Except on weekends, most pro teams play at night. What a treat that is for fans; almost every night there are games to watch and enjoy. Knowing there’s a good match up that night is enough to lift their spirits and help get them through the day. They generally begin between 8:30 and 9PM, which means there’s sufficient time to get home, do dinner, clean up, take out the garbage, even engage with family if necessary. (Hopefully, the kids head off to their rooms and prepare for bed, since there’s school the next day.)
Then it’s time to settle in for the evening. Your wife heads off for her TV shows and you prepare, in another room, to watch a game, possibly even more than one. Even if your team is not scheduled that night, you’ll find a reason to tune in. There’s another team your guys must beat out in order to make the playoffs, so it’s important that you root against them. Or it’s a battle of division leaders, or some marquee players are out there performing.
Watching a game at night is especially enjoyable. You’re relaxed – probably changed into something comfortable. You need not even keep your shoes on. Maybe you have a drink in your hand – a beer, soda – which you sip slowly and enjoy immensely. You’re by yourself, it’s quiet, the phone unlikely to ring after 9PM.
If it’s a close game and you’re really into it, there could be a problem. It has to do with when it’s likely to end. Whatever the sport you can expect games to go on for 2½ to 3 hours. That means, if you stay with it, you’re pushing midnight, and there’s the challenge. Your wife announces that she’s going off to bed and doesn’t want you coming in after she’s fallen asleep and waking her up. Starting about 11PM expect a series of inquiries as to the current state of play, i.e., how much time is left in the game. Typically you lie, informing her that there’s not much time to go. But she’s heard this before, so she’s on to you, understanding full well that between time-outs and commercial breaks the number of minutes left is not an accurate gauge of how much longer you will be watching. You keep re-assuring her that it’s almost over but she’s not buying it. How, she wants to know are you going to get up on time in the morning?
So you give in – turn off the TV. Some of it has to do with the fact that your team has fallen behind and seems destined to lose. It doesn’t help when your wife, observing your facial expression, guesses that’s the case. And at first you can’t fall asleep, reviewing in your mind all the blown opportunities during the game.
Comes the morning your first order of business is to check the final score – prepared as you are to accept defeat. But that’s not what you see. They won! They won! A last minute comeback brought victory. You’re thrilled. What a way to start the day. But they did it without you. You abandoned them. What kind of a fan are you? On the other hand, you did enjoy a good night’s sleep.