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How to Survive a Playoff Series When You’re in an Inter-Rival Relationship

Devils / RangersFor those of you who don’t know, I’m married to a Rangers fan…phew that felt good to get off my chest! Don’t hate me…he proposed on our practice rink, NJ Devil showed up at our wedding, and he’s used to seeing the Red & Black EVERYWHERE!  We had just started dating in 2008, so this upcoming series is a path down familiar territory (albeit hoping for a different outcome), but our first since being married and living under the same roof!

Many of you have gone through this torture before. Yankees and Red Sox. Canadiens and Bruins. Giants and Cowboys. Bet you never thought of this when you started dating, or even married, that cute girl in the enemy’s colors, or that handsome dude wearing the jersey of the “bad guys”. But yes, the time eventually comes when you and the love of your life (die hard sports fans for your beloved teams) must draw lines in the sand, and deal with the horrible reality of a playoff series against each other.

This type of thing should not be taken lightly. Rival playoff series lead to trash talking, fights in the stands and most importantly, arguments amongst loved ones, which could lead to one of you sleeping on the couch. This could also lead to a very long 2 weeks over the course of a grueling 7 game series.

Are you wondering how you can avoid all of this and just enjoy the series?  Well, fear not! We are here with the top 10 ways for both of you to enjoy a potential 7 game war, root for your team, and still get your fill of mindless trash talking that you shouldn’t be spewing after a bad loss, or better yet…rubbing a victory in someone’s face!

10 Tips to Surviving a Playoff Series When Your Significant Other Roots for Your Most Bitter Rival

Tip #1: Say “I love you” as many times as you can throughout the day. This cannot be stated enough. There are going to be times during the 60 minutes (or more) of the game that you might not WANT to say it as your team may be losing, but remember, this is just a sporting event, your relationship is more important.  Remember to also say it after the game is over.

Tip #2: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT touch ANY paraphernalia that may have the opposing teams colors on it, for two reasons. Number 1, you don’t want to jinx yourself and number 2, you don’t want to upset your significant other who believes that superstitions work (they do, I swear to you, they do).

Tip #3: Brown nosing can come in handy!  Yes, if you notice that something needs to be done around the house, just do it. It can only lead to good things, despite the outcome of the game.

Tip #4: Don’t be over zealous when cheering on your team if you happen to be watching the game together.  Cheer when your team scores, clap if your team wins, but keep the hooting and hollering to a minimum.  Save that for when you speak to your friends, they’ll appreciate it more.

Tip #5: Place a small little bet on the series, but nothing ridiculous, just a little fun. For example, Tony and I have decided that the loser has to don the winner’s colors (jersey/hat), a picture must be taken and it must be used as a profile picture on Twitter, Facebook and the hockey forum that we post on for 24 hours, no more!

Tip #6: Try to avoid your own commentating during the game. If there is something that ticks you off, rant on social media (or via text) to your fellow fans, not to your significant other. That will only lead to anger on their end and who wants to deal with that?

Tip #7: Did I mention saying “I LOVE YOU”?!?  I’m telling you…It’s extremely important. Before, during and AFTER the game.

Tip #8: If you notice your spouse ranting about your team on any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter or forums), do your best to avoid commenting at ALL costs. This will help ensure that both of you sleep in the same bed and not one of you on the couch.

Tip #9: If your spouse is really ticked after a bad loss….GIVE. THEM. THEIR. SPACE.

Tip #10: Be compassionate to THEM if your team emerges victorious in the series. Celebrate with your friends, trash talk to your co-workers, but try and be nice to them. If you’re the guy…flowers go a LONG way…if you’re the girl, his favorite meal and a beer when he gets home from work the day after will take some of the sting away from this crushing defeat.

Bonus Tip: Gloating in front of your significant other is STRONGLY discouraged.  While you may want to and feel that you’ve earned that right, it’s not a good idea. Whoever loses may need a few days to get over the loss, but the winner doing their part to let them know that you still love them will help ease the pain. Give it a few days, then gloat just a little…I’m sure at that point, they’ll at least crack a smile…we hope!

While these tips are not fool proof, they can only help when dealing with the stress of a rival playoff series.  We have decided to try and live by these rules to keep the anger and anxiety levels to a minimum. We know that seems impossible, but it’s worth a shot. Just remember, it’s a sporting event, your relationship should not be decided by the outcome of the game!

Are you in an Inter-Rival relationship right now?  Do you have any advice for others going through this? Feel free to share them with us as we begin our Eastern Conference Finals match-up against the Rangers.



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