A Moment of Silence for the Sports Widow

Writer Katie Kohler discusses battling the “other woman” during sports season.



Illustration by Michele Melcher.

Like it or not, women across our region have been compelled to “trust the process” long before the 76ers coined the phrase. They know that, when a certain time of year rolls around, they’ll be sports widows in a city known for its rabid fan base.

Inspired, perhaps, by an incredible Eagles season, some of us may have succumbed to the madness in recent months. But many others still have no vested interest in the great state of Wentzylvania. Some revel in the freedom, enjoying marathon Sunday brunches and shopping trips. When the Birds are home or away, these ladies will play. Others despise the “other woman.” The over-the-shoulder glances and the multiple trips to the bathroom to check the score at the bar. The missed birthday parties and other family outings—which, to be honest, really should’ve been scheduled for a bye week.

My mother has been a sports widow for close to four decades. And though she’ll always prefer a trunk sale to tailgating, she long ago came to the realization that her marriage was tainted from the beginning.

After all, Game 6 of the infamous 1980 Stanley Cup Finals was on her wedding day. Due to what may be the most controversial call in Flyers history, the Islanders won in overtime, taking the series and the Cup.

“All the men kept sneaking off to the bar to check on the game,” my mother recalls. “I should’ve known then.”

But Mom’s a generous woman, and she sees how much it means to her family. She wants Philly to win because it makes us happy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most sports widows feel the same way.

However, it’s still not OK to hurdle Mom at the dinner table, drumstick in hand, to catch the replay. We have to draw a line somewhere.

Katie Kohler is not sports widow—if it isn’t already obvious. Visit www.katiekohler.com or email kkohler1129@gmail.com.

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