How I lost my wife to a Colts QB


Oct. 6, 2003, was, by all accounts except one, an unremarkable day.



It was the day, though, that I became a football widower.

The Monday Night Football game that night was between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The previous season, the Bucs had won the Super Bowl and that night, they were taking it to the Colts. Robin, my wife, and I were watching the clock tick down in bed before going to sleep. She was probably reading or something like that, having never showed that much interest in football.

Robin wasn’t the kind of wife to give me a hard time for watching sports on the weekend, mostly because she liked sports well enough. She spent much of her time in college covering girls sports for the Albuquerque Journal, so its not like she’s never been to a game. Plus, I’m not the kind of husband who spends his Saturday and Sunday on the couch watching sports. For me, televised sports lends itself for more to napping than chicken wings. Golf is especially snooze-inducing, but I can nod off to the NFL just as easily. I enjoy watching a good game as much as any other guy, but it wasn’t and still isn’t my life.

So that game was on and I was kind of watching it. But I was getting ready to turn off the TV and go to sleep. The Colts were down 21 points with about five minutes left in the game. It seemingly was over.

Except Peyton Manning, the Colts quarterback, didn’t think it was over. Neither did the rest of the team and by the end of regulation, the Colts had tied the score. In overtime, they won it on a field goal and by the time we turned off the television, Robin had found herself a sports hero. It just took her some time to admit it.

But a funny things started to happen. She started watching pro football. She began to learn the names of players and coaches. And she knew where they played and if they were any good. She began to lament the fact that the Albuquerque stations would show the Cowboys and Broncos games each weekend, but rarely show the Colts.

I would chide her about being a Colts fan, but she would deny it, saying she simply enjoyed a good football game, which was partially true. She was more of a Peyton Manning fan, she said, and would not only watch him play, but his commercials as well.

After the Colts’ Super Bowl win in 2007, I finally got her to admit her fandom for the team. How can you not call yourself a Colts fan if you knew the names of the team’s defensive linemen? And this year for her birthday, I got her some Colts shirts and hats, which she religiously has worn each Sunday since.

We in the family have looked upon Robin’s obsession with a little amusement. It was funny to hear her make exclamatory remarks while watching the games. And fortunately this season has been a good one for the Colts, so she’s been in a good mood.

But this football thing is more serious than I thought. A couple of weeks ago, she made the comment that “Ed Hochuli is the worst referee in the NFL.” I asked her how she knew Hochuli and she referred me to a blown call the guy had made during the San Diego-Denver game last season. That exchange made me a bit nervous, but then she began channeling John Madden and went into a long playoff analysis for both the AFC and NFC, and which teams would be a good matchup for the Colts. It was freaky and, admittedly, a little sexy. Some guys may feel threatened by having a wife who knows pro football, but after my championship fantasy football season this year, I’m still confident in my manhood.

So on Sunday, my wife’s team, with her favorite player, will be playing in the Super Bowl. The excitement is thick in the air, but there also is a bit of sadness, for this is the last game of the year.

On Monday, the kids get their mother back, and I get my wife back. Of course the drawback is that she probably won’t let me take as many naps.

I’m going to miss football season.


McClannahan is editor of the Mountain View Telegraph, contact him by e-mail to