In an ideal world, every die-hard sports fan would have an equal and opposite die-hard sports fan to share their life with. There would be peace throughout the world, not only because everyone would be happy with their life partners, but also because it would allow us to keep all the UofL fans together and separate from the rest of society and it would put an end to the awful practice of cross-breeding hybrid UK/UL kids (I'm always thinking of the children.)
Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world where UK fans meet and breed with UT fans, where BTI exists only to add unfortunate opinions into the internet stratosphere, and where some die-hards fall in love with people who care nothing about sports.
I have little to no sympathy for those that inter-marry with die-hard fans of other teams, those that knew exactly what they were getting into when they chose looks over loyalty, hotness over humanity. I do, however have a soft spot for those that marry the aliens I call "anti-sports significant others", hereafter referred to as "ASSO"s. These are the ones with no interest or desire to root for any particular team, who don't understand the joy of a miracle comeback, who have never felt the ache of a crushing upset.
There are five types of these people, each with their own problems and solutions. I only offer the solutions on the off-chance that either (a) they are incredibly hot, or (b) you are actually in love with them. If neither of these options apply to you, for the good of humanity dump them and go find a normal person to spend your time with before you start caring about them, or worse yet, procreating.
1. The enemy-
If you married or pursued a relationship with a fan of a rival team, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. However, sometimes you think you are getting a completely blank slate, with no fan affiliations, when in fact you're getting a spiteful brat who thinks it's funny to ruin every game by magically becoming a fan of the opposing team (I may have experienced and become embittered by this type before.) Sure, they know a little about sports, but only enough to mercilessly gloat over every turnover or missed free throw. Sure, they watch the game with you, but only to root against all you hold beloved and true.
Solution: RUN. Anyone who likes to see you in sports pain will inevitably enjoy seeing you in financial pain, or emotional pain, or physical pain. Anyone who takes up with the enemy out of sheer spitefulness will inevitably take up with your best friend out of sheer spitefulness. Anyone who cheers against UK is one step away from being a UL fan, and I wouldn't wish even the hottest UL fan on anyone.
2. The busybody-
Do your dishes magically need washing only during the two hours on Saturday that you have allocated to watch the Cats play? Do the unicorn knickknacks above the TV need intense, prolonged polishing only during the final five minutes of a nail-biting rivalry game? You are probably married to/in love with/ living in sin with the busybody.
Solution: If this ASSO is hot, I say use the "tit for tat" method here and try to gently enlighten them to the error of their ways. Find the most intense moment of their most beloved TV show, and find something to nag them about, or even better-try to seduce them. This will hopefully create a truce agreement between the two parties and allow you to watch your game in peace. And if they aren't hot, then I'm not exactly sure why you are with them in the first place.
3. The hot guy hound -
This mostly applies to the wives (though if your husband is a hot guy hound, you might want to look into a more serious form of counseling than this column). Basically, this category includes all the wives/girlfriends who spend the entire game waiting for a tight close up of the quarterback's behind. I would also include the women who become intense fans of a certain team just because they've fallen head over cleats in love with one its players. (As a disclaimer of sorts, I'll admit here that while I'm a true Cowboy's fan at heart, I happen to root for the Steelers because I like Big Ben's backside).
Solution: So how do you deal with such an ASSO? With this one, I say embrace it. Before you judge such women, consider how often you watch awards shows or beauty pageants just for the off-chance of a nipple slip or other embarrassingly hot wardrobe malfunction. Look, would you like to be with someone who loves the game as intensely as you and who never blatantly ogles any other man? Of course. But if she's hot, and she quietly and patiently watches the game with you, a game which will afterwards lead to her wanting to play some games of her own, learn to ignore the why and just enjoy it.
4. The adorably clueless-
This significant other has the best of intentions. He or she really wants to love what you love and tries desperately to understand your passion and enthusiasm. However, they have yet to grasp the meaning of any of the actual rules of the game. These are the people who constantly ask questions like "Which color are we rooting for?" , who never watch a moment of the game yet gloat afterwards on their Facebook status about how awesome your team is, and who cheer loudly at inappropriate times until you point out that it isn't actually a good thing when the "Red Team" scores.
Solution: Depending on their degree of hotness, it may be appropriate to take the time to tutor them in the ways of the game. By helping them learn to love what you love and understand the basic tenets of being a fan, you are not only making life much easier for yourself, but you are also helping the BBN by bringing new sheep into the fold. Unless they aren't hot, and then I think I speak for everyone in asking you to help keep our fanbase in the upper echelon of sexiness.
5. You're a fan, I'm a fan-
The ideal situation for anyone with an ASSO, this includes all the guys and gals who embrace the passion of the game and adopt your favorite team as their own. They may not have been born into the fold, but through their love for you they have chosen to walk along the right path, the path to championships and glory.
Solution: Besides those that have fallen for the fellow die-hard UK fan, you are the luckiest of all lovers. Count your blessings and do everything in your power to keep such an ASSO. Something tells me that if you two were to break up, they may not be above finding a fan of another team to hook up with and suddenly becoming a Louisville or Tennessee fan. Besides rooting for the Cats and recruiting new members of the BBN, our main job as Kentucky fans is to do everything we can to limit the reach of the rival fanbases. Even if it means taking one for the team and being with someone who makes you miserably unhappy, one less UL fan in the world is really a win for everyone.