For better, or for worse, in sickness, and in health (with ESPN, and with Bleacher Report)...
These vows may never be taken at any wedding, or maybe they just might, hence the parentheses. Regardless, it goes without saying that, in this day and age, the way to a man's heart lies not through his stomach, nor through your in-laws, but through the way you can cope with his beloved world of sports.
In fact, "cope" is too mild a word. You literally have to "marry" the sports as well, because it's part of the package—buy one, get one free, whether you like it or not.
Ladies have to realize that when they "say yes" to their man, it means saying yes to weekdays with SportsCenter, weekends with the NFL, and, more often than not, trips to the stadium to catch the city's MLB franchise and frequent visits to NBA, NHL, and College Football games.
I'm sure I've left out so many other sporting occasions. Who can forget playoff time, when it's just the man, his friends, and the TV remote?
In my part of the world, the craziness also spills over to the weekends of Barclays Premier League action, weeknights of UEFA Champions League Football, and at least one major tennis tournament every month (and that's excluding the Grand Slams).
So, where exactly is the time slot that's reserved for the ladies? Is it even humanly possible to fit in time for your wife (or girlfriend)? And what about if your son is just as much of a sports freak as yourself? It's great fun for you and him, but what about the missus?
It seems to me that the time that one will be giving his wife during the week, month, or even the year is too short to keep a relationship going for a lifetime. So what is the only real solution?
I'm liable to get eyes rolling and knives sharpening, but ladies, the only real solution is falling in love with your man's first love. You already know he has eyes for you, but you have to realize you are not the only true love in his life.
Ladies tend to expect their man to enjoy the regular shopping trips, or even the odd chick flick at the cinema. However, when it comes to sports, many of the same ladies end up being too obstinate to take the plunge.
It's not as if we're asking you to walk into a blazing inferno, or even requesting that you eat something that doesn't suit your palate. It's plain and simple: If the ladies pay even 20 percent of the amount of attention to sports that their men do, it would make the relationship so much smoother, and you'd literally have the guy eating out of your hands (as many of the ladies would like).
What makes a successful relationship? Now I'm not an expert on this by any stretch of the imagination, but the experts in this field tend to suggest that more than anything it's communication—the ability to have a discussion, not only about life's responsibilities, but also about the things that you like/dislike, things that entertain you, things that excite you.
And is there anything in the world that excites a rational man more than his love for sports? I think the answer will definitely be a resounding "no" in many cases.
A man comes home after a hard day at the office, and there's nothing he would love more than to jump into a reclining La-Z-Boy, flip through the variety of sports viewing options available, and settle in with his favorite drink in hand to enjoy the contest, or even his favorite news program, SportsCenter.
So ladies, as natural as it is for you to spread the gossip on the latest fashion trends, or carefully analyze the choices before deeming them worthy enough of a place in your wardrobe, it is just as natural for a man to analyze the game as critically and get engulfed in the heat of the competition.
This doesn't mean he doesn't love you, or loves you any less than his favorite team or sports star. Just try having a discussion with him about sports (go on, ask him what he thought of that last-minute goal that won the game for his team), and you'll see that he'll open up a portion of his heart to you which you never even knew existed.
It's much more than his inner child or his alter ego. It's simply the man himself, his intellect laid bare in front of you completely. Then you get an idea of the completeness of your man, his emotions, his thoughts, and his priorities in life.
The missing piece of the puzzle in relationships can more often than not be located where the communication void exists. And for most couples in this world, it generally tends to emanate from the man's first true love—the wide world of sports.
So when standing at the altar, even though it may not be a part of the wedding vows, it would be more than prudent to consider that when you marry a man, you have to marry sports as well, or at the barest of bare minimums, make your peace with his love for it. He'll love you all the more for it.