I haven’t been able to plan weekends since I got together with my hubby. I have no idea where my children will go to school, when I will be able to put a picture on the wall or if my husband will have a job in a couple of years. That’s the joy of professional sport. You may be brilliant, but if the boardroom or the fans don’t like you, or your body doesn’t do what it’s meant to, you won’t have a job.
This weekend one team will be relegated from the Super League, it may be the team my husband plays for the Catalan Dragons. Or it may be their opponents - Leigh Centurions who will lose their slot in Rugby League's top division. When that happens dozens of jobs will be in question. The players may find other clubs, or they may not. Families who have brought their children to France from the other side of the world may be on the move, families who have never left their home town may have to look abroad for work. That is the reality facing my husband's team mates as they head into the do or die million pound match on Saturday.
One of my best friends was nearly in tears when I explained to her how unpredictable and uncertain sport is, she was traumatised by us not knowing where we will live in a few years or whether we will be able to pay a mortgage. She’s married to a fabulous man in finance so planning is paramount to them. I could pretend it is stressful but in truth I like the drama. We’re not stuck to a life plan we mapped out in our early twenties before we truly knew ourselves. We have to roll with it and play the cards our careers are dealing us. I am not married to a man who I can plan holidays with but I am married to a man who comes home in a mood because his team hasn’t done what he hoped or he didn’t play as well as he would have liked. His tantrums over his sport are worse than the toddlers. We have a freezer full of ice for his bumps and bruises, I have an apology every week for his mood swings and I generally go to weddings on my own but would I change it. Not for a second. I always thought the idea of going out with a sports man was sexy but it’s not the sport it’s the passion I love. He loves what he does and that’s what I love. One day, not far from now he will have to grow up and get a proper job: maybe a nine to five with a pension, and won’t that be boring. It’s only waving him off to arguably the toughest match of his career that I can truly say I love what he does. It is stressful and full on, it’s a game that dictates our life and our weekends but I am proud to be associated with this game. A game rooted in the north and seeped in passion.
There will be tears from grown men this weekend and when there is don’t judge. It’s so much more than just a game.
ps if it is a sexy sports man you’re after, I would consider a golfer. They can play that game for a long time.