By Mike Greenberg
Special to Page 2

Well, you did it for me again.

And I have to thank you, because I've been mighty busy this week. Between Barry Bonds and the release of my first book, I don't know that I would have found time to sit and write a column. So thank goodness you did it for me.

A week ago, I wrote about Andrei Kirilenko of the Utah Jazz, whose wife offered him an "allowance" of one peccadillo per year. Her rationale was that if she deprived him of other women completely it would only make him desire them more. She also reasoned "if I know about it, it isn't cheating."

WHY MY WIFE THINKS I'M AN IDIOT
Mike Greenberg's new book, "Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad" (Villard Books) is available March 7. The book is a wry and revealing look at one man's good-hearted but mistake-prone attempt to grow up before his children do. Marriage, fatherhood, manhood, fame, athletes, crazed aunts with gambling problems, the true significance of sports, the worst possible thing to say in a room full of pregnant women -- no topic is out of reach.

I told you I thought it was a test. I thought she was just setting him up, much in the way your wife or mine does when she asks, "Do I look fat in this?" The answer to that question is never "yes," and in the same way I believe Kirilenko needed to just say no. It was, and remains, my belief, that no woman is offering other women to her man unless she is pretty confident he will turn them down, and if he does not, I would guess the consequences would be unimaginable.

Finally, I wrote that if Kirilenko played his cards right, he might come out of all this with a lifetime of guilt-free golf, which I would frankly much rather have than one free rendezvous per annum.

So, I wrote all that and asked you to conduct a little research for me. I asked the guys to present the scenario to their gals and then inform me of their response. And, I am pleased to say, thousands of you did just that. And, in the process, you did my job for me this week. What follows are just a few of the e-mails I received from all across America. I've not included names for fear of creating even further trouble in some marriages than I seem to have already.

Enjoy. And, again, thanks.

1. Very cute honey … its 2 a.m. ET at work and I needed some good humor at this hour … I started the article thinking what the hell this could be about. Then I stumbled upon the forbidden question and realized exactly why you asked if it was something we could work out! So my answer is (I know the suspense has been killing you for the last 24 hours waiting for my response) … sure, the only problem I see to the scenario is this … I know you so well that I know you would never ever be interested in following through. You're all talk and no action and that is why, my dear, I married you and love you so much. You are the best!! I know that this offer may be even more appealing to you since I am five months pregnant and have four more months to go, but remember all good things come to those who wait.

2. Hope you are having a great day at work. And the real answer would be never in your wildest dreams … Love you, I'll call when I wake up!! Love, the wife.

Mike and Mike
ESPNRadio: Mike and Mike in the Morning
3. I am engaged to a beautiful woman and I asked her what she thought of the Kirikenko story and if we could have such an arrangement, her response was the middle finger and a cold, evil chuckle. I knew right then that I should never bring up the subject again.

4. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! You earn the money that the NBA player does and I will bring your "allowance" to the house myself.

5. It took about 20 seconds into the read before I could see a changing expression on her face. Not the pleasant "that seems interesting" look or even the "hmm … curious" look I was hoping for. More like the "Iceberg straight ahead" look. About 35 seconds later my wife snaps, "If that's what you want, fine, have one … see if I care."

She gets up and heads for the kitchen. So much for popping the big question. You could slice her sarcasm in the air with a plastic knife it was so thick. For the next 20 minutes I should have worn a Deon Sanders No. 21 jersey on my shoulders because all I was doing was back-peddling. Are you kidding me? Of course I don't want a one-night stand without repercussions once a year. Honey, come on. Sweetheart, I thought you might find that article as interesting as I did. Those Russians sure are the swinging type, aren't they, dear? It took about an hour before the tension finally left our living room.

I then silently pat myself on the back for giving it the old college try knowing that 99.9 percent of the rest of the ever-hopeful men doing this Hail Mary task probably got the same answer. Like the Great One says, "You miss 100 percent of the shots that you don't take." Right? Well, somebody needs to tell Gretzky his slogan might be true in hockey but in the world of relationships, there are repercussions for taking that ill-advised shot.

6. My female coworkers (ages range from 26 through 61) think that the smart husband would know that it was a setup and not to even think about trying it. One even went so far to imply that Kirilenko's wife might have ties to the Russian mafia and if he had fulfilled the offer, then he would disappear.

7. Last night I shared the article about Andrei Kirilenko with my wife …

After I regained consciousness, she stood over me with the frying pan in her hand and said, "Greenburg is an idiot for writing the story, but you have to be a bigger idiot for actually doing what he said." I told her that it was not a bad idea, maybe it would "spice" things up a little after being married for 10 years. The emergency room doctor says that the bullet went through my leg cleanly and I should recover without any complications. But the broken arm from being pushed down the stairs would take a few more months to heal. While laying in the driveway waiting for the ambulance, my wife leaned out the window and threw my clothes on top of me and yelled, "See if he can refer you to a divorce attorney, too." Do you have any more relationship advice for me?

Andrei Kirilenko
ESPN The Magazine
Andrei Kirilenko and his wife, Masha, have a special kind of arrangement.

8. Well, I don't know but do you want this knife through your (expletive) skull?

9. Does an eye roll before walking silently out of the room count as a response?

10. I informed my wife of Kirelenko's unbelievable luck along with your golf for a lifetime bit and her response was as follows: "You can have a lifetime of guilt-free golf if I can sleep with one guy a year." Great article, but now I am truly in a pickle.

11. This is what I think: The day my husband is drafted into the NBA is the day that I will permit him an annual allowance of women. I will go even further than Kirilenko's wife -- I will allow him 10 women per year while he is in the NBA. (Given that he is a 36 year old, 5'8" Jewish man from Westchester, N.Y., I am willing to take the risk).

12. Having a little trouble seeing this morning. Took your idea to my wife.

Didn't work out so well. She immediately dropped what she was doing, scratched my eyes out and replaced them with my testicles!

13. Me: Honey, I want to show you something.
Wife: Ok, what is it babe?
Me: This story about a basketball player that gets to sleep with one woman per year, it's an allowance by his wife.
Wife: (dumbfounded look on her face) What?

Me: Just read it. (As she reads it, the dumbfounded looks turns to rage.)
Wife: So, let me get this straight, you think this is a good idea?
(It's a question, but no answer is expected or wanted … I'm there to now take the punishment)
Wife: Do you? Do you? Why would you show me this? Are you out of your damn mind?
Me: Babe, it's just a story.
Wife: You got any other stories? I got one. Once there was a guy who thought he had a great idea and got divorced instead. Is that a good story, you like that story?
Me: (This is where I attempt to turn it around). Oh, you got it all wrong. I was just going to say how this story was sick and I think …
Wife: Shut up. Go shovel the driveway.
Me: (Shoveling)

14. Response: "Does the name "Lorena Bobbitt" mean anything to you?"

15. "Why you piece of #@%&$, I oughta cut your #$%&* off!" She heads for the kitchen to make good on her threat, and I'm thinking why did I get her those ultra sharp Wustof knives last year for Christmas?? I pick up my dog, Rusty, to save him from the carnage, but I soon realize we won't both make it, so I toss him like I was in a shot-put competition.

"Run Rusty, save yourself, it's too late for me … don't look back, don't ever look back!" I scream as one of my jewels gets skewered. Rusty yelps and heads for the neighbors. Smart dog, real smart dog I think as I start to black out.

16. "If my 5'8" white, McWhitenstein boyfriend makes it into the NBA and brings home that kind of cash, I'll up the ante to two per year and if he gets his own shoe, I'd think about three."

17. She said, and I quote, "If you can go out and sleep with whomever you want, then the mailman is going to have a very interesting week."

18. In reaction to the article, she had a very simplistic response. "You can have sex with whomever you want."

I'm thinking, "DANGER, DANGER Will Robinson!! Lights are blinking everywhere, robot is flailing his accordion arms everywhere" … To which my only rational response is, "Just not with you any more, right?" To which she whole heartedly agreed. … Oh well, we can't have it all I guess.

19.I'd like to start this off by apologizing for any misspelled words or grammar mistakes as it's difficult to type with one hand holding a frozen steak over my swollen left eye. I know this was to be for wives but I posed the question to my girlfriend. She explained to me that to even ask such a question, I have single-handedly proven that men are dumber than women think and apparently that's pretty dumb.

Mike Greenberg is the co-host of "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio.




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KIRILENKO'S ALLOWANCE