Spontaneous Human Combustion: Exposing the Myth

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Spontaneous Human Combustion: Exposing the Myth

When I married my wife in 1997, I was already an incurable Packer fan. My wife understood that and she put up with it well.

When I visited her outside of Packer viewing area she went with me to the sports bar to catch the games. Once we lived together, although we had free cable, she allowed me to take down and put up the Direct TV every Sunday just to watch the games.

She still finds it funny how I know where every player attended college - though its not as funny to her when I start drilling her on her team, "Quick babe, where did Tony Romo go to college?"

But overall she enjoys watching the games with me although her stamina for it does not extend all day like mine does. Somewhere in the early game, late game, and night game progression of a Sunday she usually drifts off to doing other things.

The one thing she had to get used to was the little explosions of temper that happen when I watch a game. Other than yelling at the cat to get off the table I have probably not yelled outside of a Packer game in many years. I am a very calm and patient person who laughs at the drop of a hat, but yells very infrequently....

...unless Brett Favre while running for his life throws an underhand pitch to Brian Urlacher that gets returned for a touchdown to lose the game. AHHHHH! I am yelling at the computer screen right now just thinking of it. What the <bleep> <bleep> was he doing!!!

These little outbursts used to catch my wife by surprise and worry her. I had to reassure her that this was not showing some dark, angry side of myself, it was just football. No, strike that. This was PACKER football.

When you watch a team you are really into, you have to let out these little Mount Vesuvius moments. You have to vent and yell or it festers. Before you know it you start muttering to yourself and suddenly little statements will pop out at the wrong time. "Why the heck are they going for the field goal?" is perfectly acceptable when yelling it at the television on Sunday afternoon, but not as appropriate if you yell it out during the business meeting on Wednesday. "TACKLE HIM!" is a perfectly normal thing to exclaim while watching Monday night football but not as normal if blurted out during your son's graduation from kindergarten.

I can watch other teams play and not get so caught up, but when its the Packers these emotions have to be let out. They are fleeting and quick. Once you yell, the emotion passes and you can enjoy the rest of the day. If it is not released, however, the consequences may be extreme. Spontaneous human combustion my eye. It's just a Packer fan who hasn't yelled enough during the game and it built up until he exploded.

I am additionally prone to pacing and on rare occasions throwing something. "No, lil Bub, nothing is wrong with grandpa, he's just watching the Packers," is not an uncommon exchange on a fall Sunday in my home. The opposite of pacing is also possible, where you stay fixed in your "good luck spot" and can not move when things are going well for your team - but this would be the theme of another article. I have never broken anything but the SLAP of a book hitting the floor was most recently audible when Steve Smith caught a long bomb for yet another late game Packer loss.

Slowly my wife has grown accustomed to the loud noises in our home when the Packers play. The Marv Albert-like, "YES!", when something good happens. Or yelling, "GO!", during a long play. And even when I yell in anger, "Oh come on!" (or worse) when something bad happens. She now realizes this does not mean I am mad. I am just emoting and letting the feelings out so I don't explode later. It's healthy. It's necessary. My family has even given me my Bad Call Brick and my Da**it Doll - pictured above - to have something soft to throw, just in case.

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