Friday, September 17, 2010

Ironing, Backrubs, and Other Golden Tickets

Late last season, I was talking to my co-worker Kara about weekend plans, and I asked if she and her husband ever argued over his football-watching.

"Football?" Kara asked.

Yes, football. The sport.

"Ohhhhhh. You mean 'ironing'?"

Apparently many, many seasons ago, Kara and her husband Karl made a deal: Karl could watch all the football he wants, as long as he ironed clothes while he did it.

Genius. Absolute genius.

Karl found his golden ticket: The benefit he can offer his wife in exchange for unlimited viewing pleasure. Karl watches football, which he loves. And Kara never irons again, which she hates. Everybody wins.

But if you hate ironing (as I do), allow me to suggest an alternative: The Backrub.

So easy, a boyfriend can do it.
Not long after Lindsey and I started dating, the backrub became my golden ticket. It was inherently agreed upon that if I was rubbing her back, I had carte blanche with the remote. Football, basketball, SportsCenter, you name it. She doesn't care. She doesn't hear it. Think about when she gets a massage at the spa. Think they have Rachel Zoe playing in the background? Of course not. When she's getting Extreme Backrub: Home Edition, your soft hands are all the sweet music she needs.

Sometimes (OK, rarely), a Mets player will hit a double into the gap (or something of that equivalent in other sports), and I'll get so excited I'll forget to rub for a few seconds. That's the only thing that brings Lindsey out of her trance. I quickly apologize, and go back into mine. I've rubbed for entire halves of football games without even noticing. I can backrub on autopilot.

If, for whatever reason, massages aren't working for you, keep searching. There has to be a skill you can offer her that's sports-watching-friendly. Maybe she hates doing laundry and you don't mind making trips between innings. Maybe she hates paying bills and you make it a Monday Night Football tradition. Maybe you have an unobstructed view from your kitchen, and can watch the game while you cook.

Not everything works (dishes make loud clanking noises, gardening means being outside, etc). It may take some trial and error. But eventually, you'll find your golden ticket. And when you do, nurture it, master it, cherish it, rename your sport after it.

Because "Ironing" beats Real Housewives any day of the week.

Weekend Picks

Arkansas (+2) @ Georgia (Sat, 12:00 ET). Georgia's at home, but Arkansas has better players, and a better coach. Underdog's won four of the last five in this series, too.

Nebraska (-3) @ Washington (Sat, 3:30 ET). Jake Locker gets the Heisman hype, but watch out for true frosh Taylor Martinez in this one.

Iowa (+1) @ Arizona (Sat, 10:30 ET). The Hawkeyes have BCS aspirations this year, and deservedly so.

Ravens (-2.5) @ Bengals (Sun, 1:00 ET). Even though they only scored 10 points, I was impressed with Baltimore's offense last week. They're loaded on both sides this year.

Lions (+6) vs. Eagles (Sun, 1:00 ET). I think Vick will be much less effective when a team has a week to prepare. Too many points.

49ers (+6) vs. Saints (Mon, 8:30 ET). Remember when everyone thought the Niners would be good this year? It was one bad game ago. Look for them to bounce back as home dogs on Monday night.

Last Week: 3-1
Season: 4-3-1