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Three Game Road Trip

December 26, 2008

So tomorrow I head off on a three-game road trip…and by that I mean horrible vacation planning = four-day trip, three games. I’ve already announced to everyone that I will not be doing anything Sunday morning while the Jazz play the Rockettes, but I will be missing my first two games of the season traveling to and traveling from. A big massive boo.

In the meantime, I leave y’all (and by “y’all” I really mean myself) with a test and advice column wisdom.

There was a very good movie called “Diner” a while back. The character played by “Police Academy” great Steve Guttenberg subjected his fiancée to a test on his favorite team – the Baltimore Colts – that she had to pass before he would marry her. The test was brutal.

While it certainly isn’t the kindest thing to do, there is a certain logic to it. You have to talk to your spouse about the things that affect your life. To do so, your significant other have to have some fundamental knowledge about these things before you can make a big commitment. So, as a service to you all, these are the questions your girl/boyfriend MUST be able to answer before you make a commitment:

1. What is your favorite team? (1 point)

2. Name three players on your favorite team. (.5 points per player)
(This is crucial You will be cursing about these guys at some point during the season. S/he has to know who you are talking about)

3. What channel is your favorite team on? (1 point)
(May be the most important question on the test. Lets say you are stuck at work and the big game is on. You need it taped. You call home. S/he has to be able to set that VCR/TiVo.)

4. When is basketball season? (1 point, 2 point bonus if s/he mentions the playoffs)
(“Winter” is an acceptable answer.)

5. Who is your favorite player, all-time? (2 points)
(If you have an emotionally satisfying story about why this guy is your favorite player, it’ll make it much easier. Something like, “One time, when my dad and I watched him play, my dad told me he loved me” )

6. Who is your favorite player, currently playing? (2 points)
(Go easy on her here. Think about the most famous player on your favorite team. I don’t care how much you love Darius Songalia, she won’t remember it)

7. Which player do you hate? (1 point – if you pass this question, just give her the point)
(If you don’t hate any players, then you can pass on this question. But if hypothetically there is a player you hate, and he get accused of some crime – or other public humiliation, s/he has to know how much you are enjoying it).

8. Tell you about Fantasy Basketball? (1 point)
(If you randomly sign up for leagues, then s/he only has to have an idea what fantasy basketball is and that you do it. If you are part of long-standing league with a lot of your friends, s/he has to know more, i.e. some of the owners, your team’s name, approximately how your team did last season)

9. Who is the greatest player ever? (1 point; Bonus point if s/he gets Oscar Robertson)
(The acceptable answers are Jordan, Wilt, Russell, Jabbar, Magic, Oscar, Bird or any player you’ve told her is the greatest)

10. Tell you something she thinks about your favorite team. (2 points)
(This is vital. I don’t care if its an analysis of the team’s current cap structure, the team colors, or just “Knicks Rule” – s/he has to be able to form an opinion. If s/he can ask you what you think of her new dress, s/he can tell you something about your team).

You can give partial credit at your discretion. 7.5 points to pass. Good luck.

And in case anyone is curious, according to Dear Margo, romance with me cannot last.

12/12/2008 – DEAR MARGO: I have been dating a guy for two years, and when we met, everything was perfection. We have had ups and downs, of course, but I feel there’s one thing that is always putting a strain on our life: My boyfriend is totally obsessed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Everything he does revolves around them, from the clothes he wears each day (always a Penguins hat and/or shirt) to the car he drives (his license plate boasts the name of his favorite player) to his room, which is covered floor to ceiling with 8 by 10 pictures, jerseys in cases, pucks, sticks, game-used skates and hockey cards. He needs to go to all the home games (42-plus over eight months), and he goes alone because he only has one ticket. His hockey mania takes a huge toll on our relationship because it involves a large chunk of time away from “us.” We both work and go to school, so our time is limited, but the Penguin season in the mix makes it much worse. I end up feeling unimportant to him — almost as if he has a second girlfriend and he’s cheating on me with “her.” Please help me find a way to make him understand my feelings and to lessen the strain on our relationship.

DEAR OFF: You have my sympathies. A former husband was also obsessed with hockey … about which I knew nothing. In fact, I remember watching the first game he took me to for a while and then blurting, “My God! They’re on skates!” I suspect that even if your boyfriend had two tickets it would not solve your problem. Your guy sounds like such a jock and a fanatic that my hunch is the romance cannot last. No offense, but the Penguins seem to have edged you out in terms of where he puts his energy and spends his time. I suspect he already understands your feelings, and that a relationship is not so important to him. I am guessing the only way you could see more of him is if you ran the Zamboni machine.

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