Mrs. Brad won’t watch things on TV she doesn’t like. Literally.
When she sees someone she doesn’t like on the screen, she simply turns away. She refuses to look at the screen. Like a 4-year-old (more on that later).
That’s not an insult, it’s a compliment. Really. Trust me. It makes me smile every time.
First some background: Like most couples, Mrs. Brad and I have different interests on TV. I will watch NFL Films profiles and History Channel documentaries on World War II. She will watch “Cupcake Wars” or the same movie over and over (“Pretty Woman,” “The American President,” “Beaches”). She doesn’t care about rehashing the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and I don’t like seeing Julia Roberts make prostitution seem glamorous.
But we’ll watch live sports together. Her view on players is based on her perception of them as people – and rarely changes.
When former NFL quarterback Warren Moon was accused of domestic violence, Mrs. Brad was outraged and never changed. When Dan Gladden of the Minnesota Twins refused to talk to me long ago during my sports writing days, she refused to ever watch him again – even after I forgot. She cheers for people she perceives as good people. She loves Draymond Green of the Warriors and Sergio Romo of the Giants, for instance.
Mrs. Brad doesn’t like show-offs (which is ironic, considering who she married) so there is a class of sports personalities who she won’t watch. Literally. When the camera shows them, she turns her head away.
Mark Cuban, for instance. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks will flail his arms and yell at officials, something she deems undignified for an owner. So when he’s on TV, she turns away. Sometimes she will stare at the wall.
Rasheed Wallace played in the NBA for a long time and was a noted complainer about officials’ calls. When he remonstrated, she would look away until he was done.
Terrell Owens was a me-first player who scored a lot of touchdowns, but was all about drawing attention to himself. When he would make a big play, she wouldn’t watch. I’d look at her and she’d have her head turned away, reasoning that if she can’t see him, he can’t bug her.
If there’s an NFL game on, I know that she will turn away from the screen anytime a player taunts another. Even a defensive player standing over someone he knocked down.
In an interesting local case, she won’t watch Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitch because he is famed for firing “snot rockets” out of his nose between pitches. During his first year, she lamented that his mother or wife didn’t tell him how bad it looked. Soon, she began to simply look away from the TV screen when he pitched – meaning every fifth day, Mrs. Brad spends half of the Giants game not watching.
Most recently, she won’t watch commercials for The Solar Company, because the bleach-blonde woman who flirts with the camera in all of their spots is a show-off. As far as I know, Mrs. Brad plugs her ears so she can’t hear them say “not just any solar company, THE Solar Company,” too.
Goofy? Maybe. But it’s also a model of what adults tell kids all the time: “You don’t like something? Just ignore it!”
Curiously, it started for Mrs. Brad at a young age. According to her account (which I will ghost write and call “My Life: The Unvarnished Mrs. Brad”), she refused to look at the screen whenever the character Mr. Green Jeans appeared on the “Captain Kangaroo” show.
Seriously. Captain Kangaroo’s friendly, overalls-wearing friend was an early enemy of Mrs. Brad. For reasons she is unable to articulate, she didn’t like him and wouldn’t watch him on TV.
Was she a crazy 4-year-old? Maybe not.
Maybe she was just getting ready to ignore snot rockets and show-off blondes as an adult.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.