If you are one of the millions of families throwing a Superbowl party this year, but are worried about keeping your babies safe with so many people in your home, it’s time you learn about Zone Defense Babysitting.
If you are a fan of football (and basketball too) you are familiar with the concept of Zone Defense, along with its advantages and disadvantages. For the uninitiated, this explanation may help:
In coverage, one can choose to play “man-to-man” which means you cover your opponent as close as possible, sticking to him like white on rice, and following his every move. In man-to-man coverage, if you opponent goes from right to left you shadow him and move right to left as well. If he plays short, you play short. If he goes long….you get the point. The only problem is, if your opponent has superior skills or superior speed, he might be able to break away from you, resulting in dropped coverage, him catching the winning touchdown, you going home a big fat loser, losing your contract and your trophy wife.
Zone coverage is different. It splits the playing field up into distinct areas called zones. There is no man-to-man coverage, rather, the defense sits back a bit and covers only those people who enter those particular zones. You don’t chase opponents, you wait for them to enter certain zones, and once they do, you cover that zone fiercely. The zone helps you conserve energy and play at the top of your game for as long as possible. The picture below helps you to understand how that setup works in Football.
Zone Defense Babysitting works the same way, and the playing field is your home. Instead of chasing your baby from room to room, through the kitchen, into the garage, and out the door – you divy up the living space with your spouse (or other responsible guardian if your spouse is too sauced on the bubbly), and play the zone.
I reached out to John Madden, who helped me create this blueprint, which you should employ in your own home during the big game.
The baby (your worthy adversary) is shown in the triangle, and wants to play in the fireplace or near the oven. But if he can’t get there, he’s looking to make a fast break to the yard, either through the front door or out the garage. Don’t be fooled, the baby is both more agile than your lazy, old, fat ass, and is probably not drinking beer, so he has a clear mind and can run circles around you in man-to-man coverage. When family arrives and leaves the door open, he will make it to the promised land, and you will be be sleeping on the couch with no nooky-nooky for weeks.
But this year, you’re not going to chase the baby around like a chicken without a head. You’re going to get smart, and run the Zone.
You’ll notice in the picture above that Dad (shown in red) has the lower half of the home, including the living room, hallways, and most of the bedrooms. Mom (shown in blue) covers the kitchen, dining room, laundry area, and most of the back rooms. That way, you can both relax and do what needs to be done to throw a great Superbowl party, and when the baby crosses into your zone, you keep a good eye-out.
If team baby calls for a front door exit, there’s no way Mom could get there in time from the kitchen. She’s carrying jalepeno poppers to the snack table. But that’s ok, because Dad’s playing the zone, and he’s able to cover the front door before baby gets anywhere near it.
If Baby make a b-line for the back room to tear clothes out of the hamper and play with the dog bowl water, there’s no way dad could keep up if he was playing man coverage. Not to mention, if he went chasing the baby, Dad would miss those precious few moments of game time, or worse, the half time beer commercials. But not to worry – Mom’s playing zone and before the baby even reaches the back hallway she shifts to block the way.
Dick LeBeau rode the zone all the way to the hall of fame, and you should too.
Be smart during the game tomorrow and play zone defense. Zone defense babysitting, that is!