Over the years, I have received envious comments on the subject of how lucky I am to have a wife who is a sports fan.
When most men tune in to the weekly game, their ear is assaulted with annoying requests like “we have got to go to the grocery store,” or “it’s Aunt Ellen’s Birthday,” or “Let’s go to the mall, Macy’s is having a sale.” It goes on and on. You find yourself wishing you could trade places with a guy who has a wife who loves sports and will occupy that empty space on the couch and cheer on her favorite warriors.
Well, I’m here to tell you to be careful what you wish for!
My first encounter with this phenomenon was in the 1960s when my wife and I first met. She was a Boston Celtics fan, and every win was “IN YOUR FACE!” I attempted to explain that the Celtics had the worst record of the teams in the playoffs, just managing to squeeze into the eighth spot. Her reply was, “I don’t care if the rest of the teams arrived on a plane and the Celtics had to walk, they won the championship.” I couldn’t argue with that.
Mrs. Lacy was an educator for 33 years, and when former NBA Star Moses Malone opted to go pro straight out of high school instead of attending the University of Maryland, her alma mater, she went ballistic. I attempted to explain that they didn’t have any courses at Maryland that will pay Moses $5 million a year just to show up. I may as well have picked a fight with a rattlesnake.
We grew up in D.C., and it was automatic that you loved the Redskins and hated the Dallas Cowboys. The rest of the league didn’t matter.
When we lived in Los Angeles, we had friends who were current or retired L.A. Rams players. They were all first-name buddies with my wife when we shared a meal or attended a function together, but when they strapped on the cleats and pads, there was nary a cheer from Mrs. L.
The Cowboys have had some notable players over the years, such as Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Hershel Walker and others. She would wish these individuals well, but “to Hell with the Cowboys.” I had some thoughts on this issue, but a smart man keeps his mouth shut. Over the years there have been more than a few of these issues discussed in the Lacy household. Even though she loved and respected my Dad, even his Hall of Fame writing credentials couldn’t save him from disagreements. If Sam Lacy dared to disagree with her, well then he didn’t know what he was talking about, either.
Now comes the unkindest cut of all. For awhile we were entertained by Lavar Ball and his severe case of diarrhea of the mouth. I dismissed most of his rhetoric, trying to find out if there were any more “L” names left in the book. His brothers are LaValle and LaRenzo, and his sons are Lonzo, LaMello and LiAngelo. Tack on Lavar, and you have a basket full of “L’s.”
My wife dismissed him as another big mouth until his son LiAngelo got caught shoplifting in China. When Lavar opted to take a “don’t worry about it” position, she climbed on her soap box, and I joined her. My wife doesn’t cuss, but when she warms to the task, you come away thinking you have just been cussed out.
She was in conversation with one of her cousins, the family historian, and the subject came up. She was informed that Lavar is her distant cousin. SILENCE!!