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    Posted on Apr 4, 2016

    For Everyone Who's Ever Loved Someone Who Loves Sports

    A poem about game day.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    His breathing was heavy,
    his skin had a sheen
    As he shouted "FUCK YOU, REF!"
    at the television screen.
    "Are you OK, dear?"
    His wife poked her head in.
    She knew there’d be fallout
    if his team didn’t win.

    he said, gripping his beard
    With such force that
    tiny blood droplets appeared.
    "Good," she said,
    glancing at the dent in the wall
    Where he’d once slammed his fist
    when his team lost the ball.

    She didn’t like sports;
    she always got bored
    So on game day she was
    used to being ignored
    But it was important to him,
    and so invested was he
    She tuned out his yelling
    and just let him be

    he was known to exclaim
    But he never seemed happy
    while watching the game
    He’d text from the stadium,
    as tears filled his eyes.

    It’s always the ones
    who claim to be rational
    Who come most undone
    over the outcome of nationals,
    “All women are crazy”
    they say without shame
    Then win, lose, or draw,
    they set couches aflame.

    "You seem so emotional,"
    he was fond of noting
    When they fought about issues
    like politics and voting
    "Yes, well, black lives matter,"
    she’d tiredly point out.
    And he’d agree
    that black athletes’ lives indeed count.

    "Sports is my first love,"
    he’d told her before.
    "It’s just something about me;
    I’m a fan at my core."
    "Sports isn’t real life,
    but I am," she said.
    "And the team’s losing record
    is affecting our bed."

    It was true; on the days
    that his team lost badly,
    He just wasn’t in the mood —
    he’d tell her sadly,
    "I’m deflated after seeing
    that pisspoor defense."
    And with each loss
    the air in their home grew more tense

    “Sports is how I relax!”
    he’d profess
    As his blood pressure doubled
    from all of the stress.
    And when his doctor asked him
    if he knew a reason
    Both men accepted
    it had been a rough season.

    "I’m feeling both sad and annoyed,"
    said the wife.
    And the therapist said,
    "Men love sports — that’s just life."
    Her mother-in-law backed this,
    and went on to say,
    "The men in this family
    have always done things this way."

    So though sports were not something
    she really found fun
    It now mattered to her
    whether his team lost or won
    For a loss meant no snuggling,
    no loving, just pouting
    So on game day, she watched with him,
    swearing and shouting.

    And no matter the outcome,
    she was there by his side
    As they did what they had to,
    in the name of team pride
    She’d strike up a match,
    and late into the night
    They’d make love by the glow
    of the couch that burned bright.

    Illustrations by Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

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