This has happened before but, if you have small children and/or a pregnant spouse, you know your ability to sink into a vegetative stupor is tempered by relationship politics. This, I think, is not an issue relevant to me alone.
One of these "not me alone-s" was Cameron Phillips of the CBC Radio program Freestyle. We had a great chat on the radio a while ago but didn't have time to actually run his numbers on air. So, included below is the equation that answers this post's title question as well as Cameron's numbers and his answer. Thanks for being a sport, Cameron — and good luck!
How many hours of sports can you watch today without her getting overly pissed?
L= hours spent (or will spend) with her today watching Sleepless in Seattle, strolling hand in hand, or similar
V= Generally, how volatile is she? (1-10 with 10 being “Vesuvius”)
Sy= In the past week, how many hours have you spent watching sporting events?
Sh= For how many of these hours did she enjoy watching sports with you?
I= Importance of today’s sporting event (1-10 with one being “first round Jai alai qualifiers” and 10 being “Super Bowl”)
R= Your current standing in the relationship (1-10 with 10 being “at last night’s candle-lit dinner, you gave her a diamond necklace” and one being “over last night’s TV dinner, you gave her a Red Sox beer opener”)
Playball is the hours of sports you can watch today without ending up exiled to the couch for good.
Cameron at the CBC had the following numbers:
L=2, V=3, Sy=0, Sh=0, R=7, I=6
These numbers say he's in decent standing in a relationship with an only slightly vindictive girlfriend, he hasn't spent the last week glued to the tube, and today's sporting event is mildly important (curling?).
According to the equation, Cameron can spend 4.48 hours watching sports today!
Equation Note: The only complex variable in this equation is your standing in the relationship — good standing allows more sports (obviously), but as your standing gets into the basement, you might as well watch sports 'cause you're already sleeping on the couch anyway.
Equation Note II: You may feel this is chauvinistic. If so, feel free to flip the genders or mix and match as you see fit.