Are you ready for some football? Is your family?

Ok fellas, quiz time (dont’ worry, it’s short):

  • Who did you take in the first round of your fantasy draft this season?
  • How many points did your favorite team score this week?
  • When was the last time you scheduled a special event (cookout etc.) on gameday?
  • Who is your favorite player?
  • How many hours did you spend watching football this weekend?

Ok, gut-check time, quiz #2:

  • What is the name of your child’s new homeroom teacher?
  • What did your child score on their last math test?
  • When was the last time you scheduled a special event for your anniversary?
  • Who is your child’s favorite playmate?
  • How many hours did you spend playing with your family last week?

Could you answer all of the questions on the first quiz?  How about the second?  As much as I hate to say it, I didn’t do as well on my own second quiz as I would have liked…so this is a gut-check for me too.

Our country has become enamored with football.  Thanks to sports talk radio, Monday night games, Thursday night games, fantasy leagues etc. football is no longer a Sunday afternoon escape, it’s a week season long obsession.  I’ve been hearing so many reports today about the new Redzone network and how it will change how everyone watches the game…and keep men glued to the TV even more on Sundays.  I have to admit, even though my team (the Ravens) didn’t play yesterday I had my fantasy football tracker going in the background yesterday and would check it every…so often…during the afternoon to see how the games were going.  I can see the appeal of something like the Redzone network.  What’s really interesting to me is how football has become so big it’s even permeated our churches to the point where I often see folks wearing their favorite teams jersey to church, and heaven forbid if the preacher goes too long and people miss kickoff.

But how does this effect our families?  My wife’s least favorite day of the year is our fantasy football draft day.  Mostly this is because we make it an all day guys event, but my guess is it is also because it symbolizes the beginning of football season and she knows my attention is going to become more divided on Sundays than she would like it to be.  The questions I ask myself are:  How can I be a good a father if I spend more time thinking about and watching football than playing with or thinking about my kids?  How good a husband can I be if I know my favorite teams starters but don’t know my wife’s favorite flowers (and pick them up for her every Monday to thank her for being supportive of me watching the game on Sunday)?

Now don’t get me wrong, football can be a good thing.  It can provide a much needed escape after a long, hard week of work.  It can provide good fellowship opportunities if we spend the time with neighbors, friends and family.  Of course, it’s also just a lot of fun to watch.  However, like most good things we need to make sure we take it in moderation.  For me that means the only game I sit down and watch every week is the one my team is playing in.  I pay attention to the others but if they are on at all it is normally in the background while I’m doing other things.  I play in two fantasy leagues, but I know my limit.  Two is a good amount for me, any more and I’d be taking too much time away from the people important to me. 

So the question is, what’s good for your family, and what is good for you.  You may need to have an open dialogue with your spouse about it.  If you do, don’t shy away from it but listen to the needs of your family and take care of what they need from you.

Just my $.02