How to watch football like a middle-aged man with high cholesterol

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Don’t you dare replace the ground beef with turkey when making your chili on Sunday morning—your doctor was making suggestions, not giving directives[1]. Besides, you’re taking Lipitor now; that should fix things. Go light on the vegetables, except for the garlic. You’re old enough to know there’s no such thing as too much garlic.

Chop up the ghost pepper your buddy grew in his backyard and throw it in. Be sure your next bowel movement is atomic.

Check the lines with your bookie and look for disparities with Draft Kings. Kick yourself for not locking in your bets when the spreads shift. Tease the Pats’ game, to be safe. Whatever you do, don’t bet on Dallas. Rooting for the Cowboys involves staring into your own soul and seeing The Abyss.

Check the mini-fridge in your Man Cave. Anything less than twelve Bud Lights will not suffice for twelve hours of football watching. Text your buddy who grew the ghost pepper. Tell him to pick up beer on his way over.

When your wife tells you the grass is getting long, pretend it was an observation, not a directive. Put your arm around her shoulder, pull her close as you both stare at the lawn. Say something profound. Crib Socrates. Say, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”

Then run away to your Man Cave. Ten minutes until kickoff on the 1 p.m. games.

Lock in your bets. Tell yourself this is the week you’ll win big. Tell yourself yesterday’s college football losses were an aberration, and you’re an NFL guy anyway. Look at your reflection in the 2004 Red Sox World Series Champion mirror hanging in your Man Cave and say, “I’m a winner.”

Crack your first beer. When your ghost pepper buddy arrives, give him a high-five and a bro-hug. Tell him how happy you are that football season has started. Say something sentimental about the September weather then quickly change the subject.

Ask him if he noticed the grass was getting long.

Serve the chili at half-time with cheese nachos. Don’t forget your Lipitor. When your buddy says that the chili “has bite to it,” take it as a compliment. Don’t tell him you used the ghost pepper he grew.

Don’t be disheartened when you lose your first two bets. Double-down on the Sunday Night game. Tell yourself it’s the Law of Averages. Remind yourself that you took a course in probability as an undergraduate. Tell yourself you’re a winner. Prepare for the Pats’ game.

When your wife visits the Man Cave to survey the scene and say hello to your buddy and ask you when you’re going to mow the lawn, open a Bud Light and look perplexed. Say, “One thing I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

Serve the frozen Buffalo wings during the Pats’ game. High-five and bro-hug with your buddy after every positive play. Pretend you’re happy when he tells you how much he’s won so far. Pretend you’re happy when he tells you he hit big on the Dallas game. Tell him you’re breaking even. Talk about the Law of Averages and probability. Go to the bathroom and scream into a towel.

When your ghost pepper buddy leaves, give him a high-five and a bro-hug. Ask him who and what he bet on the Sunday Night game. Follow his bet when he leaves.

Try to forget you have to work in the morning while watching the Sunday Night game. Try to forget your next bowel movement. Try to forget your gambling debts. Try to forget the grass is getting long.

Don’t forget your Lipitor.


[1] This is a speculative piece. Any resemblance to persons living or dead—especially its writer—is purely coincidental.