Jake Roberson (@jake_roberson) is a contributor for Dad Matters and a specialist in our Family Help Center at Focus on the Family.
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