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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

My wife the sports lover

Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007, at 11:37 PM

Okay, so what did I miss? Here's a quick runthrough, as I can recall it: Congrats to the Lady Clovers on a Putnam County title ... boys' basketball, swimming and wrestling begin ... IU takes the Bucket back where it belongs ... Happy Turkey Day ... Packers go to 10-1! ... LSU loses as No. 1, again ... Hoosier hoops off to good start ... Eric Gordon off to outstanding start ... and, what else?

Oh yeah, I got married on Nov. 17. It was an event that dwarfed my second-biggest accomplishment of 2007 -- becoming sports editor of the BannerGraphic.

So, I spent the last week-and-a-half in my hometown (Williamsport), Lafayette and Gatlinburg, Tenn. We had a beautiful ceremony, a great reception and a relaxing honeymoon in the mountains (the 50 lb. raccoon who visited our cabin's front porch, notwithstanding).

And in the ultimate display that it truly is just a game, I spent a week (almost) devoid of sports. Although Nicole may not always believe me, sports is my second love.

What's encouraging to me, though, is that watching sports seems to be moving up her list of ways she actually enjoys spending her time (rather than just tolerates).

Three events from last week illustrate the ups and downs of a sports writer trying to be a good newlywed.

1.) The Old Oaken Bucket game was played at the same time as our ceremony and reception.

I didn't have a major problem with this. In my mind, the important thing was that the Monon Bell game was a week earlier. All the same, I'm an IU fan who grew up in Purdue country. Anytime the Hoosiers have a chance to stick it to the Boilers, I want to know about it.

My cousin and a couple of friends had kept me updated on the game in the early part of the reception, but with the game in the fourth quarter, everyone had apparently lost all touch with the outside world.

This was no problem for me. I simply checked the score on my cell phone. I didn't see the issue, as the reception had hit that lull where we in the wedding party were done eating, but many of the guests had barely even sat down with their food. I was simply doing a favor for friends, right?


When Cole found out about this (a week later, as I can't keep my mouth shut), she was none too pleased. My defense ("It's not like it was during the ceremony!") was of no help. My beautiful bride was upset, and I can see why. I apologized, and things were better.

(And at least IU pulled it off. I'd really hate to get in trouble over a game that wasn't worth it.)

Also worthy of note, this was the only negative sports event of the week for us.

2.) My beloved Packers played on Thanksgiving.

This doesn't happen every year, so I politely asked if we might watch the game on Thursday, in spite of it being the middle of our honeymoon. She immediately said yes.

Now, I must admit I hit her in a weak spot here. Although Cole may not have the years of devotion to the Green and Gold that I do, she loves Brett Favre for all the same reasons I do -- he can really wing that ball and he's an all-around goofy guy. (And, yes, she may also think he's cute. I can live with that.)

So, the Pack made turkeys of the Lions on their special day. We were happy. Matt Millen wasn't. Oh, well.

3.) We spent over two hours of our trip back home listening to the Tennessee vs. Kentucky football game.

These are the moments that most endear my blossoming sports fan to me. I'm not sure if it's true fanhood or just the desire to survive in my world, but my bride seems to enjoy learning the little differences between the various sports and levels of competition that I love so much.

So when the Vols/Cats game went to overtime, Cole wanted me to explain to her how overtime works in college. She already knew the NFL format because of the Packers/Broncos game a few weeks back. When this was obviously a different scenario, she wanted to know more.

You see, I know people who consider themselves sports fans who'd have to strain to tell you which level of play uses which OT format. On the other hand, my wife, who probably still doesn't think of herself as much of a fan, could now easily recite the differences.

Right or wrong, there is something about this which makes me lover her even more. When she asks this type of question, she is even more attractive. (Does this make me twisted and sick? Probably. I don't really care.)

Additionally, I think she was a crestfallen as I was when the Cats failed to pull off the upset. I liked seeing that.


To leave this blog off with that would be wrong, though.

The point is this -- it is only a game and it is only a job. I get to come to work every day and do something I really like for a living. That is very nice.

But when I go home, I go home to someone I truly love, someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. That is truly special.

P.S. -- Keep Sean Taylor's family in your prayers. What a tragedy.

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Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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