Cincinnati Bengals schedule: Fan advice for Chicago Bears game

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly column from former sports reporter and editor Mike Bass. Bass will be contributing to The Enquirer by offering advice for sports fans, athletes and youth sports parents and coaches through a weekly Q&A. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @SportsFanCoach1.

I was venting at my team on TV one day, because sometimes I do that, sometimes louder than I realize.

My wife happened to be walking nearby.

“Why are you getting so upset?” she asked.

I took a breath and smiled.

“I’m OK,” I said. “I let go of it now when the game is over. This is part of the fun for me.”

Just not for her.

“If this is making you uncomfortable, I will tone it down,” I said.

“No, I’m fine,” she said, and she meant it.

She smiled and continued what she was doing.

She might not get it.

But she tries to get me.

Mike Bass and his wife Marla Goldsmith Bass at a Chicago Cubs game this year.

* * *

You the Bengals fans were kind enough to share how you and your significant others co-exist during games. My turn. This is my ode to my label-defying wife.

Marla is not what I could call a big sports fan. She used to own a sailboat and once crewed the Chicago-to-Mackinac Island yacht race. If I had known her then, I would have been there for her. If sailing were ever on TV today, she would watch and I would ... wish her well.

More:Bass column: The '7 Levels of Bengals Fan Energy' revealed for the 2021 NFL season

She knows the feeling. When I started planning to attend my college-newspaper reunion, I told Marla I would be back in time for the Chicago Bears’ opener, in case she wanted to watch. I knew how enthusiastic she would be.

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton is hauled down by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“Football, already?” she replied.

Marla is not what I would call a football fan. When we dated then married, I was the St. Paul Pioneer Press sports editor, and football primarily meant Vikings football. If I was not at the games, I was watching at home. Not cheering. Not booing. Working. She understood.

She found something else to do, because she is happy to pursue her own interests and because football appeals to Marla about as much as ketchup on a hot dog.


Marla once sat in the stands with her younger son for a game at Illinois (his school, our alma mater) against Minnesota. I sat in the press box, to let mother and son bond, never expecting she would bond with the rabid Illini fans. Swept into their anger after a controversial call, she texted me a NSFW rant featuring her favorite obscenities.

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