Is Football More Important Than Your Family?

As the long Thanksgiving weekend came and passed, there was an over-abundant amount of football on TV. And I love football. I love to watch it every chance I get, which I think is probably less than the average guy. I guess as I get older I am getting wiser. Time on earth is precious, and knowing who won what game in what week to upset the team your buddy is a fan of can simply be a time suck. It can strain relationships and it's something that frankly just isn't worth it to me anymore. Football or Family

Again, I love watching football. If there was nothing else to be done all day long, I could and would sit in front of the TV and watch it all. It's a fascinating game with so many moving parts and strategies that I can't help but enjoy this great American sport. And we should allow time in our lives for relaxation and recreation, but not at the expense of time with our family. Of course, if your entire family likes to watch football together then by all means, close out of this post and watch some football - this time of year, it's on five days a week! For those of us with families that might be divided on the subject, just remember this from Luke 12:34 (the Message):

The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Our treasures can be anything we exhaust our resources for, including, time, money, or effort. The inspiration for this post came this past Saturday when I was able to watch my beloved Hawkeyes for only the third time this year. Since we canceled cable and the Hawks have been horrible as of late, they don't make it on the major networks very often. I think this was the first time this year they were on ABC. I was able to watch most of the first half while Rooney napped and Kelsey was showering and getting ready for the day. No plans. Then Rooney woke up and Kelsey mentioned going out for lunch to of her favorite restaurants.

I didn't hesitate to go. It seemed like the perfect time to get out of the house and enjoy some family time over lunch. It wasn't until later that I realized how different the day would have been if I would have chosen football over my family.

The Hawkeyes ended up losing for the eighth time this year. They weren't supposed to win, but they were ahead when we left. Had I sacrificed the family time to watch them lose, I would have regretted that decision. And if they would have won, I would have heard about it at the office Monday, or watched some of the highlights online and been over the fact that I didn't watch it live in about two seconds.

My point is, sitting down with my family, and watching Rooney people-watch at Panera, and hearing Kelsey tell me how she thinks Rooney and I are so cute together as she sat in my lap while I ate was worth more than any football game.

So how does a football-loving guy balance his love for the game with family time? Good question. I think it's probably different for every family. For us, it has been trial and error and a lot of bickering over the years. Finally, I think we've compromised this season. Here's how we make it work.

  1. Watching football: Not having cable limits the amount of games that we are able to watch already, but there are still plenty to see throughout the week. Kelsey doesn't love to watch football, but she loves sitting next to me on the couch. It's a good thing she has a laptop because it's serves us both well. I can sit and watch some football and she can spend time on the internet. Win-win. When I do watch, it's usually passively. I'll occasionally blog while I watch; in fact, I'm doing that right now!
  2. Fantasy Football: This can be a huge time investment for people. I try to remember that it's just a game. Although, it is fun and a great way to keep in touch with my college buddies. We don't play for money, just for pride. I don't spend a lot of time on Fantasy Football. Maybe 15 minutes a week. I just make sure I don't have injured players in my lineup and that nobody has a bye week and then... you know the saying... "Set it and forget it!"
  3. Live games: I've been fortunate enough to see a handful of games in person over the years. For me, these are a special treat. Would I love to have season tickets? Yes! But only if my family came with me to most of the games. Going to a game is usually an all-day event. Especially when your team is two hours away. Two hours there, three-plus hour game, and two hours home equals seven hours minimum away from the family.

Don't get me wrong, time away from the family can be a good thing once in awhile, but like anything, moderation is the key. I know how easy it can be to get sucked into a game and ignore the things around me that I love the most. My heart might say I love my wife and kids, but my actions don't in that moment.

Have you chosen family over something else lately?