Elisabeth Hasselbeck Offers Strategies for Surviving Football Season
"The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck embraces football season. Credit: James Devaney, FilmMagic
Every year, six simple words make hearts sink for many women: "Are you ready for some football?"
True, there are plenty of female fans of the sport, but for those who dread the start of the NFL season, Elisabeth Hasselbeck tells ParentDish she encourages women "to embrace it."
And Hasselbeck, 33, speaks from experience. "The View" co-host has been married to her husband, former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck since July 2002, and says, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
To encourage women to get educated about the sport, Hasselbeck, mom to Grace, 5, Taylor, 2, and Isaiah, 1, hosted the first-ever Belly Bowl at Destination Maternity in New York recently, where she unveiled a new line of maternity football team logo T-shirts by Pea in the Pod and Reebok.
After giving the crowd a brief tutorial on how to score a touchdown, Hasselbeck sat down with ParentDish and shared her survival tips for the 2010-2011 football season.
ParentDish: How did you survive football season when Tim was playing?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: It was easy to survive because I used to travel with the team. I had a vested interest in wanting the team to do well because he was playing. I also got the chance to meet all of the wives and girlfriends of the players and you become a part of this whole world that was nice.
PD: How did the playing field change once you had kids?
EH: I watch a more fragmented schedule whereas he watches every single game. I only have time to catch bits and pieces because I now have to change diapers, do bottles, do bath time. I have a lot going on now that we have three children.
PD: How hard was it for you when Tim was on the road?
EH: It was tough. Now he tends to watch the games at home since he is an analyst for ESPN. But let me tell you, the man is in a trance on Sunday afternoons. I mean, something bad could happen at home and I honestly don't think he would realize it because he is either so focused on the TV, glued to the computer for his fantasy football or texting his friends about who did what on the field.
PD: What tips/advice do you have for all of those "football widows" now that the season is underway?
EH: One: Once in a while you want to fake an emergency. You do this to make sure he is still paying attention to what is happening at home. I recommend doing a pretend fire drill, typically right before half time. Second, I recommend having basic conversational phrases that involve football up your sleeve, because the only way you will get a response is if the question involves football. Third, the best way to get his attention after the referee blows the whistle, just ask him if that was a run play or a pass play. I guarantee it will get you noticed.
PD: How can women avoid having fights with their husbands who are too busy watching TV to help with the children?
EH: My ultimate strategy is get to know the game. The more involved you are, the better you will feel. Not only will you will feel like you are a part of the game, but your husband is more likely to help during a commercial and you won't get in an argument.
PD: Can you recommend a good website for learning about football?
EH: I suggest going to the team's home page and just learning a few of the key players like the quarterback.
PD: Now, let's say your husband wants to invite his buddies over to watch the game -- should you put out a full spread or let them fend for themselves?
EH: Do it and then use it for leverage. Or better yet, have his friends over all season, and then after the Super Bowl make him send you to a spa for the day or ship you off for the weekend with the girls.
PD: So, they should use it to their advantage?
EH: Yes, because football is not going away. If you don't want to watch it, then I suggest using it to get something you want for yourself.
PD: Do you make football Sundays family time by letting the kids watch with you and Tim?
EH: We do and they love it. My only suggestion for moms is to not let their kids see the commercials since they are intended for adult males and tend to be intense.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.