Football: A family divided.

A passion,
an interest,
a religion.

There is no mistaking, we are very much a football family. In Canada it’s always about hockey, not as much football as the sport of choice, but not in our house – NFL football is king! 

Mark has been a Dallas Cowboys fan since he was a little kid. This guy knows every stat, every player, every significant event that has taken place for his team over the years. Including having the entire NFL schedule memorized. He’s a living breathing sports news app! Who needs Alexa when you have him!?  

He owns almost all the sportswear and memorabilia you can think of. Including my personal favorite this amazing t-shirt that we got from the NFL Shop. Sundays during football season are named Dallas Day and Dallas sports apparel must be worn. The games are entered into our calendar and nothing is planned when the almighty Cowboys are on TV!  

Now lucky for him I am a big football fan myself. I say lucky because it didn’t take much for me to buy in to the world stopping come game time. The one problem that did arise is that I was not a Cowboys fan…uh oh! I was a New Orleans Saints Fan…double uh oh! 

When I first took a liking to Football it was during the season that I was on maternity leave the year the Saints won it all! I had seen Drew Brees on The Ellen show a few times and knew that this team was very much the underdog. They came from a place that had just been devastated by that awful Hurricane Katrina and they were playing better than they had in years.  

My ex and I had always thrown a super bowl party but that was the extent of my football watching and knowledge. To me it was about coming together, eating, drinking and having a great time! But that year it went a little deeper for me. I knew the Saints would win it that year. My Dad came in the house and said “Those Saints will never win” I said “Without a doubt, they will win it. I’d put money on it” So we did – $20. I was $20 richer by the end of that game and a true die hard Saints Fan from that moment on.  

I still didn’t know much about football. After my split from my ex, with my new found free time, I decided I would try and watch more games and try my best to understand it better. I still found it quite confusing in all honesty. All these men in tight pants starting and stopping, starting and stopping, all chasing this ball around the field. I couldn’t understand it. So true to my avid research fashion I googled “A girl’s guide to football” and “football for dummies” and up came amazing information in layman’s terms that I could easily read and understand. After that the more I watched, the more I understood and the deeper the love grew.  

The Saints didn’t too well in the seasons that followed that great win. They were still above average but from that year, they paled in comparison. Making it to the playoffs only to choke first round. Never the less, I was a true fan. I purchased some amazing women’s apparel from the NFLshop and wore them during the whole season. My most favorite piece being my number 9 Jersey in white. Drew Brees is an incredible human and the most ridiculously talented player ever in my humble opinion! It’s easy to fall in love with a sport when you have an advocate like that to look up to! 

When Mark and I met we very quickly started chatting about football, with both of our profile names on match.com monikers to our teams, we knew we had a shared interest. We had mutual respect for the teams we both loved. We enjoyed talking about it, watching it and going to games together. It was so nice being on the same page and having this common bond.  

When we moved in together, that first football season was a little rough in all honesty. I was putting more weight behind Saints games being watched and he was putting weight behind Dallas of course. So instead of working together and compromising we would end up bickering about which game should be on when both teams played at the same time, which for some reason, (thanks universe!) were often at the same time. We were getting a big lesson in learning to compromise!  

Our house was divided. Mark couldn’t bear to wear another team’s apparel even though I was sporting Dallas gear when those games were on and had bought him a Saints shirt to wear for the games. He just couldn’t do it. I would get frustrated and hurt and it caused a lot of unnecessary nonsense.  

Now you’re probably thinking, really you two? There are way bigger things than a sport to be spending your precious energy on and you’re right. It came down to picking our battles and realizing that as much as I love football and the Saints, my love for it was new and Mark’s was lifelong. You can’t compete really!  

Our first year living together was the year of Dak Prescott becoming the starting Dallas Cowboys Quarterback for the Cowboys and it was easy to fall into the hype of him. I loved watching the games and thought it was completely insane what the league did to Ezekiel Elliott. I fell for Dez Bryant as well. Watching him in action was always fascinating, we even named our dog after him! With each passing game I was becoming more and more involved with the Cowboys. So, I came to a decision that I would switch teams to keep harmony in our home and relationship.  

When we’re both stubborn individuals with a love for the same sport but two different teams it became a necessity in picking battles and compromising. I was happy to do it because I wanted to and because it was much easier for me to do it than it would have ever been for Mark to even try (he couldn’t even wear the shirt…. could you imagine!?!?) 

Now in our home our family is a Cowboys family. We have this cute sign symbolizing it! We are Dallas fans through and through and our second favorite team collectively is the New Orleans Saints. Some say I’m a sell out now, but I value my relationship and peace more than I do a sport. Pick your battles people! That being said the NFL playoffs are upon us… 

P.S. Drew Brees is still number 1! No matter what team jersey I wear and what team I root for, he will always be number 1 in my eyes!! Thank you for making it so easy too, Mr. Brees 😊  

xx Jenn