6 Tips for a Trip to the Man Cave

Ask Ms. Vicki

Sometimes, I think one of the least appreciated keys to a happy military marriage is football. From August through early February, military men have been known to disappear from their marriages by the hundreds of thousands. They hide in their man caves and watch football, football and more football.

Some women have no problem with this. They like football all by themselves with no ulterior motives. The rest of us suffer until the phat lady sings. In this case, that phat lady will be Beyonce singing at the Super Bowl. And even after she sings, there are still two quarters to go.

My husband loves football and I love spending time with him. He, too, was a man who disappeared until I learned the game of football and captured his heart all over again. I found out young that it might be hot in the man cave, but cold in the bedroom.

You can do what a lot of military spouses do and just grin and bear it. You can sitting around waiting for football season to end. Or you can be bold and do something about it.

Learn these six quick tips and you will be INVITED INTO THE MAN CAVE:

1. Color commentary ain’t cute. Don’t brag that you picked your team because you like the color of the jerseys or their uniforms or their team jacket. That ain’t as cute as you think it is. Pick the local team or your home team or the team with a history you admire. Pick a team like a man because you want to be in the cave increasing the intimacy between you and your husband -- and not in the kitchen making sandwiches.

2. Offense scores. The offense is the team with the ball and their main purpose is to score points ... period. This may seem perfectly obvious. I am amazed to still run into women who do not know this. Also learn the key positions like the quarterback, running back, wide receivers and the offensive line (they keep the quarterback from being sacked or from being injured).

3. Know your Kicker. This might be enough to get you right into your football lover’s lap. Games are won or lost by the kicker. Three points or one point don’t seem like much, but when it comes down to three seconds left in a game, a three-point field goal or an extra point after a touchdown can be the difference between a win or a loss. So if the kicker makes a point, say “Great leg.” Or, “That guy has a leg on him”! OK, so you’re almost holding the remote control at this point, switching the channels from one football game to the next.

4. Defense causes that crunching noise. The defense is made up of the players who are trying to stop the offense from scoring. They sack the quarterback, make interceptions, and cause fumbles and try to steal the ball from the runner so they can run the ball the other way and score points. To get in the man cave, you can’t say “Defense! Defense! Go Defense!!!” You’ll sound like a Girl Scout and Girl Scouts aren’t allowed in the man cave. If you act like a Girl Scout, you can expect to stand in front of the local mall saying, “Would you like to buy some Do-si-dos or some Thin Mint cookies?” The key is to look like you’ve been studying the game for a change. Your man will be so impressed -- and happy to give you some quick answers.

5. Love the sack. A sack is when a player on the defense slams the QB to the ground while he still has the ball in his hands. This is of gigantic importance to defensive players. They get bonus money for making sacks, extended contracts and even invited to the Pro Bowl ... Big Stuff! So when a QB is sacked, don’t yell, “Sack Attack!" That’s so lame! Instead you say, “Did you see that Blitz?” Or you could say, “That friggin’ defense is bringing the show stopping pressure!”

6. Blitz is not the name of a reindeer. A blitz is a defensive play where they rush the quarterback in a hurry and put so much pressure on him that he will generally throw the ball away instead of being sacked or because he fears he could fumble the ball etc. When you see this happen, yell “that blitz is bringing a lot of pressure on the offense.” Your husband is smiling at you right now. As a matter of fact, it’s been years since you saw him smile at you like this.

Your husband is so giddy he can’t control himself ... at this point, he’s so impressed with you that he’s already loading the dishwasher with the Thanksgiving dishes. And you? At this point, you are exactly where you want to be: sitting in his lap in the cave, calling plays and putting some football moves on your man during commercial breaks -- if you know what I mean. #Winning!

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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