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Confessions of a Sports TV Spouse

A behind the scenes look at life with a Sports TV junkie

Written by: Nichole Marconi

sports tv marriageI’ve been with a Sports TV guy since the late 90s. When he first started working in Sports TV, he was a bright-eyed 21-year-old ready to take on the world. He had aspirations of meeting Joe Montana and to be on the field when the Red Sox won the World Series. Instead, he met Don “The Magik Man” Majikowski and was invited to a kegger at Trev Alberts’ house. His enthusiasm for all-things-sports is what makes a career in Sports TV worthwhile—for both of us. He can’t remember that the trash is picked up every Thursday, but he knows that Rickey Dudley was the 9th pick of the 1996 NFL draft. You can’t make this stuff up.

If you are dating, living with, or otherwise married to a Sports TV guy, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s start with the hours.

In the beginning of our relationship, it was an adjustment. I worked your standard 40 hours with weekends off while he went to work from 4pm-midnight and had Tuesday and Wednesday off. We saw each other about as much as Justin Bieber does his own laundry. He produced a late night show for CNN/Sports Illustrated and I would tune in at 11pm to catch a glimpse of him behind the sportscasters shoulder. Oh, did I mention I was new in town and didn’t know anyone? Yea, it was tough.

Our second year together, he worked a new shift from 4am-noon and by then I had a decent social life. The alarm would go off religiously at 3am and he’d drag himself out of bed. While most of us only do that once a year to catch an early flight, he’d do it every day. He would come home and sleep until I walked in from work. He was a zombie. Especially when I’d drag him out to a bar on a weeknight and we’d party until 1am. Ah, to be in your 20s.

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But alas we made it through the toughest part of our relationship. Not only did we graduate to the phase where he left the door open when he peed, we had made it through the late-night shifts.

Ladies, don’t pack your bags just yet. The benefits got better by my third year in Atlanta and his seventh at CNN. He ended up moving to Headline News, producing the sports segments. His shift was over by 10pm, and I got to go on set with him. You know those people who pretend to look busy behind the anchorperson? That was me. I’d sit there alongside my man and make phone calls to every friend or relative and tell them to tune into CNN. Then I’d furrow my brow and pretend that I was on the horn with the Kremlin. To this day, I am still surprised that some security guard didn’t yank me off set with a large cane. There were also times that he needed extras for his segments, and I eagerly volunteered. Not only would I get 2.3 seconds on TV, but I also got free beer and food. Every relative who came to visit us got a free tour of the studio. And the food court…don’t get me started! I felt as though I was living the life of a celebrity. Perhaps a washed-up 80s star, but a celebrity nonetheless!

We moved to Seattle almost a year later and my guy was named News Director at Fox Sports Northwest. He had a schedule a lot like mine, with weekends and evenings off. Not only could we now go out to eat together on Saturday night, there were other perks. There were Mariners box seats lying around like post-it notes. There was even a time where I would scoff at attending a game in general seating. No free parking? No free beers in plastic bottles and hot dogs? Bah! shaun alexander seahawks nfl mvpOne time Shaun Alexander let me borrow his jersey to wear to a Seahawks game. That night they blew out the Vikings 48-23 and Shaun scored five touchdowns. I can’t take credit for Shaun’s talent, but I was glowing. If only for that night, Shaun and I were boys. Fox Sports Northwest didn’t have CNN’s glamorous set or the gigantic food court, but it was a tight-knit community that extended some pretty cool benefits to spouses.

Here we are, more than 10 years later and still going strong. I look back at those times and I smile. It was packed with volatility, uncertainty and excitement, but what great relationship isn’t? Being married to a Sports TV guy may mean you have dinner at 10pm and you never celebrate Christmas on the 25th, but it probably means you are with someone who has intense passion and pride for what they do. And did I mention the random sports knowledge starts to rub off? Just the other day I learned that a face-off in ice hockey was originally called a puck-off. “Stump the Schwab,” here I come.


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