BRONX, NY – The past several days have really served to remind me just what a losing proposition it is Trying to Watch Sports with Two Girls in the House. Wait, y’know what? I don’t think “remind” is a strong enough word. And I’d say this point was hammered home recently with crystal clarity. Let me explain.
Happy Birthday Everyone! The first thing you should know is that between my wife and me, we know 11 people with birthdays in the month of January. My daughter’s getting into the act too, but more on that in a minute. Anyway, it’s tough for us to get out and see everyone on their specific days, so instead we decided to grab dinner with two of the upcoming birthday celebrants, which was a smart move. The not-so-smart part about it was that it was this past Saturday, which also happened to be the opening night of NFL Wildcard games. As I watched the first quarter of the Colts/Chiefs tilt, I resigned myself to the fact that this would be the only part of this game I would see. There was a brief glimmer of hope when some yahoo landed a plane on the Major Deegan – which left the arrival of our babysitter in doubt – but those high school kids are savvy roadsters and she arrived right on time. So, off we went to Blue Smoke for some BBQ and bourbon (not in that order) and bonding with our buds. Luckily, the game was on at the bar and my friend Scott and I managed to watch a good deal of it from our booth… without seeming like complete anti-social a-holes. And it was a good thing too, because that game was insanely entertaining. Also, I wisely DVR’d the late Saints/Eagles tilt and was able to take it all in (as well as some additional bourbon) after all had gone to sleep.
Happy Birthday… Again? On Sunday my daughter had the 6th birthday party of one of her classmates to attend at Bounce U up in Elmsford, NY. I have been to too many of these to count at this point, so earlier in the week I played my Ralph Kramden “King of the Castle” card and declared that there was no way in hell I was going to this party. No. Way. Well unfortunately for me, on Sunday, Hell froze over. The Metropolitan area experienced some sort of strange frozen rain storm that transformed the streets and sidewalks into one giant skating rink. I thought for sure that the party would be canceled, so I immediately started trying to figure out where I would watch the game, as there was no way my wife and her mini me would let me watch it on the one TV we have hooked up to cable. (And, no, I don’t like watching football on a computer.)
But then something worse happened. Much worse. The party wasn’t canceled and they were going. It seems no one besides me was worried about the roads. I couldn’t let them go alone, could I? What if they got in an accident? Ah f*** it all to hell. Where’s my coat? I’m going. It’s only the Bengals/Chargers anyway. En route, I challenged my wife to predict how many Dads would show. I thought no more than one or two morons such as myself. She predicted a few more. You know what? Just about all the Dads in this kid’s class showed up! You know what else? Not a single one of them cared that there was an NFL playoff game on! It was like a Twilight Zone episode! Do I live in Guam or something? Two hours plus of bouncing and pizza and Star Wars cake later, we were making our way back home – where I was already DVRing Green Bay/San Fran. I got to watch a little of the tape delayed first quarter before my daughter emerged from her bath and played the Shrek II card. I turned my cell phone off, read a magazine, and finished watching the game later… much later.
Are You Ready for Some Abbey? So Monday rolls around and we took my brother out for his birthday dinner at Frankie and Johnnie’s Pine Restaurant in the East Bronx. We got there nice and early, 5-ish, so I would be home in plenty of time to watch the BCS National Championship. Some pasta fagiole, veal francese, lamb chops, fettucine carbonara and several glasses of wine later we were back home in plenty of time for the game. Then I see my wife, who’s been telling me all evening how exhausted she is, settling down on the couch and turning on the TV. “What the hell is this?” I wonder aloud. “I’m watching the Downton Abbey season premiere,” she replies. “I DVR’d it while you were watching your football game Sunday night.” As I was about to launch into a spirited counter argument, I thought better of it. I may be an idiot but I know this: You do not get between a woman (and a lot of men for that matter, I’m lookin’ at you Tall Matt) and her Downton Abbey…
I bowed my head, defeated, and slunk back into the bedroom where I popped in the DVD of the John Cusack/Daphne Zuniga cross-country rom com, The Sure Thing. As I kicked back and prepared for Tim Robbins singing show tunes and Cusack shotgunning beers, I thought of the film’s title. The only sure thing I’ve got going right now is that when it comes to watching sports, I can’t.
Come back to tomorrow for the not-DVR’d latest MTM Podcast… And Here’s Tall Matt getting interrupted while getting his Abbey on.