Nooners Code of Conduct for Wives and Girlfriends.
Dear Fellow Significant Other,
I thought I might prelude the actual Code of Conduct with a little disclaimer. I was born and raised in a soccer loving area of Newfoundland, where beer is a staple in the diet. You may therefore not share my love for the sport. You are probably one of those people that generally considers the game rather dull and do not really appreciate the extended periods of skillful play between goals. You probably agree with Vijay Ramanujan when he said, "Soccer is the only sport where you can tune into the middle of a match, watch for 30 seconds and not have any idea which direction each team is going." You are not part of this religion, but you live with it on a daily basis. The following, therefore, is written as a guide to appropriate tolerance and indulgence for your soccer fanatic.
|Melanie Adams, BScH
SSP. PhD(in progress), a.k.a. Sebi's thirsty s.o.
4 December 2002
|Nooner:||One for whom soccer is such a passion that he should forego nourishment and employment productivity so as to run around and watch one guy at a time do a tap dance with a ball.|
S.O.: Significant other; Often unwilling soccer fan by association.
Soccer: Aka. Football for the more refined.
If this can be termed the century
of the common man, then soccer, of all sports, is surely his game.... In a
world haunted by the hydrogen and napalm bomb, the football field is a place
where sanity and hope are still left unmolested.
~Stanley Rous, 1952
A sport where the players actually
enjoy getting hit in the head by a ball.
~Soccer advertisement, published for the MetroStars Major League Soccer team, 1997
To the esthete it is an art form,
an athletic ballet. To the spiritually inclined it is a religion.
You should not complain about your s.o. playing soccer. In general, soccer is a game where a few fit guys play for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise. Nooners actually PLAY soccer faithfully and indulge this passion at lunch; Not during "peak family" or "significant-other interaction" times.
Being a true soccer fanatic comes with certain expectations. Your s.o. must be knowledgeable in not just the most recent world cup, but the Premiership, La Liga, Champions League, etc. Soccer Saturday, highlight reels and Livescore.com are necessary information providers and such information is absolutely necessary for interaction with other soccer fanatics. Luckily for you, the Canadian love of hockey prevents broadcast of most soccer games. You should therefore be grateful for highlight reels and indulge the Saturday morning breakfast phenomenon.
You must realize that your s.o. has an addiction. This results in great restlessness and anxiety when he is deprived of soccer play and scores. "To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink" (J.B. Priestly, 1928). His inability to carry on non-soccer related conversation in the presence of a television is not his fault. This generally should not be a problem if you simply avoid trying to carry on "deep and meaningful" conversations when a soccer distraction is within ear/eye shot.
Big games, extra time and planning a life around soccer. My advice? Save yourself the aggravation and simply understand that big games cannot be missed or left early. Watching a soccer game is a big commitment. He will not leave until everything is over and there has been at least a 30 minute recapping of highlights. Plan a day of "quality time with the kids" or go have brunch with the girls.
The 20 Minute Workout.
Translation: We've discussed every other league, now it's time to analyze our own plays of the week.
The Title. I agree this is misleading. On average, every 3 minutes of soccer played requires 1 minute of discussion. With 300 minutes of soccer per week, that's 100 minutes of rehashing goals scored, shots missed and general buffoonery plus approximately 20 minutes of formalities. Thus a 120 minute workout is a reasonable expectation.
Overtime. On this topic we must distinguish between those with "bona fide family obligations" and those without. For the former, given proposal "a," overtime is not really acceptable. However, as long as it's only an occasional occurrence and comes with a phone call of warning, it should not lead to guilt trips, blackmail, or arguments. Give him the kids for an equivalent amount of time and go enjoy yourself. For the latter, unless there is a definite expectation to meet, overtime is perfectly acceptable. For both groups, forgetting plans and big events is not at all acceptable and you may exact your revenge appropriately.
Hangovers. Unless your s.o. has zero alcohol dehydrogenase, this should not be a problem. Let's face it ladies, these guys are not exactly party animals and from what I've seen, they drink rather slowly. As long as we stick to proposal "a," drunkenness and hangovers will not result.
Get in the game and loosen up! It's just a little beer and guy talk. Rather than simply tolerate it, give it a chance. Watching a half of soccer or having a beer with the guys won't kill you. You don't need a full recap of the week's events, or to discuss the outrageous transfer payments asked for various player trades, but there's no harm dropping in for the last 30 minutes of the workout and meeting the other players and their significant others. Keep in mind the number of high school kids saving for university who are willing to keep an eye on the kids for a couple of hours for the price of a pitcher of beer.
Some people say soccer's a matter of life or death, but it isn't. It's much more important than that. Soccer is NOT equivalent to Dr. Phil and Oprah Tuesdays or reading this month's Cosmo. These things can be missed, but SOCCER IS LIFE. Respect that your s.o. has a passion for something positive and show interest. He's worth it. There are far worse things for you to contend with. Find your own passion, and if you respect his, he'll do the same.