Monday, September 12, 2016

What Football Season Looks Like in Our Home

Social media is beginning to display pictures of people in jerseys, recipes for snacks to munch on during games, and relatives turning against each other as football season begins. There's even an option to put an NFL-themed filter over your Facebook profile picture! With all of this festivity celebrating football season, how can I not join in?  

BUT...I don't make cute snacks for Game Day, wear sports jerseys, or watch football. In fact, football season looks very similar to "normal" life around here. However, my husband and I have our own quirky little culture. As some of you may remember, I married a wonderful man who plays competitive video games. A while back, I talked about how video games help me learn about marriage, but today I'd like to share some practical realities of what life looks like over here during the season of pigskin and team rivalries (and year-round, really). 

[Keep in mind that every person, marriage, and gamer is different-especially since there is a huge range of competitive video games out there, so you can't assume that what applies to Jacob and I applies to every gamer couple, or even that it applies to every competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee player.]

Instead of having lengthy professional football games on TV, we often watch live streams of Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments.

Before I met Jacob, I didn't know that people around the globe watched other people compete in video games for fun. But, lo and behold, they do. And we do! And-don't let your jaw hit the floor-I find Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments far more exciting to watch than professional football. 

I have no gripe against athletic events themselves, but watching many of the professional sports on TV has never interested me that much. Games seem long to me, especially when you add in commercial breaks, time-outs, and referees halting the game due to penalties or various technicalities. However, in Melee, each match lasts only a handful of minutes, is constantly rollicking along (it's either a one v. one battle, or a two-team battle), and there are very few (if any) commercial breaks. Sure, you might think that, "So it's just some people playing video games, what's the big deal? How can that be exciting at all?"
Peter seems to like watching Melee, too-probably
because of the bright colors and quick movement. 
Friends, when there are sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars waiting to be claimed by the winners, it can be very exciting and suspenseful. There's always a Smash tournament happening somewhere in the world, so we watch bits and pieces of tournaments quite frequently together, and it's pretty fun. 

At any given moment, we have at least one CRT (that's cathode ray tube) television in our living room.

And Peter really likes to look at his reflection in them :) 

Instead of trying to remember the somewhat normal-sounding names of various football players, I just learn cool "gamer tags" for the different Smash players.

When I first met my husband, I didn't know what "gamer tags" were. Yardo? Must be some sort of strange middle name that his parents gave him...(I was grateful to find that "Yardo" isn't part of his actual name haha) Gamers create these special names for themselves to use when playing and at tournaments, and sometimes they can get really weird or make me feel like eating food (I'm looking at you, Homemade Waffles). I find it way easier, instead of trying to remember first name + last name, to just remember one catch, super strange "gamer tag." 

Also, the fact that a portion of the people I know all go by special "tags" (let's be honest, there are some people who I only know as their gamer tag and I have no idea what their real names are) makes me feel like I'm in a cool spy movie, and that's a pretty neat feeling. 

We don't go to football games; instead, my husband competes in tournaments.

For several months, we experienced the awesome blessing of having a video game lounge within walking distance of our apartment, so for the weekly tournaments on Sunday afternoons, my husband and I would go together. A few times, I would team with him for doubles (I'm very bad, but it would still be quite fun!), but mostly I would go to watch him compete, cheer him on, and walk home whenever I had my fill of gaming. Let me tell you, watching Jacob compete can get really nerve-wracking and intense. Once, another Smash player kept watching and laughing at me because I was making some crazy facial expressions during a match! Now that the only local tournaments are a 30ish minute drive away, I don't go to watch him as much, but I do text back and forth frequently to get updates :)  

I cannot converse with others about the top football players out there...but I can give my opinions of some of the top Melee players!

I'm amused that when people bring up different famous celebrities in conversation, I often have no idea who they are talking about. And even if I have heard of a certain celebrity, I probably can't tell you much about him or her, or give my thoughts on that person's work. However, although I know very little about the Melee scene, I can talk about some of the top players. For example, I can discuss how neat I think Armada is for his overall awesomeness at Melee, how cool it is that he plays as Peach, and how admirable his dedication for the game (he's from Sweden and often comes to America to compete) is. 

Instead of having parties to watch football games, every now and then a Smash Invasion will happen at our home.

This consists of several Smash players coming to our apartment, setting up their CRTs and game set-ups, and playing together for hours on end. I usually take Peter and escape to the grocery store for part of the Invasion ;) Really, though, we try to make an appearance at some point because some of the guys who come over like looking at (or holding) babies, but don't really see babies ever (in fact, once a guy told me that he mainly came over because he wanted to see Peter, with the side benefit of playing games with my husband!). 

While other people talk football technicalities, I learn lots of really random things that pertain to a variety of topics.

For example, while Jacob and I were watching CEO several weeks ago (a big tournament in Florida), he explained to me what "Wizzrobes" are, since "Wizzrobe" is the gamer tag of one fairly well-known Smash player (Wizzrobes are from Zelda, I found out). Also, due to watching Melee tournaments, I learned what the state flag of Arizona looks like, since Axe (who is from Arizona) sometimes has one with him at tournaments. Who knows if either of these bits of information will be handy in my life-but they might be! 

I love how unique our family culture is, and I think it's really neat that every family has their own special practices and traditions. I think it's neat that some people have lots of football season festivity, but I really enjoy that we do things differently around here. It all just adds to beautiful variety in our world :) I hope that you all have a wonderful day! 


  1. This is really awesome! I love how you guys have entered into this world together :) That's the best part of football for me, watching in community and having little traditions!

    1. Thanks! Community is the best-when I would watch football with my family growing up, the "human interest" stories were always my favorite part :)

  2. haha, I liked the correlations between 'gamer tag' and 'secret spy name'. Angel fiercely dislikes football. So....yeah...there has never been a football game watched in our home. He follows international football and running news but doesn't watch much of games.

    However, when the World Cup comes, which has happened twice in our relationship since it's once ever four years, I suddenly find myself the wife of a soccer fan. I have fond memories of Summer 2014, having a bonfire in the backyard with Angel and his buddies, all of us listening to the Spanish radio channel broadcasting a game over a 25 year old boombox (normal broadcast TV didn't play many World Cup games, so they went old-school and listened to them on the radio). "GOOOOOLLLLL!" The game announcer was quite enthusiastic, haha!

    1. Haha seriously, it's fascinating-you walk into a tournament and NO ONE is going by his given name, it really is like a spy thing. That's so neat that Angel's inner soccer fan comes out during the World Cup. I bet it was exciting to gather around the boombox and a fire-it sounds so fun!

  3. I understand with getting into something other people don't get. We're huge Tour de France people over here. But when I others find out they say something along the lines of "you enjoy watching people ride bikes on tv?" I never thought I would get into it; but I did! Enjoy your gaming. And PEACH!!!!

    1. So glad you can relate! Haha! I enjoyed all of your Tour de France news on your blog, because it's something that I never hear about. I think it's cool that you guys have that unique part to your family culture. I've never seen Tour de France, but I did watch a little bit of the cycling on the Olympics and thought it was pretty neat, but since the channel only really showed the beginning and end, it was a bit more exciting for me than if I watched the whole race.

      We will enjoy our gaming (and Peach. She's the best)! Right now, Jacob is actually entertaining Peter with a Mario game so I can have tea and a little break :)

  4. Lol this is too cute! I love Peter checking out himself in the TV screen, its so sweet to see babies explore looking and seeing themselves like that:) That's special you and Jacob can enjoy it all together!

    1. It's pretty precious to see him become more aware of himself!