Basketball-lover Makes Wife Feel Foul

Published February 21, 1985. A few days ago, I received the following letter, which should be of interest to many married couples.

My question is of a seasonal nature. I have heard many comments on football regarding football widows and football family home evenings. However, not much has been said about basketball, which actually has the potential for more passion than football. I wonder how many basketball fanatics there are?

“I am married to a fine, good, understanding man. I would not trade him for anyone. But he is a basketball fanatic. I am glad he has an interest in basketball, but sometimes it seems there is just too much of a time commitment to the sport.

“He plays two or three mornings a week for one or two hours, for the exercise. He also plays in church tournaments one to two games a week and will often referee at a game directly after his own. He watches or listens to all available Utah Jazz games on TV or radio. Any local college game that is available on radio or TV is also a must. He listens to the delayed games and the coach’s show whenever he can.

“Maybe I shouldn’t gripe because he is so good, but all this seems excessive to me. Whenever I bring up his involvement with basketball, he won’t even discuss the topic with me."

“Do you think there are any other basketball widows among your readers who feel the same way?”

I think this young wife has an excellent point. Can involvement in a sport, such as basketball, be detrimental to a marriage? I read not long ago that jogging is taking its toll on many marriages in the United States, as jogging widows are beginning to voice their opinions. Maybe basketball widows in this area should organize, and before long we might have BA (Basketball Anonymous), where men come to be weaned away from their chronic involvement with the sport.

It is obvious in this letter that the man is a good husband in almost all ways. But like many of us, he becomes involved in some things to excess, and basketball happens to be his passion.

Time and its use, or abuse, is one of the current marital traps that snare many couples. I would estimate that this husband could be spending as many as 15 to 20 hours a week involved in basketball, which could be, as his wife indicated, a bit too much. It is not something she wants to cut out of his life, apparently, she just wants it scaled down, which seems like a reasonable request.

How about it? Are there any other basketball widows out there? Do any of you have your own tailor-made Basketball Anonymous program, which you could share with this concerned wife? Or perhaps you have other bits of advice for her.

I only have one observation at this time. If he watches three consecutive basketball games on any Saturday during the upcoming play-offs, have him declared legally dead, and apply for his insurance benefits.

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