If my wife divorces me, blame college football

(Originally posted August 30, 2013)

by Ryan Isley

Thursday night marked the beginning of yet another college football season. And it sent me to Google to see if there was any way possible to block searches for “divorce attorneys in Akron, OH” because while I was watching Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina Gamecocks beat North Carolina 27-10, my wife was undoubtedly trying to figure out how many boxes it would take to pack up all of my stuff.

Let me explain…

nike-footballEveryone knows my passion for sports, including my wife. In fact, she knows it better than anyone. While we were touring reception halls to prepare for our wedding, one of the first things I looked at was to see if there was a television near the bar in the room. Why? Because our wedding was on March 24, 2012 and I had a feeling even over a year in advance that Ohio State would be playing in the NCAA Tournament that day.

I was right. And during our wedding reception, we had a big screen television to watch as the Buckeyes defeated Syracuse to advance to the Final Four. When we left for our honeymoon, the first stop was in Columbus so that I could purchase some Final Four gear for our cruise. Of course my wife found an Ohio State purse that she bought and loves, but I digress.

But as much as I love college basketball, baseball, NBA, NHL, NFL and NASCAR, it has to be college football that probably drives my wife the craziest. And while I enjoy watching the NFL on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays, it comes nowhere close to my obsession for college football.

I am addicted to college football. I am addicted so badly that even my phone knows it. When I type “Jad” into my phone, it completes it to “Jadeveon.” I watch every game possible that is televised, which becomes a lot of games when you factor in that we now have Fox Sports 1, CBS College Sports Network and the PAC-12 Network to go along with NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Big Ten Network and the multiple ESPN channels.

The season kicks off with games on five consecutive days, starting with Thursday and culminating with the annual Labor Day game, this season pitting Florida State against Pitt. The next six weeks will feature college football on just three days – Thursday through Saturday – before Tuesdays start to get taken over by college football on October 15th. Starting with that week, there will be no less than four days a week in which college football games will be on my television.

I don’t care who is playing on those days – I will be watching. My wife has sat through numerous games between teams she has never even heard of, but that I seem to know way too much about. Louisiana-Lafayette against Western Kentucky? Yeah, I will certainly be watching the Ragin’ Cajuns as they take on the Hilltoppers. And I will watch the next week as the Ragin’ Cajuns battle Arkansas State, even if the Red Wolves are missing Gus Malzahn and Ryan Aplin.

As if it isn’t bad enough that I have to watch every game on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, my Saturdays are even more ridiculous. Unfortunately this year, my routine will be changed a little as I will be working until about 1:00 pm on Saturdays for right now. In years past, I would wake up to watch as much pregame stuff as I could find until College Gameday starts on ESPN.

After that, it was on to the games.

Last year, I went up to our bedroom and became oblivious to anything other than football for the next 10 hours, watching bits and pieces of each and every game on television, thanks to picture-in-picture. And if we had an extra television, it would have been set up in the bedroom to help out with the schedule.

I watch with my Phil Steele college football magazine and my remote control, flipping channels at each commercial. I also have my laptop open to the ESPN and CBS Sports scoreboards so that I know when there is a crucial moment in any other game in order to be able to flip to that game when needed.

I only leave the bedroom to take a bathroom break, grab a drink refill or maybe a snack. I have been known to watch football straight through the evening hours without even thinking about dinner. In fact, there was a Saturday last season where I received a text message from my wife (who was in the living room) that dinner was here. I didn’t even know she had called and ordered pizza and wings.

I know some of you are thinking “but football lasts more than 10 hours on Saturdays.” And it does. I only spend 10 hours in the bedroom because I move down to the living room when my wife goes to bed. That is when I watch the end of the primetime game and any west coast games that might be on later, which is where the PAC-12 Network was so clutch last season. When all of the live games are over, I will watch replays of games if any of the networks are showing them.

And then a few days later, the vicious cycle repeats itself.

Somehow, my marriage survived this ritual of ridiculousness last season and I can only hope that it continues to survive again this season and for seasons to come.

So if any divorce attorneys in Akron or Canton or the surrounding areas see the name “Isley, Melanie” pop up on your caller IDs in the next few months, please don’t answer – I am just watching another football game.

Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at ryanisley23@gmail.com.