I remember the good old days (aka the days before I had children): I’d spend my Fall Sundays watching the Eagles play. It didn’t matter when they played. If they had the 1 PM game, that was fine. If they had the 4 PM game, that was great too.
I wasn’t as crazy about night games, because I usually had trouble falling asleep afterwards. On the other hand, at least the night games are always on national TV and I wouldn’t have to leave home to watch it.
These days, my situation has changed. I now have three children, including infant twins. I can no longer just dedicate my Sundays to watching football. As a result, I have a different outlook on game times.
1 PM games are fine. The twins usually spend a good deal of that time napping. Mrs. Cutter can also find something to occupy the Cutlet with, freeing me to watch the game in relative peace.
Night games aren’t too bad either. Yes, they might cut into my sleep, but I’ve pretty much given up on any chance of getting enough sleep for the foreseeable future anyway. Besides, I’m usually so tired that I don’t have too much trouble falling asleep no matter how exciting the game is.
But 4 PM games – those really suck.
When the Eagles have a 4 PM game, here’s how it usually plays out: We’ll usually do some sort of family activity in the early afternoon. And because doing anything with three children is exhausting, everyone is pretty tired by the time the game starts.
Unfortunately, I can’t just crash on the couch and enjoy the game.
The Cutlet’s never-ending requests to watch a movie have usually become overbearing, and being completely out of ideas, we’ll usually give in.
Meanwhile, the twins will need to fed sometime around the beginning of the game. Which means I either start of the game by holding bottles in their mouths, or I’m trying to distract them so that they don’t scream.
After the feeding, I usually have about an hour’s worth of peace. That’s when the Cutlet’s movie ends. And it’s getting to be dinner time, so we need to start figuring that out.
Around the same time, the twins start to become agitated because it’s been a long day, they’re kind of tired, but we don’t want to put them down for a full nap because it’s too close to their bed time.
This might not seem so bad if the Eagles played well. Having the Eagles succeed usually makes me feel better about everything.
But here’s a fun little fact:
The Eagles’ record in games that do not start in the 4-5 PM Sunday time slot: 9-0
The Eagles’ record in games that start in the 4-5 PM Sunday time slot: 0-4
That record isn’t just a horrible coincidence. The 4 PM time is usually reserved for the “game of the week,” so when the Eagles have to play the late game, they’re usually going against one of the better teams in the league. But still, that sucks.
Fortunately, the Eagles don’t have any more 4 PM games on the schedule, although next week’s game against the Redskins is on Saturday at 4:30 PM. Being a Saturday should make things a bit easier. I won’t have to worry about getting ready for the next day at work, and won’t have to get the Cutlet’s lunch ready either.
Plus, the Redskins are awful. The Eagles should win by about 30. That should make things a little more tolerable.
But for all my childless friends, I have one piece of advice: Enjoy the 4 PM games. Feel free to veg out on the couch and consume as many snacks as you want. Or heck, take a nap. I know I used to love those late game naps.
Because once you decide to have kids, your care free football watching afternoons may be a thing of the past.