Wedding anniversary, football collide every April

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 4, 1999

Good morning.

Sunday, April 4, 1999

Good morning. For those sleepy heads you better get a move on it because it is Easter Sunday and the return of Daylight Savings Time. So if you forgot to set your clock ahead one hour, you’re already late.

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This time of the year also use to signal the return of Major League Baseball to the Upper Midwest. Those days ended years ago as Minnesota’s version of Major League Baseball today more closely resembles an expensive daycare.

With interest in the Twins waning, the interest in the Minnesota Vikings has never been higher.

The decline of the Twins and resurgence of the Vikings has only added to this fan’s passion for the purple. Throw in the proliferation of football sites on the web and you have a recipe for a fan getting out of control.

My zeal for the Vikings amuses some and irritates many – including Green Bay Packer fans.

So while many football fans spend the spring and summer following other pursuits, my interest actually reaches a feverish pitch each April.

You see this is the time when football games in the fall are won or lost. It’s NFL Draft time.

It doesn’t take long for those around me to know just how deep the passion runs for the Vikings.

Just this past week, Thursday to be exact, my attention was divided between work and the release of the 1999 Vikings’ schedule.

After watching me call up the sports wire a thousand times Thursday, Austin Daily Herald Sports Editor Scott Johnson finally go t up the courage to rib the boss.

"Football really is your favorite sport isn’t it?" he asked with a wry smile crossing his face. "I’ve never seen someone so interested in the draft or the release of the schedule."

OK. So I have a problem, but it’s harmless and doesn’t get in the way of many important things.

Of course my wife lovingly puts up with my behavior and kindly demonstrates an interest when trivial facts are tossed her direction. Her patience with my keen interest only goes so far, however.

You see another important day falls in April as well – our wedding anniversary.

Let’s just say the NFL Draft and our wedding anniversary have had to co-exist from day one. Four years ago the "Big Days" collided and ever since compromise has ruled.

Four years ago, in between pictures and various other wedding preparations, ushers, dads, groomsmen and even the groom could be found listening to the Vikings select Derrick Alexander. It’s a safe bet the bride, the bride’s mother and the groom’s mother weren’t thrilled with the behavior, but they managed to hide their utter disgust.

Since the wedding day anniversaries have inevitably fallen on the same weekend as the NFL Draft. That has meant immeasurable compromise on this draftniks part.

This year, thankfully, I can have my cake and not get in the least bit of trouble for it – except for perhaps this column.

For the first time in four years, the NFL Draft falls on a weekend that doesn’t coincide with the anniversary, and believe me, my wife is extremely pleased.

So for one weekend in April the TV can safely be tuned into ESPN, and magazines and newspapers can be strewn across the floor as each pick of the purple is carefully scrutinized. And another April weekend will safely be set aside for the romantic dinner and anniversary celebration.

Whoever said marriage is all about compromise knew what they were talking about. It’s ruled our marriage from day one.

So if this NFL diehard can work hard to insure compromise in his marriage, I’m sure all the rest of you fellas out there can manage to do the same. Just remember those little earpiece headphones come in handy – even on wedding days.

Neal Ronquist’s column appears Sundays