I didn’t watch one minute of the Super Bowl on Sunday — not a single snap, not a solitary down.
Nor did I check in on the game at halftime to see what the score was.
It’s not that I didn’t care about the game. I was curious about how it was going — just not curious enough to watch.
Why? Because I was engrossed in back-to-back episodes of “Downton Abbey,” the high-brow British soap opera set in the early 20th century.
My wife and I were out of town the previous Sunday and missed that week’s one-hour episode. So when we found out the show would be aired again before Sunday’s regular episode, we naturally planned to watch them both.
As it so happened, the first episode started around the time the game was in the second quarter, and the last show ended about the same time the game did, so I just decided not to watch the game at all.
OK, I know you’re thinking, what kind of guy blows off the Super Bowl to watch a glorified soap opera, and on PBS, to boot?
In this case, the kind of guy who would rather watch a good show with his wife, than watch a football game by himself.
Call me strange, but I figured I could just watch the highlights on ESPN and see all the big plays.
And I was right.
Had the game been close, with a last-second play deciding the outcome, I might have regretted not watching the whole thing. But that’s not how this one went down.
As it was, my wife and I enjoyed both episodes of “Downton Abbey,” and then we went off to the kitchen for some hot soup.
Years ago, when I was a single guy, I wouldn’t have dreamed of missing the big game. I didn’t want to be the only one at the office the next day who hadn’t seen the big plays, much less the entertaining commercials.
But now that I’m older — and some might say more “settled” — I’ve come to realize that spending quality time with my spouse, no matter what we’re doing, is better than just about anything I might experience on my own.
And I’m OK with that.
Both my wife and I work long hours occasionally, but we’re fortunate to have schedules that mesh well. It’s important for us to have our breakfast together when we can. Our offices are near each other, so we often get together for lunch as well. And in the evening, it’s more important to watch TV together than to simply watch what I want.
Besides, all I need to catch up on sports scores and highlights is 20 minutes on ESPN, and I can get that fix while she’s getting ready for bed.
I know it seems cliche to say it, but my wife is my best friend, and I consider myself truly blessed. We can have fun doing just about anything — listening to music, watching old movies, going for a drive or just shooting the breeze over a cup of coffee at IHOP. We simply enjoy each other’s company.
I’m sure some men are reading this column and frowning and grumbling, perhaps even swearing a bit. To some, I’ve let down the entire male gender.
But if I have to turn in my “man card,” that’s OK. As long as I can trade it for a “happily married man card.” I definitely get the better end of that deal.
Who knows, maybe next year my wife and I will watch the Super Bowl together. Unless it’s on opposite “Downton Abbey,” of course.