Author Topic: Football Feudin'  (Read 5710 times)

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lellah

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Football Feudin'
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:43:36 AM »
I have a large family.  A few of us (including me!) actively hate sports.  The majority of us are pretty ambivalent.  When we get together for the holidays, my sister-in-law, insists upon watching football.  She insists on watching it with the volume way, way up. She insists on shouting rather impolite things at the referees.  It's disruptive, and it keeps people from having conversations.   And she likes to keep the tv on at meal time.  I can't think of anything short of news of an alien invasion that warrants keeping the tv on during a holiday meal. 

My mother, in whose home the majority of such events are held, is someone not at all inclined to stand up for herself.  She also hates football.  She sighs heavily when the tv comes on.  But she never ever says anything.  When we've talked about the issue, she explains that she's loathe to cause trouble. 

I get that people like sports.  I don't wish to keep the from enjoying what they enjoy.  I even concede that watching sports is more enjoyable when you're doing so live instead of pre-recorded. I genuinely like my s-i-l and wish her happiness.  I just fail to see why her interest in sports should keep other people from having a pleasant holiday.   

Can I speak to her?

RobinJ

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 10:48:53 AM »
Is there any way that a tv could be set up in another room (with a door) for her?

WillyNilly

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 10:53:35 AM »
I think first you should speak with your mom.  Ultimately this is her house and her call.  But to that end your mom is allowed to give you permission to act on her behalf.  Just make darn sure you are acting on your mom's behalf.

Your SIL has no authority in your mom's house and have no leg to stand on as far as "insisting".  She can request.  She can complain. She can be a pill.  But she cannot enforce.  Only your mom (and if she is married, her spouse) can enforce what happens in her own home.

What I would do is a compromise.  Be ready with the plan in advance, perhaps even communicate it before guests arrive, but have the plan and make it a fair one.  Perhaps: TV may be on, but at reasonable level.  No shouting and no obscenities/threats (perhaps obscenities or threats enact a penalty - every shouted curse results in 2 minutes of the TV on mute, 6 obscenities and the TV is turned off, period).  That way your SIL gets to watch the game, but everyone else gets to enjoy their holiday.

(PS In my home I do not allow the TV on at all on Thanksgiving for more then a cumulative 10 minutes - sports lovers are welcome to not come, or else they need to plan their checking on the game very well.  As a kid the TV was not only not allowed on at all, it was in fact closed up in a cabinet and out of sight totally on holidays.)

Sharnita

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 10:59:10 AM »
Could a tv room be designated away from the main area? Also, does "her" team play every Thanksgiving? (Being a Lions fan would explain that and the angry yelling).

I think it can be tricky because this is not "just" football for her, it is also her Thanksgiving tradition. I know some families that sit for hours and play cards. In general the idea crosses my eyes but if somebody joined my family with that practice I'd probably try to accommodate it to some level. Maybe not hours and hours  but some.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »
As the hostess I think it is your mom's option to speak to SIL in her home, at your home I think it is your option.  You might have better luck speaking to brother but I'm not sure it is your place to tell SIL how to behave at your mom's.  Is there another room she can watch the game in?     

If someone asked me to tone it down a little then I would, it just depends on how it is phrased and what particular aspect they are referring to...I tend to jump up and down and not so much yell and scream (although occasionally I might shout a profanity).  I also like to be able to hear what the announcers are saying and don't want that to be covered up by conversation, in my mind I am in the living room with the other football watchers and the conversationalists are usually in the kitchen or the den (which I set up with other activities).     

If someone complained about how I watched my football, I would not be offended but I would exercise my option of staying home to watch the game.  I would still go for the meal, socializing, other events but I would come home to watch the game if I knew that my carrying on offended others.

This year my small family is eating out and then I am going home to watch the game with a friend and jump & yell all I want.  After the game I have plans to play cards at another friend's home.  Everyone that is a football fan is welcome at my home for the game, if you want other activities or conversation you need to be somewhere else.

lellah

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 11:25:59 AM »
I also like to be able to hear what the announcers are saying and don't want that to be covered up by conversation, in my mind I am in the living room with the other football watchers and the conversationalists are usually in the kitchen or the den (which I set up with other activities).     

If someone complained about how I watched my football, I would not be offended but I would exercise my option of staying home to watch the game.  I would still go for the meal, socializing, other events but I would come home to watch the game if I knew that my carrying on offended others.

I guess I just don't get this.  I swear I'm not being judgmental.  But football is on multiple days a week most weeks for much of the fall and winter.  The idea that it's more important to watch it than it is to spend time talking to people you care about and who care about you on one of the few days that's possible is foreign to me.  I have a lot of hobbies I greatly enjoy, time consuming hobbies, but I try as much as possible to spend the time I have with my family with my family and not, say, writing my novel or training for my next marathon.  You know?

Yvaine

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 11:30:42 AM »
I also like to be able to hear what the announcers are saying and don't want that to be covered up by conversation, in my mind I am in the living room with the other football watchers and the conversationalists are usually in the kitchen or the den (which I set up with other activities).     

If someone complained about how I watched my football, I would not be offended but I would exercise my option of staying home to watch the game.  I would still go for the meal, socializing, other events but I would come home to watch the game if I knew that my carrying on offended others.

I guess I just don't get this.  I swear I'm not being judgmental.  But football is on multiple days a week most weeks for much of the fall and winter.  The idea that it's more important to watch it than it is to spend time talking to people you care about and who care about you on one of the few days that's possible is foreign to me.  I have a lot of hobbies I greatly enjoy, time consuming hobbies, but I try as much as possible to spend the time I have with my family with my family and not, say, writing my novel or training for my next marathon.  You know?

For some families and some groups of friends, watching sports together is part of the togetherness; part of the way they bond. I'm not into football but I have baseball-watching buddies and it's definitely a social thing for us.

Where this becomes trouble is in cases like the OP, where part of the family wants to watch and part doesn't. I imagine SIL comes from a family where watching football during Thanksgiving was part of Thanksgiving, not a distraction from it. It sounds like she's being rude about it, but for some people it's a valid bonding activity that the whole family enjoys.

WillyNilly

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 11:41:31 AM »
See I can get (I don't participate myself, but I get) wanting to watch the sports, wanting to include it in the holiday.  What I don't get is excluding everything else - excluding conversation, excluding basic manners (yelling?  jumping?  indoors?  Those behaviors are not ever ok in my opinion... of course living in an apt I might be biased), excluding making it a day about being thankful for all the things we have that are bigger then just another day to watch another game.  Whats described in the OP and by Redneck Gravy doesn't sound at all to me like "watching football during Thanksgiving was part of Thanksgiving" it sounds like football totally and completely takes over Thanksgiving and is the only important thing and the family and the meal and the togetherness and the conversations and catching up and the being Thankful are all pushed totally and completely aside as rude distractions to the all mighty game.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 11:43:17 AM by WillyNilly »

Yvaine

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 12:09:38 PM »
See I can get (I don't participate myself, but I get) wanting to watch the sports, wanting to include it in the holiday.  What I don't get is excluding everything else - excluding conversation, excluding basic manners (yelling?  jumping?  indoors?  Those behaviors are not ever ok in my opinion... of course living in an apt I might be biased), excluding making it a day about being thankful for all the things we have that are bigger then just another day to watch another game.  Whats described in the OP and by Redneck Gravy doesn't sound at all to me like "watching football during Thanksgiving was part of Thanksgiving" it sounds like football totally and completely takes over Thanksgiving and is the only important thing and the family and the meal and the togetherness and the conversations and catching up and the being Thankful are all pushed totally and completely aside as rude distractions to the all mighty game.

Well, that's why I said that SIL is being rude about it--she's disrupting the holiday of people who aren't into the shouting and yelling and jumping and such, and it seems like the actual hostess is annoyed but letting her get away with it, and so on.

I admit I'm also used to a loud Thanksgiving, as our family pretty much always has a large number of small children, and even when they're mostly behaving, they add up to quite a few decibels. But yes, SIL is being rude and trying to impose what I assume is her family culture in a family where it just doesn't fit, and she has either failed to notice that it doesn't fit or just doesn't care.

Sharnita

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 12:19:38 PM »
And FWIW there are people who get loud over board games. I think it can be acceptable in tje right time and with the right people. These might not be the right people but that doesn't mean thete aren't people who would be the right group. Maybe even a subset of OPs family as there are at least a few fans.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 12:21:07 PM »
Well in our family, football is part of the day.  But we do not watch every game on the tube either and we certainly ARE NOT all about "the almighty game" but it is a big part of our family tradition.

Meal served around 1:30, brief clean up
Football 3:00
Halftime, additional snacking
6:00 post game leftovers and visiting around the table - rehash the game
9:00 one more plate and final clean up before everyone goes to bed
*(please note that no one goes hungry at our house)

My dad and I always played gin rummy during the game (minimal conversation required) My mom and sister read the paper and made their shopping notes in the den.  My brother either played gin with us or took his afternoon nap and joined us at halftime. 

If we had guests (and we frequently did) there were options for non football watchers - as I provide when I hostess.

Yvaine

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 12:21:31 PM »
And FWIW there are people who get loud over board games. I think it can be acceptable in tje right time and with the right people. These might not be the right people but that doesn't mean thete aren't people who would be the right group. Maybe even a subset of OPs family as there are at least a few fans.

This too. Some families are just loud, and they're not inherently wrong for being loud--but it can be culture shock when Lucy Loud marries into the Hush family, or vice versa.

lowspark

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 12:41:30 PM »
You use the word "insists" a lot which brings up a question. Has anyone told her that what she's doing is bothering other people, whereupon she "insisted" that her needs come first? Or is it a case of her doing this and no one saying a word about it while secretly resenting her behavior?

If she is well aware that it's bothering other people but cannot compromise, then it really is going to be up to the host (your mom) to come up with a reasonable compromise and enforce it. If she isn't aware, maybe someone ought to at least approach her with some ideas for working this out.

O'Dell

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 12:58:02 PM »
Theoretically you can speak to her about this, but you seem to have quite strong opinions and feelings on the topic and that could lead to a bad ending.

You say she insists. Has anyone ever spoken to her about it? Is it possible she doesn't know that it bothers your mom and you?

If no one has ever tried with her, then maybe pick out 1 or 2 of the things that bother you and/or your mom the most. Maybe if the sound is down and the foul language is avoided, you find you can live with the game on during dinner and her talking back to the TV. Or maybe she can be loud but the TV should be off during dinner. Or maybe she can go to another room even if the TV is smaller/older and yell and curse all she wants, but you all get the quieter atmosphere you want.

Then ask her if something can be done about those things. "SIL, it's hard to hear each other speaking when the game is so loud. Can we turn it down a few notches? And maybe cut back on the harsh language...it makes my ears burn!" Just ask her like it's not a big deal, like any other reasonable request.

And if she has truly insisted even though she knows it bothers others, then you'll have to let it go, I think. Only your mom can put her foot down.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

Amara

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Re: Football Feudin'
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 01:18:33 PM »
Since I haven't owned a television for about 22-23 years my suggestion may seem weird but it's an honest one. Assuming it is physically possible, would your mom be willing to have the television taken out of the house or at the very least hidden in a closed closet today? It could go back on Friday if she is willing, but if it is gone then there cannot be any problem. I would add, however, that your SIL should be informed that there is no television in the house before tomorrow so she can make a decision about coming. I do not, and would not, suggest this as a passive-aggressive move, but simply as a good idea. If Mom wants to host the family in a certain way, that is, as a family gathering without competition from a television, but she knows that SIL is a football fanatic, then Mom does have the option to rearrange her home in a way that best suits her choice.