Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Football, Girlfriends, and a Rabbi

There's been times I've genuinely wondered if there's something wrong with me. How could it be that I'd choose watching sports over...pretty much anything? It shouldn't be that way, right?

Well, in my once-a-year trip to Temple this morning, my rabbi (pictured) made me feel a little more at ease. In a sermon that was about something completely different but this is the only part I remember, he told us that men NEED sports, because it's literally the only thing in our society that lets a man freely experience his entire spectrum of emotions. And men -- just like women -- need to feel emotional.

Women don't need sports to get emotional, you don't need me to tell you that. But only while watching sports can a man go from having the worst night of his life to the best night of his life....in the course of five minutes. Nothing else even compares.

So next time you're cooking spaghetti with your girlfriend, but in the back of your mind you can't stop thinking about DeAngelo Williams, try and remember that there's nothing wrong with you. You're simply looking to satisfy your primal male need to be emotional.

At least that's what my rabbi says.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alexis & Bill

A little over a year ago, I was at my desk blabbing on and on about how excited I was for the game tomorrow night, when my co-worker Alexis walked in from the office next door.

"What game is tomorrow night?" she asked.
"USC - Ohio State."
"And it's a really big game?"
"Biggest of the year so far, why?"
"Bill and I were supposed to go out to dinner tomorrow night, but then out of nowhere he called and said he wanted to cook for me instead." She smirked. "Now I know why."

Then, instead of telling Bill she was onto his plan, she played along. She said she appreciated his suggestion, but that she really wanted to go out to eat -- purely to mess with his head -- until he finally came clean about the game.

Tomorrow, Alexis and Bill are getting married. And with them both being Penn State alums, they planned an evening wedding around a Penn State-Iowa game that was supposed to be at 3:30. Well, it got moved to 8:00, and Alexis has pledged to cut the hotel cable wires if anyone (especially Bill) is caught sneaking off. She's already got the scissors.

So, wherever you are this weekend, raise a glass to Alexis and Bill. If there's a better Football vs. Girlfriend couple out there, I'd sure like to meet 'em.

Saturday picks:

Mississippi St. (+12.5)
vs. LSU (12:00 ET). I'm nervous about this one, but I think MSU hangs around at home.

Cincinnati (-16.5) vs. Fresno St. (12:00 ET). Not as nervous about this one. I love betting against West Coast teams playing early East Coast games. And Fresno's defense is awful.

Miami (-3) @ Virginia Tech (3:30 ET). "The U" has a couple injuries, but they look like they're on a mission this year. And Tech continues to look overrated.

Iowa (+10) @ Penn St. (8:00 ET). Sorry Alexis and Bill, but while Penn State might be 3-0, they're 0-3 against the spread.

Texas Tech (0) @ Houston (9:00 ET). This one should be a shootout, but I see Texas Tech as the last one standing. They held their own against Texas last week. I guess Robby wasn't the good luck charm I thought he was...

Last Week: 3-1-1
FVG Record to Date: 3-1-1

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bravo, Bravo. You Could Be a Lot Worse.

We've already established that my favorite thing to watch is football. We've also established there are nights of the week where there isn't any football, and that on these nights I watch whatever my girlfriend wants to watch.

Well, inevitably, what my girlfriend wants to watch, is Bravo. And, since it's not like I have a choice, I'm very, very pleased to make the following generalization: It's really not that terrible.

So without further ado, here is the Football vs. Girlfriend Bravo Show Report Card....

(Note: Grades are relative to football getting an 'A', so don't expect the honor roll.)

Flipping Out. A relatively new show. Or at least not one Lindsey watched until this year. It's about this gay guy Jeff who -- you guessed it -- flips houses. Jeff's funny, and I love the housekeeper, Zoila. But the action's a bit boring for my taste. FVG Grade: C-

Millionaire Matchmaker. Or as Lindsey calls it, "Patti" (after over-the-top host Patti Stanger, pictured). This show is what it says it is: A woman helping rich-but-inept guys find love. And it's pretty funny. I even looked forward to watching it once. But then the Bulls-Celtics playoff game went to three overtimes. FVG Grade: C+

The Rachel Zoe Project. I really like this show, and I'm still not sure why. The premise couldn't be dumber: Rachel helps celebrities pick outfits, with help from her assistant (Taylor), who's relentlessly mean to Brad, the gay intern. That's it. I was so positive I'd hate this show, but in the end, I just didn't. It's hysterical. I've watched three in a row before. FVG Grade: B-

Top Chef. I know guys and girls alike love these cooking shows, but I just don't see it. If I'm gonna stare at delicious food for an hour, I better get to eat it. FVG Grade: D

Real Housewives of (Whatever). This one really is that terrible. FVG Grade: F

Friday, September 18, 2009

Val - Lindsey's Best Friend, and My Hero

Lindsey's best friend Val moved to the city last week, days before the start of the NFL season. They hadn't lived in the same city since college. This was Santonio Holmes' Super-Bowl-winning catch in the corner of the end zone. This was clutch.

It's not a stretch to say I was more excited about this than Lindsey was. Because when football season comes along, your girlfriend's best friend is your best friend.

Think about it, what do you really think she'd rather do on a Saturday: Go shopping with you while you sulk and check the Pitt score, or go shopping with Val and get a genuine, honest opinion on the shoes she wants?

It's very beneficial to remember this: When she knows you'd rather be watching football, she doesn't wanna hang out with you, either. Sometimes, you're just her best option.

So, if your GF has a long-distance BFF, see if you can get her to move. Pay her airfare if you have to. Maybe even her first month's rent.

I'm telling you, it's worth it.

Saturday picks:

Boise State (-7.5) at Fresno St (Friday 9:00 ET). Boise's 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Friday night games, Fresno is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Friday night games. This is a Friday night game.

Minnesota (+14)
vs. California (12:00 ET). I don't think Cal wakes up in time for this game. They may come back and win, but not by two touchdowns.

Tennessee (+30) at Florida (3:30 ET). I said early in the week that if this line was anything under 28 I was taking Florida. It's 30. I'm covering my eyes and taking the Vols.

Nebraska (+5) at Virginia Tech (3:30 ET). The Huskers look like they're back. And the ACC hasn't shown much in non-conference games so far.

Texas (-17.5) vs. Texas Tech (8:00 ET). My little brother, Robby, will be in attendance on his college visit to Austin. And so far, on his college visits, the home team is 2-0 ATS. Priceless info, people.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Weekly Football Schedule (For Girlfriends)

After 11 consecutive hours of football on Sunday, Chad sweetly reminded his fiancé Morgan that he'd need his Monday night to watch football, too. Exasperated, Morgan asked, "Is football every day of the week?"

My first thought was, 'Come on Morgan, this isn't your first rodeo'. It's the couple's fourth football season together -- she should know the deal by now, right? But then it hit me: Maybe, just maybe, it doesn't always occur to girlfriends to plan their lives around football.

So Morgan (and all other girlfriends out there), the following schedule is for you. And to answer your question: No, football isn't every day of the week.

But it's close.

MONDAY: Monday Night Football. Basically a must-watch. Pretty much any NFL game is a must-watch.

TUESDAY: Usually nothing, sometimes mid-major college football for the true degenerates. GREAT Quality Time Night (QTN).

WEDNESDAY: Same as Tuesday. Great QTN opportunity. Smart boyfriends make the most of Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

THURSDAY: A tricky one. Differs by the week. Starting in November, there's an NFL game every Thursday, and college football often has a good matchup, too. Check with him first.

FRIDAY: Usually just average college football. A savvy boyfriend plans a Friday date night, scoring valuable points for when he starts avoiding you the rest of the weekend.

SATURDAY: College football extravaganza. Great games all day and night. If something has to be Saturday, make it early: Games usually get better (and more 'must-see') as the day progresses.

SUNDAY: 'And on the Seventh Day, He Watched Football.' You should already know this by now. But if this is your first season together, I ask of you one thing: Let him have Sunday.

I promise, you'll both be happier.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Money in the Banc

Chad, Devin, and I were in a pickle. We wanted to have dinner with our girlfriends, but also wanted (needed) to watch the USC-Ohio St. game. The girls wanted wine, and anything other than bar food. The solution? Banc, on 30th St and 3rd Ave. Banc seemed a little confused as to what it wanted to be -- There were girls dressed to impress picking at goat cheese salads at a table next to girls in Terrelle Pryor jerseys devouring greaseburgers. But the food was good, and they were surprisingly accommodating to our degenerate football-watching needs. In retrospect, maybe Banc knew EXACTLY what they wanted to be: The perfect solution to the Football vs. Girlfriend Saturday night dilemma.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Intro - Maria's Birthday

Three weeks ago, I got the Evite for my girlfriend's roommate's birthday party. Rather than do the standard Saturday night meet at a bar, she organized a Sunday afternoon kids' birthday party with a Hannah Montana piñata. And beer. Sounds like a plan.

Then I check the date again. It's Sunday, September 13th, also known as The First Sunday of Football.


I'm not only gonna have to tell my girlfriend I can't go to Maria's, but that it isn't even up for debate. She's gonna tell me I'm stupid. I'm gonna say 'any guy would understand'. She's gonna say 'I don't care if any guy would understand -- I'm not dating them', 'your hair looks terrible', 'you need a haircut', and so on...

This promises to be the first of many, many, many, many, many battles between my love for my girlfriend and my love for football that I expect to have in the coming months. And I'm hoping that writing about it will somehow make things better. But I doubt it. So at the very least, I hope those of you reading this will find comfort knowing you're not the only one.

Good luck with your teams, fantasy teams, and relationships this season.