Often in a marriage, couples will come across a TV show that they both like and will watch together. On the flip side of that are shows only one person watches; you’ll have ‘your’ shows, she’ll have ‘her’ shows, and you watch them when the other is busy doing other things, and that’s okay, too.
But what happens when you’ve watched your shows together and you’re both caught up on your solo shows? Well, if you have little kids or grandkids, you’re probably watching the Disney Channel or something similar, and that’s fine. But what if it’s just you, her, nothing in the DVR, and 400 channels to choose from?
Well, you probably go to the two channels that are pretty much the Panmunjom of television programming—Food Network and HGTV. There, you can find a litany of programs that aren’t ‘must see’ TV, but they’re good enough for both you and your wife, and hey, you may pick up a few home decorating or cooking tips along the way.
Programs like Love It Or List It, a show that pits home decorator and remodeler Hilary Farr against real estate agent David Visentin. The premise for each show is simple: A couple has a home, it has issues and needs some work in some areas, and they’re split on whether or not they want to stay in the house or move to a new one. Hilary is given a remodel budget to turn the home into a place that the couple will love, while David is given a price range to find a new house that meets all their needs and will convince the couple to buy a new home and list their current one.
At the beginning of the show, David and Hilary walk through the house, and determine what they’ll be up against. During the walk through, Hilary extolls the virtue of almost every room, while David usually pans them. When they’ve finished, they meet with the couple, receive a list of must haves for both a renovation and a new home, and then the race is on to either love it...or list it.
Hilary never has enough money to do everything the couple wants, and during the renovation she almost always finds some kind of issue that affects what she can do that throws the whole ‘love it’ possibility into jeopardy.
David doesn’t have it much better—he’s given an almost impossible list of items the couple would want in a new house, while given a price range that’s borderline comical sometimes, making ‘list it’ seem like a bridge too far.
In the end, the couple chooses to love it or list it, David and Hilary drive away joking and making fun of each other, and it’s on to next week.
So if David and Hilary were doing a show on whether or not to love or list the Vikings offensive line from last year to this year, and each player a room in a house, I imagine it would go something like this:
/Scene: A couple sitting on a couch in a living room of their current home. In this episode, it’s Vikings GM Rick Spielman and his wife Vikings Fans, who we’ll collectively call ‘Karen’. Karen is attractive, but her ‘I need to speak to the manager’ hairstyle indicates she’s rather high maintenance. Rick and Karen have diametrically opposed viewpoints on the house, their offensive line. We’ll let them explain.
Rick: Well, we got married in 2006, and for the most part, this line has really been great for us, especially in the beginning.
Karen: Sure, in 2008 and 2009, but it’s been going downhill bit by bit, honey. You know it’s bad, and doesn’t fit our needs anymore. We need to move on and get a brand new one.
Rick: It needs a little updating, sure. But there’s a lot to work with here. We have good tackles and a good center. We just need to tweak a couple things, and we should be fine.
Karen: Fine? I’ve been telling you FOR YEARS that this line has outgrown its effectiveness. You never listen, and then just to spite me, it seemed, you spent $84 million dollars on new siding and a pool, and did nothing to the house. And it’s supposed to be a heated pool, but if you turn the temperature up JUST A TINY BIT, it cracks. And now we don’t have any money for any line renovations. We are NOT staying here.
Rick: We’ve done some improvements to the line. And that pool is great. It’s the best pool I’ve had since my parents’ house in Bloomington, growing up when I was a kid.
Karen: The left guard room was not an improvement, it’s just a bunch of leftover stuff that was never meant to be used regularly. And the right guard room? You converted a perfectly fine garage into a combination living room and bathroom. Now none of it works and it is an embarrassingly bad space.
Rick: The house is fine. We just need a couple of tweaks.
Karen: We are moving. That’s the end of it.
Scene: David and Hilary are at the front door to the house, ready to look it over without Rick and Karen.
David: Well, this is a nice neighborhood. Sure beats the show we did in Detroit.
Hilary: And Green Bay.
David: You still smell like cheese from that one.
Hilary: And your shirt looks like it’s from the Green Bay bowling league.
David: At least our car won’t get shot up here like it did in Chicago. Oh hey, this looks like the place.
Hilary: Well, shall we check out the line?
/door opens to the left tackle room
Hilary: Oh, this is a lovely space. There’s nothing wrong with it! It’s got character, it’s got solid walls, maybe a touch of paint, a little ankle rehab, and this room is fine.
David: I mean sure it’s fine, if you like league average or maybe a little below, and you better hope that ankle holds up. I can find them a great line that meets all of their left tackle needs.
/door opens to the left guard room
Hilary: Oh. Well look, I see potential with this space, I really do.
/Door opens to the center room
David: Well this room is a hot mess...it’s full of bandages, sutures, physical therapy, and disappointment. Nice Ohio State poster, though.
Hilary: Oh this space has tremendous potential! A little weight lifting, conditioning, and this room will be as good as new.
David: Really? This room is terrible. With the condition of this line, this couple is so going to want to list this so fast an expansion team wouldn’t even take these guys.
Hilary: The only thing that needs to be listed is the sport jacket you’re wearing.
David: Let’s just check out the next room.
/Door opens to the right guard room
Hilary: I’m not sure what to make of this room. Are they using their garage as a living room? Is that a...urinal there, right along the wall? Why on earth would someone do that?
David: I just won. Let’s take a look at the last room.
/Door opens to the right tackle room
Hilary: Oh, what a perfectly lovely right tackle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this room.
David: I agree, this room is fine. But you did see the rest of the house, right?
Hilary: There’s a lot to work with, David. When I’m done, I think they’re going to love this line, and win a Super Bowl with it.
David: You mean go 8-8, right? Maaaaybe one and done in the playoffs. Let’s go meet the couple. I’m going to find them the best line in the NFL.
/On the front porch are Rick and Karen, waiting to talk to Hilary and David
Hilary: We’ve looked at your house, and it’s got so much potential. What do you need me to do for you to love it?
Karen: I want a new everything. The left tackle either needs to be new, or move the old right tackle there and the left guard needs to be launched into orbit and completely replaced. Maybe you can use the left tackle to make a nice left guard room and save some money that way. I want a center that functions, preferably a new one. I want a right guard that’s a right guard and not a converted tackle, although that’s cool to do on the left side because lol maybe it will work over there after it failed on the other side of the line. Finally, I want a brand new right tackle.
Hilary: Wow, that’s quite a list. What’s my budget?
Karen: Eleven dollars.
David: Rick, what do you need to list it?
Rick: Well, I need something that will protect the pool to keep it from cracking when the temperature goes up. Ideally, I would like franchise All Pros at both tackle positions, top 10 players at guard, a bulldozer for a center, and I’d also like to be closer to my office. My current commute is a rough one.
David: What’s my price range?
Rick: 100 dollars.
Narrator voice: With the list of requirements from Rick and Karen, Hilary and David start off. But almost right away, Hilary encounters a problem and needs to contact the owners.
/Hilary dials cell phone
Hilary: Hello, Karen? Hilary here. We’ve run in to a problem with the house. We cannot move the left tackle, at all. The left tackle is a load bearing wall for the line, and if we move him, it puts the whole structure at risk. And it would cost millions in dead cap money. Money that you frankly don’t have. So unless you increase my budget, there’s nothing I can do.
Karen: There is no more money, Hilary. Let me speak to the manager.
Hilary: Karen, I am the manager.
Karen: Oh...my bad. Force of habit when someone tells me something I don’t like to hear. Wait, so are you telling me you won’t be able to move the right tackle room over, either?
Hilary: What I’m telling you that without more money, you’re just going to have to trust me, and that when I’m finished, you’ll have a lovely offensive line.
/hangs up phone
Hilary, looking into the camera: When you give me a limited budget, and you don’t allow for things like this happening, there’s always a possibility I can’t deliver on all their needs. But this was a big need for Karen, and I don’t know if I can deliver now.
/Scene: David standing in front of a home with Rick and Karen in the Free Agency neighborhood, which is the most exclusive and priciest in town.
David: I think I’ve found a line that will meet all of your needs. Are you ready to take a look?
Rick: Let’s do it.
/door opens to front of house
Karen: Oh, this is beautiful! Isn’t it honey?
Rick: Yeah, it’s nice. I really like how the left tackle seems to anchor everything as you walk in.
David: Four time All Pro, which you rarely find on the market. And that’s just the beginning. Let’s head upstairs.
/door opens to left guard room
David: Karen, take a look at your left guard.
Karen: Oh wow. A player that’s got 75 career starts and three Pro Bowls. How exciting!
Rick: This is a nice room, for sure.
David: Oh, we’re only beginning. It gets better!
/opens door to right guard room
Karen: Oh my God, this is fantastic! It’s not a garage/living room/bathroom hodgepodge! And look! The guard rooms are attached by a Jack and Jill center, so all three move in perfect harmony with each other. Run blocking, pass blocking, you name it. It’s absolutely perfect!
Rick: And no post-op rehabs going on either. I have to admit David, I’m really impressed.
David: We have one more room to look at.
/opens door to right tackle room
Karen: Wow, honey look! This is as nice as our current right tackle room.
Rick: Sure, but it’s got a little more wear and tear on it, though. Our current right tackle is perfectly fine.
David: But this room has three All Pro years here, here, and right here, which you don’t have in your current right tackle room.
Karen: I love it. I’m ready to move right now.
Rick: You hit some of the marks for me, but you didn’t find anything that keeps the pool from cracking when the temperature heats up. But all in all, it’s a nice house, I like it.
David: How much do you think this house goes for?
Karen: I’m going to say...Trae Waynes.
Rick: 10 bucks, with only five guaranteed and no dead money after year one of the contract.
David: This line lists for $800 million, $400 million of which is guaranteed, and $650 million in dead money for the next seven years of the salary cap.
Karen: I’m ready to move in right now.
/Rick passes out. After he wakes up, Rick and Karen leave
David, looking into the camera: This house has everything they want, everything. Sure, it’s a little over their budget, but the salary cap goes up by $10 million dollars every season. They can easily absorb whatever dead money these contracts would have at that rate. Besides, the salary cap is more of a myth than reality, anyway.
Narrator: With renovations near completion and no other houses that meet their needs as well as the Free Agency neighborhood house, the time has come for them to choose. Will they love it, or list it?
Scene: Front of remodeled house, Hilary awaits them as they come up to the front door
Hilary: Are you ready to see your new offensive line?
Rick: I’m very excited, Hilary.
Karen: You’re really going to have to impress me, because that free agent line was to die for.
Hilary: Let’s take a look at your first area.
/opens door to left tackle room
/airy melody consisting of a guitar and piano combo plays in background
Karen: Oh wow! You’ve completely fixed the ankle! I didn’t think that was doable.
Rick: Wow, this really looks nice.
Hilary: This initially looked like a problem, but with some ankle rehab, we were able to reinforce the load bearing wall, and I really feel this space will help to anchor your offensive line. Are you ready to see more?
Karen: Yes, I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the rest of the line.
/opens door to left guard room
Rick: is this...?
/Karen gasps, tear begins to fall from eye
Hilary: Yes, since you didn’t give me any wiggle room in the budget, what I’ve done is convert your old center room to your new left guard. I think it really opens up the line, and you now have an ability to pull out to the edge and perimeter in a way the old line just didn’t provide for you.
Karen: This is incredible, Hilary.
Rick: You’ve managed to get rid of the physical therapy stuff, too. Amazing. I can’t wait to see what the center room looks like.
Hilary: Let’s find out, shall we?
/opens door to center room
Rick: This doesn’t even look like the same room.
/Karen openly weeps tears of joy
Hilary: What I did was completely re-do this room and replaced it with brand new everything. You’ve got a brand new center, new fixtures and appliances, and with more upside and potential than just about anyone else that was available. I think he fits in perfectly with the rest of the line.
Rick: Hilary, I’m almost speechless.
Hilary: Well, we’re not done yet. We have one more room to check out.
/opens door to right guard room
Karen: Wow, this is really interesting.
Rick: Oh, yeah, I really like this.
Hilary: So what I’ve done with this room is give you a couple options. If you like the more traditional role, for maybe when your parents come to visit, you have the Kline option. But if you have a party, for example, and need to bring a little attitude into the line, the Samia look is really nice, and honestly I think they both could work, depending on what you want to use this room for.
Rick: Hilary, you’ve done an amazing job, and David has shown us a really great line, too.
David: Well, it’s time to make a decision. Why don’t you discuss it, and we’ll be over here making fun of what the other one couldn’t do for you guys.
Narrator: Hilary was able to deliver on most of what Karen needed. She converted the center to the left guard room, and completely replaced everything in the center room. She was also able to give the right guard room a utilitarian look that could be used in one of two different ways. But due to the load bearing capacity of the left tackle room, she was unable to renovate or move it to the left guard position, and the right tackle room remained unchanged.
David was able to find a house that both Rick and Karen loved, but it was in a very expensive neighborhood. The left and right tackle rooms were of the highest quality, while the interior Jack and Jill rooms seemed to mesh perfectly with each other. However, it didn’t provide the pool cracking guarantee that Rick sought, and it was over their original budget.
/Rick and Karen go into a corner, discussing options in hushed tones
Rick: I can’t believe what Hilary has done. It’s like a different line.
Karen: I’m really impressed, but she still didn’t do anything with the right tackle room.
Rick: Yeah, but look what she did with the left guard and center. They aren’t even the same rooms now.
Karen: But the Free Agency line had almost everything. All Pro tackles, Jack and Jill interior line, no post-op physical therapy. It’s basically move in ready.
Rick: Yeah, but that was more than we thought we’d have to pay, it’s a big chunk of dead cap space in out years if we need to replace one of those rooms, and there was nothing in that line that could potentially keep the $84 million dollar pool from cracking when the heat gets turned up.
Karen: Yes, that’s true. Well, I think I know which direction I’m leaning.
Rick: Me, too. Are you ready?
Karen: Yep, let’s tell them.
/Hilary and David walk over
Hilary: Are you going to love it...
/the most dramatic of dramatic pauses
David: ...or are you going to list it?
/Rick looks at Karen
/Karen looks at Hilary
/Hilary looks at Rick
/Rick looks at David
/David looks at Karen
/This repeats for what seems like 10 minutes
Karen: We are going to....
/the most dramatic of dramatic pauses
Rick: LOVE IT!
/Hilary smiles, David drops his head in defeat
Karen: David, we absolutely LOVED the line you showed us, but Hilary was able to take this line and transform it into something we didn’t really think was possible, so we’re going to love it.
David: Well, even though I lost for the 207th straight time, I’m happy that you’re happy with what Hilary has done, because she did an amazing job.
Hilary: I’m really glad you chose to love it, because I think this is a great line, and I hope it brings you lots of wins and 1,000 yard rushers.
David: Don’t drown in that pool though.