I like July. Not because the kids are out of school or because the days are hot and long and sunny.
Actually, I'm not much of a fan of either of
I like July because it's quiet at my house, even with six kids around all day long.
Why is it quiet? Because basketball ended in June and football won't start until August.
should have known I was in trouble the first time I went to Sunday
dinner at my future-in-laws' house. Their family room is connected to
the dining room, and the guys were all flipping back and forth between
several football games. When it came time for dinner, we gathered around
the table and muted the game for the prayer. As soon as the food was
blessed, the volume was turned back on before any of the dishes were
I figured it was a fluke. It must be a really important game they were watching.
few weeks later, we went to the BYU-Utah football game at Cougar
Stadium. As the Cougars struggled, my love set his jaw and clenched his
fists. When the Utes tore down our goalposts, he looked like he wanted
to murder someone.
I figured that, too, was a fluke. Maybe he was just in a bad mood that day.
wasn't a fluke. But I was in love, and I figured that once he found
something more diverting to occupy his time (me), my sweetheart would
mellow from a rabid sports fan into a guy like my dad.
cheered for all of the Cleveland teams, the Jets and Giants equally, the
Nicks, and always the Mets over the Yankees. But whenever there was
anything important going on in the house, the TV or the radio was turned
off, and he'd catch up on the game later by listening to sports radio
in the car. He knew a lot about sports, and had opinions about sports,
but watching every second of every single game was not a priority.
missionary begged for sports updates in his letters from home. My groom
sent his brothers out of our wedding reception to get updates on the
Jazz playoff game. In 2002, we watched the Opening Ceremonies of the
Olympics while I was in labor with our second child. In 2004, we watched
Game 3 of the American League Championship (the last game the Yankees
won) while I was in labor with our third child, and spent the next night
watching Game 4, when the Red Sox turned the tide and won every game
for the rest of the season. Since I am not a sports fan, I have
very spotty sports knowledge-- I know absolutely nothing about really
basic things (like offsides rules in hockey and soccer), but lots and
lots about arcane details (especially if there's a 30 on 30
documentary about the subject). We plan our vacations, his work
schedule, and my races around the BYU football schedule. Our kids all
shoot baskets in the back yard, whether they want to or not. Last year,
when we were in China adopting our daughter, my husband spent one night
sitting the bathroom of our hotel room to listen to the BYU Men's
Basketball team play in the NCAA tournament. Twenty years after that
first Sunday dinner, we're still muting the television for the prayer.
season feels all-encompassing; I celebrate when the Super Bowl ends no
matter who is playing. But when football ends, basketball and hockey are
in full swing. It's not until the last NBA playoff game is done in June
the house falls silent again (golf, tennis, and baseball are quiet
sports, relatively speaking). My husband jokes that he likes every sport
except NASCAR and bowling, but I find that joke a little too true to be
I have lots of friends who gloat the fact that their
husbands don't like sports, or at least not as much as mine does. But
although I am not a fan of the sound of a football stadium in my family
room five nights a week for five months, I don't want to change my
husband, to stomp out this passion in his life. I love that he and his
dad and brothers call each other all the time to "talk about the game,"
and that he gets together with his parents almost every week for BYU
football and basketball games, which also make for perfect dates with
the kids. But even more than that, I think it's important to respect,
and even encourage the things he loves, just like he gives me a lot of
latitude to run 20 miles on a Saturday morning, start a graduate program
when I had four small children, and to sit next to him on the couch on a
Saturday night, tapping out a blog post... while he watches soccer on