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Nick and Juli Newman

There's no compromising at the Newman house when football season comes around.

Games are put on the calendar, and if something else comes up, football wins 99 percent of the time, according to Teresa Newman, a South Jordan mom who raised two football-loving sons.

"We've even given up other family events because sports are on the calendar," she said.

While Newman said she has learned to enjoy the game and wants to support the men in her family, she's learned a few tricks to survive the abundance of games each season. Trick one: Download an audio book and pack an iPod when watching a game in person.

Trick two: Save your laundry for football day.

It's called multitasking.

"My husband laughs at me because I wear an iPod and listen to stories," said Newman, who has season football tickets to Brigham Young University with her husband. "As long as I can flip on a movie or listen to a book, hey, take me to any game you want."

There are a multitude of others with a loved one who has the uncontrollable urge to watch football (And no, it's not just women "suffering" on the sidelines. There's a bunch of men with football-crazed wives).

But like Newman, each has learned tricks to get through the fall with sanity intact.

One Utah woman said after fighting her husband's obsession for the first three years of her marriage, she finally gave in and developed the attitude of "if you can't beat them, join them." Now she confesses she likes the atmosphere of a football game and even reads Sports Illustrated.

Likewise, Juli Newman of Orem said there is no use in fighting her husband, Nick's, love of football. He has started taking his 7-month-old daughter, Annalie, to BYU football games with his family to promote a new generation's love of the game.

"There's no way it's going to go away," said Newman, who is the daughter-in-law of Teresa Newman.

To show support for her husband, Juli Newman will bake snacks or cuddle next to him and watch for a while. She even purchased a pillow that reads: "We interrupt this marriage to bring you football season," and it sits on her couch during the fall.

"That's pretty much how my life works once football starts," said Newman.

For John Kowalewski of North Ogden, a love of football is something he has tried to cultivate in his wife and children. While each person enjoys the game to differing degrees (Kowalewski's obsession is so bad his wife jokes he belongs to the church of the NFL), they participate in traditions, such as ordering pizza, to celebrate the first game of the season.

"We've made love of pro football a dominant theme in our house and a way to develop family activities to share time together," said Kowalewski, who works as spokesman for Weber State University.

But in turn, he said, he also tries to help his wife by folding laundry during games, or by doing things she wants to do before a game. His advice for football fanatics is to remember to still pay attention to their loved ones and to also teach them about the game.

"She indulges me and I hope likewise that I also can be a supportive spouse to her," Kowalewski said about his wife, Brenda.

Likewise, Nancy Allen of Ogden believes it is important for people to be a little indulgent of their spouses and "ride out" the football season. She said she has tried to become educated about the game and will watch with her husband and daughter when she can.

"It's really such an illness," Allen said. "Just ride it out."


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