I saw a t-shirt design today that got me thinking. It said “the secret to a happy marriage is watching Avalanche Hockey together”. While that is a little too specific, although it happens to apply to me, it holds a certain kernel of truth. The secret to a successful relationship, in my experience, is shared interests. It might even be what brought you together in the first place but interests are not static and people continue to evolve. With this in mind can you still be “that happy couple” if your D&D group falls apart or your job doesn’t allow room for square dancing anymore? What happens if you fall out of love with an activity you once loved?
Well a transformation like this has taken place in our house and it has been more positive than negative. Our D&D group has suffered the fate that is all too frequent, the critical hit of scheduling difficulties. Our fantasy football league fell apart for lack of interest and distance. Neither one of us likes to party. His idea of a great Friday night is Friday Night Magic at our local game store. At that point in the week I’m so fed up with dealing with the public and standing on my feet that I want to be sequestered in my office with Netflix, Pinterest and hours of bad pop music and if I’m really lucky a creative spark. I’m peopled out. He’s feeling competitive and eager to be out in the MTG community.
I’m going say right now, it works out perfectly. I don’t need to spend my Friday night bitching about work and he sure doesn’t need to hear it. I drop him off at the Complex and go do what I need to refuel. A few years ago I would have been paranoid that we weren’t spending enough time together but after a lot of soul searching for what we really find important and considering what we need in order to have a happy life on a daily basis, we have found a balance of alone and together time. I love symphonic metal, Jeff has no patience for “shotgun drums”. He loves techno and I can’t handle what the treble does to my head. It important for us to both get enough of these things. For me there is value in something I can lose myself in without having to include someone else but you can’t call it a relationship if you never interact. Now is when I’m going to tie this back to hockey, cause you knew that was coming right? 🙂
Two years ago Jeff started making an effort to watch hockey with me, when I decided to finally get back in touch with my roots. A few years before I had put in the time to really learn about football and now he was perfectly happy to return the favor. It’s more interactive than watching a show together because we’re so much less concerned with what the announcers have to say than the dialogue of say Dr. Who. We can talk and joke and still keep track of “that scuttlebutt” on twitter. The experience inspired us to take a romantic getaway to NJ to share our first NHL game together and it turned into a magical time.
Meanwhile football has disappeared from the picture. His choice not mine. Since we’re both nerds and he is specifically a sports nerd, the next thought on our minds was “we can probably play this as a fantasy sport”. Jeff has played a lot of fantasy baseball and football and has a natural inclination to amass and study statistics. So, we jumped into public leagues on Yahoo last year just to test the waters. Any public league in any fantasy sport is going to be pretty easy to do as a beginner but since we’re competitive we decided to find a podcast on fantasy hockey to guide us. We wanted to be kings of the kiddie pool. Jeff found Keeping Karlsson and we quickly developed a routine running up to last season.
We listen to the cast on our morning commute, which isn’t long. One episode sometimes takes us an entire work week to get through when the show is super dense. During the day we use whatever info we gleaned to make free agent moves as needed. We steered our teams by their advice last year and both of us made it to the finals of the play offs. Result! One of us even won our league! 😛 Ahem…that would be me and I’d love to talk your ear off about how putting a priority on drafting solid goal-tending really paid off. We now support the show through Patreon, and are heading into the deep end of fantasy hockey in a patrons only ultimate league with tiers and promotion and relegation. Oh man, it is going to great. I’ve gone from seeming like a genius in a public league to facing off against the “Fantasy Hockey Robot” himself. I’ve never been so stoked to lose in my life.
I’m kidding. I spent a good amount of time tonight picking Jeff’s brain and poaching his research for my draft. This shit it on! My point is this. We now spend most of our free time discussing stats and players and sports headlines and idle conjecture and free agent moves. What we’re not spending much time on is bitching about work or something else just as meaningless to me but that will take over my mind if I let it. Our conversations have purpose. We don’t have time to fight, except about draft strategy and we’re just going to put bets on those differing opinions and let the numbers sort our who’s right.