Marriage & sports, A day-night doubleheader

November 02, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

You may not believe it, but sports is a universal language.

I know, I know. There are some terms in the sports vernacular that sound suggestive - like hit and run, tight end and illegal handcheck.

But I'm here to say, now that I'm on the verge of celebrating my third wedding anniversary with my wife, JoAnn, that being a sports writer helps in some ways.

Despite the lousy hours, the demanding schedule, the blood pressure that goes up and down like The Wave at a University of Michigan football game, we have made a pretty good go of it. In some cases, those intangibles (sports term) are advantages.


Still, doing what I do has trained me to make an attempt at being a good husband to Jo (ask her, though). At least, it has allowed me to find different terminology to cross my two worlds, like:

· Five-tool prospect - When I met Jo, I thought we might have a common ground on sports. We do - I like it, she doesn't. That's part of the reason I have the courage to write this. I know she wouldn't be caught dead reading the sports section. So, anyhow, I learned to like things - like craft shows and basket bingo - that I would have never considered doing when I was single to spend some quality time with her.

· Utility man - After 20-some years of living in dorms and renting apartments, I really haven't had to be much of a handyman. Now that I own a house, I have been trying to learn. I have convinced Jo that work gloves hanging from the wall are the newest art statement. In reality, I had trouble with the power stapler.

· Zone defense - The ability to say "Uh-huh" and understand most everything Jo said while watching television.

· Flooding the zone - The same as above, but being able to do it when both Jo and my stepdaughter Brianna are talking to me at the same time.

· Prevent defense - When I'm asked "How do I look in this outfit?" The answer is always "You look good in everything you wear."

· Three-second call - The ability to jump from station to station and get all the scores of the games before the commercials end during "Survivor." (This drives Jo crazy.)

· Backdoor cut - Learning the technique to sneak Christmas, birthday and anniversary presents into the house without being caught.

· Double play - Going to a movie or heading to visit the in-laws and still getting home in time to catch part of the big game.

· Photo finish - It's when I borrowed Jo's car for an assignment and made it back to pick her up from work with two minutes to spare.

· Individual medley - The ability to save Jo some time by running six errands all around Hagerstown in 90 minutes, including picking up Brianna from school for a doctor's appointment.

· Clutch hit - Learning to patiently work and horse trade with my schedule to get certain days off to attend family events.

It's worth it. Through it all, I've come to learn that marriage is a lot like tennis.

In both, there are times when you can't do anything right and have trouble scoring points. And even when you have that big zero hanging on the scoreboard next to your name, all you need that one stroke of success to make you look forward to getting up and doing it all over again.

I'm not a tennis player and I'm a marriage novice - in my third year of what I hope is a lifetime contract - but the term fits perfectly.

It's love.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2310, or by e-mail at

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