My husband is super into sports. Not just “dudes keeping a ball away from other dudes” sports, but like…pretty much any sports. He’s not that big of a basketball fan and I’ve never seen him purposefully skim through the channels to find, like, gymnastics or figure skating competitions…but just about anything else, he’ll watch for at least a few minutes if he finds it on TV. Even golf. That right there should tell you something about his level of commitment to watching sports.
When he first moved in with me, he had this thing about how he didn’t want to record games (matches? Sporting…events? Whatever…) on the DVR and watch them later. He only wanted to watch them live. If he couldn’t watch a game live from the start, he would just skip the whole thing because…well, I’m not really sure why. But he had his reasons. Man reasons.
Anyway, after several months of disagreements about what we were going to watch on our one TV, and instances of him missing a game he wanted to watch because we had to be somewhere else, he finally started to warm to the idea of recording sports on the DVR. Nowadays, there are things he still prefers to watch live, but for the most part if real life interferes with sports-ball TV time, he’ll just record the event and watch it later. The one side-effect of this, however, is that when he’s waiting to watch a game he’s recorded, he will be SUPER ULTRA OBSESSIVELY careful about trying to avoid seeing the score of the game he’s currently not watching. He’ll stay off social media, he’ll avoid news websites that he knows might be running a ticker of the scores, etc. It’s serious business.
So, last night the New England Patriots were playing. Normally Patriots games are firmly at the top of Mark’s “must watch live” list, but last night’s was only a preseason game (I can totally hear him scoffing at the word ‘only’ in my head right now, by the way), so it was acceptable that it be recorded and caught up on a little later. We finished dinner, we went into the living room, he turned on the TV…and there was the Patriots game, because the DVR had been set to record it so the TV had been auto-tuned to that channel. Mark squawked and threw a hand up to shield his eyes, not wanting to see the score. He had the remote and was trying to change the channel but couldn’t make the remote work…possibly because he had his hand over his eyes. He started pleading with the TV as he struggled with the remote.
“No, no, no, don’t tell me the score, don’t tell me the scooooore, noooo!”
To which I, exceedingly helpful wife that I am, cheerfully replied…
“Oh don’t worry, there’s no score yet. It looks like there’s only five minutes left in the quarter.”
There was a beat of stunned silence, then we embarked on a detailed refresher course of Mark’s feelings with regard to having sports scores spoiled for him.
But…IN MY DEFENSE…my reasoning was that there was literally no score, so I wasn’t really ruining anything. Right? I mean, there are things you can GUESS might have happened in a game that has a 0-0 score with five minutes left in the first quarter, ie:
- one or both of the teams are having a bad night on offense (PLAUSIBLE)
- one or both of the teams are having a GOOD night on defense (ALSO PLAUSIBLE)
- somebody might have gotten really CLOSE to scoring but then it didn’t happen (+3 PANTS OF PLAUSIBILITY)
- maybe nobody had gotten close to scoring at all because…I don’t fucking know…pterodactyls stormed the field (MAYBE NOT PLAUSIBLE, but entertaining to consider)
By their very nature, zeros have no value. Logic* therefore dictates that my revealing that the score was zero all revealed ACTUAL NOTHING. I don’t see how that’s problematic in any way. IN FACT, quite the opposite, I feel like I did him a FAVOR by increasing his anticipation for watching the game. If I hadn’t said that there was no score, he wouldn’t have been NEARLY as interested in eventually watching the first quarter of the game to see just what shenanigans had led up to said fest of equal nothingness.
*Disclaimer: I use the term ‘logic’ in the loosest sense here. Not that anyone reading this really needed to be reminded of that, I suppose…but still. Better safe than embroiled in Internet debates with people way better at logic-ing than I am (see also: everyone, ever).