Continuing our Guest Post January feature, please extend a warm OTP welcome to Ibracadabra of Never Captain Nicky Butt.
I often wonder to myself if there are others like me out there. Others so in love with footy that it is their number 1 hobby/passion outside of (or including) their work and family.
I have no other hobbies besides soccer. I love my work. I love my family and friends, but all I have is footy. I play competitively. I coach. I consume information. I watch it on TV and in person. I produce content. It’s just what I do.
I don’t play video games anymore or any other fantasy sports. I rarely read books that aren’t soccer related. I dropped my weekly pick-up basketball games years ago, and I certainly don’t watch any TV shows or attend any live events unless they are football related.
I’m happy with that, because it just makes me feel good inside. I can’t really explain it.
My closest friends and former university roommates and teammates are also in the 25–34 year-old age range, but with a few exceptions – they aren’t as hardcore as I am. And that’s fine. But they also don’t have a significant other (as I do) that is exposed to such soccer overload that they need to be cognizant of their ‘issue’ with respect to the relationship. I do.
And I’ve learned a ton over the past few years. Some of which I figured I’d share with you guys out there, in case you are currently in a similar situation to me, or (hopefully) will be one day in the near future with a gorgeous WAG of your own. Take it or leave it, here’s my advice:
Honesty is a tenet of any successful or healthy relationship, but even more-so when it comes to sports obsession. Don’t hide your love for Leeds United or the Seattle Sounders by googling their highlight videos when your girlfriend or wife isn’t at home. Don’t purchase the scarves without her knowledge.
When I moved in with my girlfriend a few years ago we needed to install Wi-Fi at our apartment and name the connection. I named it “Gerrard Internet.” Whenever we connect to the internet, to this day, we connect through Steven Gerrard. He plays a brilliant through ball of connectivity to Time Warner Cable, which in turn provides us access to Facebook, Off The Post, or WordPress. Thanks, Steve. That’s blunt.
My girlfriend wanted to buy a fish at the pet store. So I agreed on one condition – that I could name it. She said fine. The fish was blue. Chelsea were top of the table. I named the fish ‘Frank’ after Lampard. Blunt works. She knows footy is all around her now, she really can’t escape it. Sweet.
Be comfortable with your sexuality and send her pictures of Yoann Gourcuff
This works in a relationship. Especially early on. My girlfriend’s favorite part of a soccer match is when it’s over and, as she says: “They all take their tops off and trade them.” She can’t BELIEVE that a striker is awarded a yellow card after he scores a goal and celebrates by removing his shirt. “That’s a yellow card? They should be rewarded for taking their jersey off,” she philosophizes. I’ll make sure to send that note to FIFA.
Regardless, if you have one ace in the hole as a soccer fan when it comes to pleasing your girlfriend – it’s the fact that soccer players are, well, good looking. So play it up. Link her to Kickette to show her you care about her. It will keep her distracted just long enough for you to make your Fantasy Premier League transfer and bring in Andy Carroll for Darren Bent.
Lastly, it’s really all about luck or circumstance. Call it serendipity. Call it destiny. Call it whatever you want, but relationships take a lot of hard work to be successful, but can also benefit from a bit of luck. In my case, the ‘luck’ is my time zone.
I live in California. The Premier League (my favourite league) is usually live between 5:00AM and 10:00AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings. My girlfriend wakes up at 9:30AM. I wake up at 4:59AM. This is perfect. I live my addiction, individually, alone, with my three screens (TV, laptop, and mobile phone) for FOUR AND A HALF HOURS before my WAG is even awake.
Then, she wakes up, makes her coffee as the last game of the day is ending, and I’m done with footie. The rest of the day is all hers. I don’t think I can live anywhere else in the world. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to watch a footy match in the afternoon or night and trying to explain that to my girlfriend, who has made plans for us. Thank the Lord for the Pacific Time Zone.
The moral of the story, then, is this: bring your girlfriend / wife / significant other into your world. Distract her with Pepe Reina’s torso but also be honest with her about how much you love Manchester City and their rich Arab owners. She’ll be frustrated and annoyed often with your passion for footy, trust me, but you can’t help change this – she is a woman. That’s only normal. You’ll find the delicate balance, and with a bit of luck, it will all work out.
Read more from Ibra at Never Captain Nicky Butt.