John F. Russell: Life should not focus on football

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Life in the Russell family does not revolve around football or TV.

My wife doesn't understand my love for the game or the Denver Broncos.

She can't believe it when I yell at the TV during Bron--cos games, and she never will understand why I get depressed when they lose.

She just looks at me as if I need to be locked in an asylum and then tells me it doesn't matter whether the Broncos win because it doesn't really affect our lives.

She's right, but she still doesn't understand what it means to be a lifelong Broncos fan.

Several weeks ago, she planned a holiday party for Saturday night. At the time, I was too shortsighted to realize the Broncos kickoff and hors d'oeuvres where planned for the same time.

After mentioning this to my wife, I learned it would have been easier to ask Pat Bowlen to move the game time than to change the time of our party.

My wife also reminded me that the audio from a Broncos telecast doesn't qualify as Christmas music.

Who would have guessed?

Although I love my wife, the sad truth is that we don't see eye to eye when it comes to the Broncos. The last thing she wants to do on weekends -- especially on a Saturday night in the middle of the holiday season -- is watch the Denver Broncos play the Buffalo Bills.

On the other hand, I would welcome an afternoon of watching football faster than most college boys would say yes to a weekend on a secluded beach with a Victoria's Secret model.

But like I said, life in the Russell household doesn't revolve around football, and this weekend I gladly gave up the chance to watch the game on TV to spend a special evening with my family.

Instead of watching the Broncos score touchdowns, I watched my children score presents. And instead of wondering about the outcome of the big game, I played games with my family.

There were no penalties, no defensive lapses or game-saving tackles. The only huddles were around the dinner table, and the only things getting passed were the dinner rolls.

Every fall, football fans give up 16 weeks to follow their teams through the ups and downs of the National Football League season. I guess it's no big deal to give up one weekend for my wife.

The outcome of Saturday night's game didn't affect my life.

I've never gotten a bonus at work when the Broncos won, and I'm not going to get fired because they choked against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This weekend, I took the high road, turned off the TV and decided that my family was more important than a single football game.

As we sat around the table, I felt thankful for my family and the limited amount of time we have together.

I also was thankful that I own a VCR and could tape the game.

Happy holidays, and go Broncos.

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