How the Free Beer Movement May Have Ruined My Marriage
Today, the Free Beer Movement may have cost me my marriage.
I was sitting at a birthday party for my son’s friend, and a couple of fathers were sitting around discussing today’s big throwball match between Alabama and LSU.
As it would be, I –foolishly– moved to Alabama about three years ago. While Rocket City United is a decent NPSL team, and the Atlanta Silverbacks have made a recent resurgence in NASL, there is not a whole lot of “soccer culture” in this state (yes I know Atlanta is in Georgia, but I’m closer to Atlanta than I am to Birmingham or Huntsville). This, after all, is a state ruled by throwball. Truthfully said, fans of SEC throwball –the conference that has made the MLS black-hole of the Southeastern United States possible– are relatively fun. In fact, the closest I have ever seen to a soccer crowd replicated in another sport (hooliganism and all) are at the few Auburn tailgates that I have attended. They drink, they chant, they sing about the horrors of the other teams, and a whole lot of the celebration at these tailgates really has little to do with the actual game. But I digress.
Moving back towards the Free Beer Movement ruining my relationship, people must understand that the moves I made today were all under the guise of what the Free Beer Movement implores me to do. As these fathers, one dressed up in a University of Alabama polo, the other in a Florida State throwball jersey, and the third in an Alabama t-shirt began discussing the intricacies of Bear Bryant, Nick Saban, and Les Miles, of Auburn’s current place in the SEC totem pole, and other very important throwball related things, I found them suddenly looking towards me. Perhaps, this was because I was the only father not wearing throwball gear.
One of them then asked me who I was cheering for today, Alabama or LSU. I let them know that I didn’t care, because although I was an Auburn fan, I was more concerned with the current MLS playoffs. They looked at me like I had ten heads, most likely wondering why anyone would care about a real estate’s Multiple Listing Service playoff.
One thing lead to another, and by the end of the conversation I had invited the three men, and their children, and their wives over to our house on the 20th for the MLS Cup Final –as the dogma of the Free Beer Movement compels us– without the express written consent of my wife. Fortunately, or unfortunately if you are my wife, they all accepted my invitation. Still she can’t be mad at me for following the book of the Free Beer Movement, as I can’t be mad at her for being Catholic. Right?
Unfortunately the Free Beer Movement is not a religion…to her. To the misses, it is just an excuse to get drunk not a way of life.
Most wives generally know that at one point or another they will be hosting a Super Bowl party. They know that someday they will open their homes to children, who don’t care about the game, that will be spending the time making messes and getting in fights. They know that someday their abodes will open up to women, who don’t care about throwball, but want to gossip about the neighbors. They know that someday they will open up their personal environments to men, only half of whom actually care, to get drunk and drop crumbs on the upholstery, all while yelling at a flat screen TV. However, most wives do not realize that someday they will be doing this for MLS Cup.
I will undoubtedly try to point my wife to the book of the Free Beer Movement that says all we need is beer and soccer. MLS is providing the soccer, we will provide the beer. Honestly, how hard is that? But she is a serial hostess and will demand much more. She will want soccer trivia games. She will want soccer themed snacks. She will want arts and crafts for the children. She will want to roast a pig. She will want wine, spirits, and margaritas. Basically, she will want all sorts of things other than beer and soccer. She will want this to be a ceremonial celebration. These, of course, are things that I did not think of while following the word of the Free Beer Movement. I didn’t realize, until much later, that at the end of the day MLS Cup has the potential to be just another social event.
With all the faults of the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the insanity of how teams qualify, with the Supporters Shield winner not having a big enough advantage, MLS Cup does have the potential to be exploited by the league. If MLS wants to really push its sport it needs to sell it as a championship day, not a championship game. To be honest, most single-day elimination sporting events parties are not attended by fans of that sport. My wife has never cared about the Super Bowl, but she attends the parties because they are a social event. We watch the BCS Championship in January not for any school allegiance (except last year), but for the sole purpose of saying we were there.
This also goes with awards shows. Why do I attend stupid Academy Award and Golden Globe parties with my wife? Can I even name the last three Best Actress winners? Have I seen the last three Best Picture winners? Do I even know what cinematography is? No, I mostly attend because my wife makes me. I signed up for these stupid parties when I got married; and luckily for me, she signed up for Super Bowl, BCS, and apparently MLS Cup Finals parties when she married me. I suppose that now that I have been indoctrinated by the church of the Free Beer Movement that it is time to break out the cold cuts, pizza, beer, and big screen TV for a sport that I actually love –as opposed to one I watch out of a social obligation.
We get married for better, for worse, for sporting events, and for award shows. We might disagree on certain ideals, but she allows her children to play youth soccer, and I allow them to go to Sunday school. It’s pretty much the same. Right?
So thanks a lot Free Beer Movement. Thanks for making me invite people over to her house –let’s be honest it is hers– for a party, which she –and I guess, to a much lesser extent, I– will now have to prepare for. Honestly I did it for the good of soccer (or football, but I won’t tell that to my newly uninitiated friends just yet), for the good of the Free Beer Movement, and she will have to understand it. If she does not, then I am holding the Free Beer Movement fully responsible for my marriage’s demise.
Hopefully they have a coach I can crash on.
If you are unaware of what the Free Beer Movement is, first slap yourself in the face, then visit them at http://thefreebeermovement.com.