Media Timeout: In the stands of a different kind of sport: weddings, play by play

One might think that the assitant sports editor of a college newspaper would spend his Saturdays at his school's football games.

One might be wrong.

This intrepid reporter spent his last three Saturdays in the stands of a different sport: weddings.

What? You don't think weddings are a sport? Allow me to explain myself.

A groomsman at the last of the three weddings mentioned that, in his wedding, he felt just like he did in one of his college football games.

"I was standing in a hallway with a bunch of guys, I was nervous, then I peek out and a ton of people are there to watch," the groomsman explained.

The crowd is the first characteristic of a marriage that is similar to sports. The guests come in, and approach an usher.

"Bride's side or groom's side?" the usher asks.

They might as well ask, "Colts or Bengals?" because there is clearly two sides to these marital affairs (pardon the pun).

Tradition stipulates that the marriage should take place in the bride's location of choice (usually her hometown). Therefore, there is a home team and an away team.

The visitors (the groom and groomsmen) are almost always dressed in their black away uniforms. They stand nervously on the playing field waiting the arrival of their hosts.

As anticipation builds, the crowd grows restless, awaiting the start of the game. Then, someone starts the music.

In comes the home team, dressed in its white home uniforms, and the hometown crowd stands to welcome their presence.

The home team marches down the aisle one at a time while the away team stands, hands clasped in front of their bodies swaying nervously.

I do realize that at some games the groomsen and the bridesmaids are introduced together. That too, is a decision made by the home team.

Finally, both teams stand on opposite sides of the playing field, waiting for instructions. The game official then steps in. Whether it be a pastor, priest, rabbi, or Joey from Friends, the person marrying the couple is indeed called the "wedding official." Coincidence? Don't count on it.

The official then calls the team captains to the center of the field for game instructions.

He instructs the pair to honor the opponent. They are to honor each other in health and in injury, victory or defeat, until the final buzzer sounds. And most importantly, they are instructed not to cheat. Ever.

The official then instructs the captains to kiss - a tradition unique to this sport - solidifying the players' oaths.

The captains then grab hands and walk off, followed by the rest of the team.

At this point the average reader is probably thinking, "Jay, in sports there is always a winner. Who wins in a wedding?"

The answer is simple. The guy always wins.

Over the past three weeks, this intrepid reporter has found that there is indeed a great woman behind every good man. It sounds corny, but guys always win when they marry.

They better not get used to it, though. Once you are married, the woman always wins.

Write to Jay at jkdenworthy@bsu.edu


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