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Shell Shocked: A life without TV sports

By Staff | May 6, 2015

There is a threat emerging in this country that is even more frightening than the situation in Iran, Syria, Yemen and Iraq. It’s the threat of American men with time on their hands. It’s the threat of American men staring at blank TV screens from their usual front row positions as couch potatoes.

Can you imagine the impact on the American home if professional sports were to disappear altogether from the television screen? What would the male species do on Sunday afternoons without six football games in a row to watch on the tube?

And what would the local supermarket do with the thousands of cartons of beer that would go untouched because there would be no football games to chugalug the beer to?

The threat I refer to is the very distinct possibility that all professional sports will be off the air for a period of time because of the incipient stages of a mass female uprising against couch potatoes. The little known revolution is beginning in small towns and villages throughout the country.

In one small town in Minnesota the local newspaper described a quiet war that was being waged by the entire female population on TV sports. The news story cited the record number of divorces that had taken place in this town because the men had combined to form a cult-like addiction to TV sports and had forsaken their families. It started when one man refused to attend his daughter’s dance recital because an NFL game was on TV at the same time.

The wife of that couch potato began a movement that involved every single female in that town. The women in that small Minnesota town banded together and came up with a plan that would stir similar feelings of women throughout the country — the “Minnesota TV Party.”

Under the stealth of darkness, a band of forsaken wives rounded up every TV set in the community and transported them to South Dakota. All the TV sets were burned at the stake and offered to the gods.

If that seems farfetched, let’s take a look at the facts. Ever since the economic downturn of 2008, more American men watched TV sports than ever before, to the consternation of their wives or significant others. They sat before the TV sets drinking beer and stuffing their bellies with party food. When word of the “Minnesota TV Party” spread rapidly, the women of America knew it was time to punish their couch potatoes for the harm they had done to their families.

They prevailed upon the nation’s major advertisers to withdraw advertising from all TV sporting events for 30 days. The advertisers did so to protect their base female consumers.

This led to team owners suspending their teams’ schedules for the same 30-day period. And before you could bat an eyelash, sports were off the air. That left professional athletes with nothing to do, so they went home and begged their wives to withdraw their war against TV sports. The wives insisted that as long as their athlete husbands were now home, that they attend their collective daughters’ dance recitals. Attendance for these events soared as a result.

The upshot of this revolution was that 120 million couch potatoes in the U.S. were subjected to a 30-day TV sports blackout. No football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, horse racing, golf, lacrosse, track, boxing, wrestling, bobsledding or water boarding. Nothing to watch but Kardashian family reruns. Dog racing in Florida was also suspended because all the dogs went out on strike out of sympathy to the anti-couch potato movement.

All offices in America were deprived of Monday morning small talk, such as “what do you think of dem Bears?” or “those Broncos really had a strong offense yesterday.” Office morale was being negatively affected by the absence of sports pools.

Television stations throughout the country had huge holes in their programming. They trotted out record numbers of “The Honeymooners” and “I Love Lucy” re-runs. Is America up to a life without TV sports for 30 days? Will there be pitched battles between the nation’s couch potatoes and the “Minnesota TV Party” advocates in living rooms throughout the country?

And, finally, I woke up from this horrible nightmare. I looked around and saw that the TV set in the bedroom was still there. Whew. So realistic. And then my wife came in and said, “Good morning, dear. Please don’t forget that we’re going to the high school dance recital tonight.”

I’m not taking any chances. I’m DVRing every conceivable sporting event on TV for the next six months.

Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.