Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Peace With Football

The Celtic Peace Knot:
 Symbolizes peace within oneself & peace in one’s relationships with others

I’ve lived in Steelers Country all my life, and from the time I was born until my dad left when I was about nine, football—the Steelers—was not a priority in our household, or to my dad. He has always been the type of man who places family above everything else. My maternal grandmother told me once, “If you ever wanted to find Kenny, all you had to do was find you kids”. 

When my bio-mother remarried, the situation changed dramatically—in more ways than one, but we’ll just stick with football for this story. My step-father was a HUGE football fan and the Steelers were his FAVORITE team. He NEVER missed a game and we kids were REQUIRED to put OUR lives on hold for his sacred ritual.

 I vividly remember one game, when I had a friend over, and we were apparently not quiet enough and my step-father had a fit and hollered at me; embarrassing the hell out of me. I couldn’t help but think, My dad never treated me like that over a stupid football game! I believe it was THEN that my hatred for anything football began. After all it was a GAME. A game with people he didn’t even know. I was a flesh and blood person living under the SAME roof! Someone he supposedly cared for! I swore THEN that I would be like MY dad and NEVER put a damn sports game before my children and I vowed to never learn a damn thing about stupid football (to this day I know what a touch-down is, but dont start talking first and tens, etc., because you will sound like a Chinese-speaking person to me).

Years later I met my boy-friend (my now husband). Lo and behold he and his seven siblings were HUGE Steelers fans (yippee). I made it perfectly clear that I did NOT like professional sports, especially the Steelers. He made it perfectly clear that he DID and he WOULD watch the Steelers. It was a full-blown Mexican stand-off.

For years he sat in-front of the TV with his eyes glued to the set ignoring me. Our lives were on hold Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings; something that ticked me off to no living end. To compensate, I shopped, and shopped, and shopped. Being a football widow was NO fun and the shopping didn’t fill the void either. 

Over the years, with maturing and therapy for my dysfunctional childhood, I learned that I NEEDED to let go of my past and I had to forgive. My step-father had been a raging alcoholic who said and did things that caused me pain and there was nothing that would change that. I couldncontinue carrying around baggage due to HIS shame and HIS dysfunction. I also couldnt think football was the great evil anymore. I didn’t like it; I didn’t have to, but I DID have to come to terms with it. I stopped “football” shopping and began filling my time with more creative, constructive endeavors. I stopped bitching about Sunday/Monday football games and began joking about it rather than being so defensive about it and even began calling it “Stupid Ball”. It’s now a running joke in our home. 

I began encouraging my husband to attend Stupid Ball parties; however, I stayed home, reveling in the solitude of having the house to myself! Then I began to notice that my husband wasn’t as adamant about Stupid Ball. If I was going out, he would ask if I wanted him to accompany me! When I mentioned that a Stupid Ball game was on, he would say something like, They aren’t playing very well this season or, It’s okay, I can watch recaps on ESPN (Everything Stupid Playing Now). I thought to myself, WHAT happened? 

Well, what happened was, I STOPPED trying to control HIM and he came around. Not that that was my plan, because it wasn’t. He still watches Stupid Ball but not nearly as much as he used to and if there are other activities going on, he’ll pass on the Stupid Ball game to participate. What’s nice is, HE has HIS thing and I have MINE and we do them if and when we want.

Our pasts have a way of influencing us, good and not-so good. Our not-so good past experiences can interfere with our futures, if we permit them. One of the most important lessons I learned is knowing WHERE my thoughts and feelings stem from. Once I know THAT, I can forge ahead with the SAME actions; business as usual, or I can CHANGE. I can accept the SAME thought process and feelings; or I can change, if my thoughts and emotions are causing me undue stress and pain. 

In this case, my actions, thoughts and feelings were causing me too much anxiety and grief. I NEEDED to change. I had to let go so that I could move on and enjoy life to the fullest extent possible. I OWED myself that. 

I still don’t like sports. I have NEVER watched a Stupid Ball game, Super or otherwise, and I don’t intend to, although I make it a habit never to say never. I am willing to permit others to be who they are and enjoy what they like and I expect them to permit me to be ME and enjoy what I like; it’s called respect. 

 But if you want peace and quiet while watching your Stupid Ball game— watch it in your own house!



  1. Stupid Ball is Greek to me! Just sayin'.

    1. Bubbe, I thought I was the only one on the planet! ;-)

  2. Wonderful post, Pamela!

    And it's so ironic you mentioned....

    "One of the most important lessons I learned is knowing WHERE my thoughts and feelings stem from. Once I know THAT, I can forge ahead with the SAME actions; business as usual, or I can CHANGE."

    ...because I just this minute got home from having dinner with a friend who is a Life Coach, and she and I were talking about the SAME THING, I kid you not!!!! It's true, once we know WHERE are thoughts and feelings stem from, we can forge ahead and either change them, or continue with SAME actions.

    It's funny how things that happened to us in our childhood carry over into our adulthood and stay planted in our souls; affecting how we live NOW.

    I also like how you shared....

    "What’s nice is, HE has HIS thing and I have MINE and we do them if and when we want."

    I think that's so important in relationships to have your 'own thing' separate from one another because it keeps us our 'own person.'

    Yup, I too am not a sports fan; never have been.

    "ESPN (Everything Stupid Playing Now)"

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha! HILARIOUS!!!!

    Thanks for sharing this post, dear lady. Enjoyed!

    1. Ron, with all the reading I've done, and still do, on self-healing, etc., I could be a "Life Coach"! But I'll just stick with coaching myself! ;-)

      I too feel it's very important for couples to have their own interests and also shared ones. It's crucial not to lose yourself in the other person.

      So, you like my ESPN-- Everything Stupid Playing Now! I made that up all by MYSELF!

  3. Football?? Not me. Sometimes I will sit with the guys while they watch, but I will be on my laptop or reading. Now...baseball? That's a different story. My Guys tell me to stop yelling and carrying on when I am watching the Cubs. No way.

    1. My Guys tell me to stop yelling and carrying on when I am watching the Cubs.

      Mo, you go girl! Guys (and even some girls) can get SO loud during "Stupid Ball" so why can't YOU get rowdy during Baseball!

  4. Your story is really interesting. I enjoyed reading your post and I quite felt how you also feel that time. It's just fun that you still made peace with football whether you still hate it or not.

  5. Thank you for stopping by. Yes, even though I don't like football it doesn't mean others can't enjoy it!


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