Taking The Plunge

By Kyle Rowland on July 13, 2012 at 10:00a
Heartbreak still resonates in Cleveland. 

In Central Ohio, there are few things more dreaded than a fall wedding. As soon as a niece, nephew or family friend gets engaged, people begin fretting that the wedding will take place on a Saturday in the fall. For in college mad cities and towns across America, Saturday is sacred.

Tonight at 6 p.m. in Miami Beach, Fla., I will make the next step in my life – marrying the woman of my dreams (OK, I’ll stop the sappy love story). Marriage is one of, if not, the biggest undertakings in a person’s life. Till death do you part, you and your significant other – even if they’re a Michigander – will be a team for life.

The story is similar for sports fans. They are connected to their team for a lifetime, living and dying with every game, trade and spurning. Art Modell’s villainous act of moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore and LeBron James’ jilting of Cleveland for Miami in front of the world was akin to your wife leaving you for a better man.

The championships – the Ravens in Year 5 and LeBron in his second season with the Heat – didn’t exactly help smooth matters, either. It was as if Modell and LeBron had to show up to every party you were at with their new squeeze – how can an average Joe from Columbus compete with George Clooney?

When Jim Tressel was implicated in Ohio State’s year-long saga with the NCAA, a dagger went through the heart of Buckeyes – a 10-year courting ending in heartbreak. But along came Urban Meyer and an instant infatuation began. Everything about him was dreamy: the cool new offense, the attitude, the intensity. The relationship has hit new levels in recent months, with an engagement possibly on the horizon.

Terrelle Pryor’s acts could be compared to cheating on someone who was just a summer fling – here one day and gone the other, but during those few months, it sure was a good time. He was someone you could get over quickly. After all, another pretty blonde – Braxton Miller – was flirting with you for a couple years.

The love stories of fans and their teams are reminiscent of your grandparents’ marriage – a relationship that lasts some 50-plus years. There are highs – the 2002 national championship or the birth of your first child – and lows – loses to Michigan or the death of a family pet. They are situations that put people in a funk and take months to recover from.

A day in the life of a sports fan, like those of every other living person, can offer every emotion in the book. 

Not a bad setting for a Saturday afternoon picnic. 

Then there is the real-life complication of sports and marriage trying to coexist. Some are lucky enough to marry a sports nut, while others are saddled with the unpleasant conundrum of how to sidestep their wife on Saturdays. The term “sports widower” has caught on in recent years, the definition being one that spends weekends alone as her husband is gallivanting across the sports landscape.

Almost unbelievably, sports have ruined countless marriages. The theme is common: husband sits on the coach, turns on the 52-incn flat screen and watches football, basketball, baseball, etc. night after night. Occasionally, he’ll get up from the couch – to use the rest room, dance when his team has scored or yell obscenities when all has gone wrong.

The middle ground, of course, would be cutting back on sports and spending more time with the Mrs. That includes doing the fun activities she enjoys, like, you know, shopping, going to candle stores and scrapbooking.

The United States has more than 62 million sports fans and at least 19 million of those are described as “sports addicts,” people who consume sports several hours per day. Ninety-two percent are males, ages 18–54. With numbers like those it’s no wonder the divorce rate in the United States has topped 50 percent. Then again, what would you rather do on a Saturday – sit in Ohio Stadium or spend the afternoon at Easton?

We fall in love with people, like our sports teams, because of the joy that person or team brings to us. The good-looking blonde with a happy-go-lucky personality can be just as striking as a drum cadence and an accompanying ramp entrance. Your home, where so many memories are built, is your comfort zone. That same feeling washes over people when they walk under the mammoth arch walkways of Ohio Stadium.

Tonight, take a moment to let that special someone know why they mean so much to you. Maybe cook a nice dinner, bring them dessert or send flowers. The reassurances and surprises are nice; at least that’s what I always hear.

But let them know Saturdays from September to December are off limits.


Comments Show All Comments

Colin's picture

Mazel Mazel! Good things.

Maestro's picture

Congratulations !! 

vacuuming sucks

beserkr29's picture

Congrats, Kyle!  Marriage is a big step!  Should be a wonderful ride, though.  Incredibly impressive that you still managed to write a story on the day of your vows.  Hopefully the lovely lady you're marrying understands the incessant grind that is Ohio State sports.  My significant other is still kind of in the dark.  Going to have to bring her along slow...

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Good luck with that. I've made sure she knew right away that my Buckeye obsession is omnipresent. From College Gameday on SECSPN to the end of the primetime games, if it wasn't important enough to do Friday, then it can wait till Sunday.
I've learned girls don't just get jealous of other girls getting your attention. They'd be jealous of the grass growing outside if you started watching it. It's best to come clean in the beginning or else you'll be having the same conversation every saturday morning.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

Jason Priestas's picture

My Buckeye fandom is a huge reason why I don't really follow the NFL anymore. I'm fortunate to have Saturdays, but getting both days on fall weekends to basically do nothing but sit around and watch football is a tough sell.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Lenin, first of all, congrats youngin. It seems like just yesterday we were throwing stacks on strippers in the Shark Lounge of Daytona Beach.

But, I must disagree with this entire premise that sports teams are the equivalent of marriage. Isn't this the kind of thinking that manifested into the whole "let's protect a child predator for the sake of our footbaw brand at PSU"?

I like sports as much as the next guy. Sports are awesome. But this whole notion that I've "married" my teams is, frankly, a little ludicrous. I can get married to a girl, but it's not like I can actually marry the Browns. (The haterz won't let me).

Marriage used to be one of the most sanctimonious institutions of our society. Spoarts is are simply large corporations raking in billions while we give away segments of our lives away in 3-hour blocks. To act like it's anything more is quite naïve.

I also liked where you pinned the the divorce rate on the rise of high definition television and spoarts. That made me laugh.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

BucksfanXC's picture

I agree with you DJ. I get Kyle's original intent and I think for some people this is true and you are exactly right in that is what causes things like what happened at PSU. You have to put it all into perspective. We are all fanatics here, most of us above and beyond many fans because we are addictively checking blogs in July. But if you value the football team over the school, the rules, the laws, the health and well-being of others, it can become a problem. Recent stories like the Sandusky saga, Eric Waugh, the piggyback bandit, etc. makes you realize some people have this view of sports and sports teams that skews judgment and blurs lines. Sports are a part of human nature and there's an ugly side to it too. Peer pressure and social acceptance can cloud judgment and make us act out of character. Rampant group think can often lead to awful things as we've seen recently in all these stories. We need to keep in mind that life does not begin and end with football (or basketball, hockey, etc.). No one wants to miss the football games, but they will go on without you watching if you have a friend or family members wedding to attend.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

ArTbkward's picture

I wish my friends took this advice more to heart, I already have a wedding, baby shower and a Vegas bachelorette party scheduled on fall Saturdays.  Because of work, I will miss the Vegas trip but still... 

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

BucksfanXC's picture

Congrats, welcome to the club. Good to set the tone early with her that you still wrote an OSU piece on the big day. No breaks! Best of luck to you and yours, make today memorable. All the things that go wrong today will be great funny memories later so have fun, laugh them off now and enjoy it.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

BucksfanXC's picture

Also I just realized you are getting married on Friday the 13th!

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

buckeye76BHop's picture

LMAO at DJ and his first paragraph...too funny!  "It seems like just yesterday we were throwing stacks on strippers in the Shark Lounge of Daytona Beach."
Kyle congrats!  Just hit my second year of marriage and it's been great.  I wish you and yours the best.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

WC Buckeye's picture

Congrats, Kyle. May she be as big a fan of our Buckeyes as you are.
DJ - not to be one of those guys, but bosses are sanctimonious, marriages are sanctified. Hmmm.... naw, I am not gonna harsh it for Kyle. :)

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

OSUBias's picture

Congrats! Big day for you two. Lots of fun to be had, make sure to stop amid the madness and soak it in.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Congrats man!  Yesterday was my fourth anniversary.  If there is one thing I can pass along it would have to be don't sweat the small stuff.  
Enjoy your day!  Go Bucks!   

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

zachofaltrades's picture

I have that SI cover framed for some reason.  Best thing that could have happened to me as a sports fan.  When the Browns left town the Houston Oilers drafted a pretty good running back by the name of Eddie George.  Been a Oilers/Titans fan ever since.  My Air McNair Oilers jersey is a prized possession.
Also, congrats.  I am recently engaged.  The only contribution to my upcoming wedding plans is that it take place on a Buckeye bye week.  (Next october 12th)

southbymidwest's picture

Congratulations Kyle!I hope you have a fabulous wedding day, and a wonderful marriage.

CanadianBuckeye's picture

From one Kyle to another... congrats!

Baroclinicity's picture

I'm getting married at the end of September... let me know how it goes.  We've already learned the art of compromise:  She gets the Fall wedding, and I don't miss the game against Sparty.  We're getting married Friday night, and have space reserved at a sports bar (this is happening in VA) for the Saturday games for those that want to attend (virtually everyone on my side).

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Maestro's picture

Is the Masked Rider attending?

vacuuming sucks

Baroclinicity's picture

But of course.  So is this guy.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Maestro's picture

He should definitely be at the reception only.

vacuuming sucks

ziplock007's picture

I have a friend getting married in September... Luckily he had th smarts to do it on a Sunday.
Last year I had mine on the OSU-Miami game and there were no tv's available.  Normally this is a tragedy; but as it was Bauserman's last start, I saved everyone from going blind.

hodge's picture

Cheers, Kyle!  Congrats on your upcoming marriage!
On a side note, articles like this are why I love that my woman is a Buckeye fan.  I even put up with the unfortunate side effect that she also roots for the Steelers...She used to hate college ball, but now I've got her to the point where she sees the two equally.  I'll give her one year of Urban-mania until she becomes a fully-devoted college football desciple.

Nappy's picture

Congrats, Kyle!

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

zachofaltrades's picture

My fiance is Brazilian and I've brainwashed her into hating Michigan almost as much as Argentine soccer.

smith5568's picture

Congrats! I am also taking thew plunge this year on Oct. 13th, thankfully we play IU. We had originally planned it for the 20th, however that is the week we play Wisky and I could not have that. We have an agreement that I get approximately 15-20 of the years saturdays or gamedays (hopefully, while she brings me beer and makes me food), leaving her the remaining 32 or so. This seems fair. Plus, she is a bigger basketball fan so those are easier to swing. 
Also, I am pleased to say that I have turned her into a quite the buckeye fan. Apparently, my wedding present is tickets to The Game this year.

OSUbucknut's picture

Getting married is great!!!!  I have been married 2 years and my wife knows and cares absolutely nothing about football or basketball.  Compromise is in order but make sure she owns an Ipad.  Chances are she will be more than happy to sit next to you on the couch for a few hours with the Ipad in hand.  Also DVR games on occasion.  Basketball games are great to DVR because you can watch them in half the time.  If you DVR an occasional football game you can let her pick something to do during the day and still catch up late/later. 

RBuck's picture

Happy wedding day Kyle. I've had 42 years of, uh...bliss. It's kinda OK.

Long live the southend.

Idaho Helga's picture

Congrats!  Had to chuckle at the September wedding thing.
Oldest brother announced his wedding in 1977 for Sept 24th.  We all instantly  remarked "Uh, we play Oklahoma that day"  He of course knew that so the wedding was at noon, game at 2pm, reception at 6pm.  It CAN be done!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Kyle, big congratulations on taking this momentus, life-reaffirming step! Your big decision shows that you are in it for the long-haul; that you have the courage, fortitude, and good communication skills necessary to make your love truly last. Any boy can get married; it takes man to avoid scheduling a major life event during Buckeye football season! We are proud of you, Kyle, for listening to your heart. 
Oh . . . and congrats on your marriage as well!   

BeerNBuckeyes's picture

Congratulations on your important day.
One of my friends married on a M*ch*gan game Saturday. I couldn't believe it.

pompano buckeye's picture

"Congraduations" on your big day...mine was nearly 39 years ago and am hoping for many more.  However, I must disagree with your premise that sports are akin to marriage.  More than 50% of marriages end in divorce.  What  percentage of fans ever give up on their favorite team, only to pursue another?  Not many. (Although we simply CANNOT understand how UM fans could EVER stay married to that MUD-UGLY woman, Ann Arbor!)
Here's to many wonderful years!  Cheers.

“...indomitable in victory, insufferable in defeat.” Woody Hayes

KE's picture

I am thirty years into a happy mixed marriage - my wife graduated from TSUN, but we both graduated from tOSU law. Sports can hurt a marriage, but they can also give it life. The EPSN commercials showing the dynamic are among my favorites.

bukyze's picture

Got married on a Saturday in '03 when we were playing Michigan State.  Game time was at noon (all the groomsmen just sat at my uncle's house drinking a lot of beer and watching the game), wedding was at 5:00.  We specifically planned our wedding the previous February around which Buckeye Football Saturday would work best.  And I also converted my wife from a UK fan to a diehard OSU fan who doesn't care about UK anymore.   Whenever she comes home and tells me about how she felt like running a car off the road that had a TSUN sticker on it, it makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside.  And proud.

USMCBUCKEYE82's picture

You are the man!!! Not only to convert her to a ttun hating buckeye but to pull her from the depths of Lexington. Few people get my utmost respect, you Sir have done it in seconds. 

Buckeyeneer's picture

First: Congratulations!
Second: You brought back unpleasant memories. I still have that Sports Illustrated issue hiding somewhere in my room at my parent's house.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

SC Buckeye's picture

I got married on Sept 21, 2002, the day that tOSU eeked out a 23-19 win over Cincinnati.  I have a buddy that 10 years later still bitches at me for getting married on a Saturday during Football Season.

Buckeyeneer's picture

And rightly so. Ha ha!

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

lamplighter's picture

35+ years - she does not care for any sports, but indulges me Saturday football with the Bucks and Sundays with the Browns.  What more could you ask for (except a decent Browns team)?

Doc's picture

I'm sorry I'm late posting this Kyle.  I hope all went well this weekend, and may God Bless you and your wife for many years to come.

CJDPHoS Member

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