I live in the Twin Cities, about 20 minutes southwest of Minneapolis. It's here where I met my wife of two years. She has a nine-year-old son from a previous relationship. We have a daughter, 14 months old, and so cute, you wouldn't actually mind if she had slobbered on you.
A very short list of similarities between my wife and I are these: we both share a faith in God and a closeness of family. We're both huge college football fans. We both played trombone in marching band in college.
Short differences: I'm an introvert; she's an extrovert. She's loud and bursting with ideas; I'm quiet and introspective. She dreams of lofty goals; I tend to stay more grounded to reality.
One more difference - she is a University of Wisconsin alumnus; I'm a University of Nebraska alumnus. And there's the rub.
When we got married two years ago, this situation never even appeared on long-distance radar. We would be out someplace, my wife wearing a Wisconsin cap and me wearing a Nebraska cap. Someone would see us and ask, "She supports the Badgers, and you the Huskers? How do you make that work?"
Our pad answer would always be, "Simple. We're in separate conferences."
Then came last June, when word came out that Nebraska had chosen to leave the
Texas...Big 12 Conference to accept an invitation to the Big Ten. My wife and I instantly wondered about the 2011 football schedule.
Wouldn't you know it? The Huskers first Big Ten game would be against...Wisconsin. And in Madison, no less. And at night. On national television. With ESPN College Gameday in attendance. Happy happy joy joy.
We wanted to get tickets, but we have a couple of kids who need to see their parents be responsible adults for them, so we aren't in a position to spend $300 a seat just to sit in the nosebleeds or the wild/inebriated student section. (As for who our kids are going to root for in the future, that's something that I won't even dare go into right now.)
It would be nice, if we couldn't be at Camp Randall, just to be in Madison to take in the atmosphere, maybe watch the game at a bar on State Street, but I don't know if it would be the safest thing to wear a Husker shirt (black or red) in an atmosphere like that. My wife took me on a tour of the UW campus during the summer some time ago, and we went to a bar on State Street on a late Saturday night, and it was nuts. I asked her if it was always like this, and she responded, "It's even worse during football season."
So with the game coming up and a harmless little wager between us on the table, I'm wondering. My wife and I don't really have any plans to have Badger or Husker fan friends of ours to come over, so should we just watch the game together as a family, or should I find a Husker-friendly place to watch the game and let my wife scream at the Badgers on her own? (I've seen what she's like during easy Badger games. Last week when Wisconsin was turning the South Dakota Coyotes into roadkill, she was still yelling late in the game at a Badger defender who decided to take an interception return to the middle of the field toward tacklers instead of to an open sideline.)
I'd like to stick around, personally. If there are any other Husker/Badger friendships or relationships out there that have a similar situation, let me know what you're planning to do.
And since I'm the one writing this and not my wife, GO BIG RED!!