Sports

Picking Splinters: The Bride’s the QB, The Groom’s the Kicker

Weddings are a team sport. It’s true. See, like any sport, there is a goal (throwing a memorable celebration) and a clock, one that in my case is constantly ticking down to 5 p.m. on May 1.

Weddings are a team sport.

No, that’s not a super-cheesy metaphor, it’s actually true. See, like any sport, there is a goal (throwing a memorable celebration) and a clock, one that in my case is constantly ticking down to 5 p.m. on May 1.

Wedding planning is not a contact sport, though you’ll find that you’ll want to body check some of these vendors after they tell you the price is 4x higher for weddings than if you wanted to use the exact same venues on the exact same day for, say, a family reunion that also happened to have dancing, a DJ, dinner and cocktails. Still, there is a sense of competition in that you’re trying to do the best job you can before the clock hits zero.

I also realize that I am truly terrible at the sport of weddings. And for this I would like to apologize to Kristin, my beloved bride to be.

You see, Kristin has been the quarterback for this wedding. She’s also been the coach, since she’s drawn up the gameplan … er, schedule … and the owner, since she’s frequently dipped into her own pocket to bring in a nice addition to help the team. And let’s be honest, premium stationary is what separates the contenders from the pretenders.

The point is: Kristin has been the heart and soul of this team. I’ve been more like the kicker. I came in and got the game started by proposing, and have really only made a few appearances since then, contributing an extra-point here and there. (“The flowers with the petals are nice.”)

As the final buzzer approaches, I feel pretty bad about this, particularly because, as the game entered crunch time in March and April, I spent a lot of time on the couch watching sports.

Yes, I’m fully aware of how that sounds. And yes, I know that if this were “Dr. Phil” this would be the part of the show when the studio audience burst out with boos while one of the production assistants approached a stern-looking, standing woman, rapidly shaking her head, who would begin her comments with the phrase “Oh, no you didn’t!”

Here’s the thing, though: It’s my job to watch sports. Not only do I get to comment on sports every week in the Falls Church News-Press, but I get to write and edit for ESPN.

To that end, I need to watch sports in unhealthy doses. I need to stay informed. So I watched NCAA basketball every night until 1 a.m. in March, and the Stanley Cup playoffs every night since they started in April. That’s a grind!

And hey, I may be the kicker, but at least I contributed something positive. At least I’m not the punter! (This is the part where Dr. Phil nods in mock sympathy.)

Still, while I was charting the offensive efficiency of the Kentucky Wildcats, Kristin has been dragging this team towards the goal line.

Now that we’re nearly there, I feel like I’ve let the team down. I mean, as the kicker, I’ve made some contributions — the DJ, the honeymoon, ferrying the QB, er, Kristin to various appointments — but I’m never going to have an Adam Vinatieri moment.

I’m no Scott Norwood, but, at best, I’m more of a Shaun Suisham. And we all know he eventually was cut from the team.

Now you see why this worries me.

While I don’t feel like I’m a detriment to the team, I don’t know if I’m helping as much as I could. I feel like a high draft pick that hasn’t quite played to my potential. Sure, I’ve been busy, but true team players don’t fall back on excuses.

I should have been more than the kicker. I should have been the running back, shouldering the load and carrying the ball while the QB takes a breather by watching TiVo’ed bridal shows.

I should have tried to get on the field for every down, covering kickoffs, playing linebacker, even working as the QB’s understudy.

The fact is that I love my QB, more than anything in the world, even sports.

So while it may be too late to step up in this particular “game,” I just want her to know that in the days ahead, she can count on me.