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Keeping eye on due date; Calendar: Now an Internet site helps you avoid the nasty conflict of baby's being born during a major sports event.


It's 6 p.m. Sunday. Kick-off of Super Bowl XXXIII is XXV minutes away. You are home and among friends who have brought fermented beverages and ESPN's Chris Berman's very own "Back, Back, Back, Back Ribs." Nothing will interrupt this moment.

Your wife mentions that she's experiencing discomfort. You mention football players play hurt all the time. Your wife's pain, however, escalates to the point where she is either ready to: a) join the "All Madden Team" or b) give birth.

Kids, you had this day all planned, didn't you? The Super Bowl. Friends. Food. Loving life. But roughly nine months ago, you two lost your focus. Now it's time for the delivery room all because you didn't consider the Super Bowl's feelings. It's always your needs.

(Personally, we've never heard of this happening. But we need to assume it could happen in order to introduce the actual point of the story ...)

Enter the Internet. A San Francisco-based computer company is now offering "The Sports Event Conflict Catcher and Conception Blocker" Web site (www.babycenter.com/conflicts). It works like this:

So you don't miss any major or minor sports event, type in your due date or within two or seven days of the date. The Conflict Catcher, with database of 92 big sports events, will tell you what events coincide with your event. The other function, the Conception Blocker, gives you the date of whatever sports event you enter. "When should we not make babies?" says the icon.

For example, the Tour de France will be held July 1-23, 2000. And next year, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is July 11, and Super Bowl XXXIV is Jan. 30. Plan accordingly.

If you plan to attend, say, the Masters Golf Tournament or the Bass Masters Classic, the Web site gives directions and maps from the event to a hospital of your choice.

"Our mission is to help parents in every way," says Matt Glickman, co-founder of BabyCenter.com -- the online service for expectant parents that offers the Blocker and Catcher.

"If the Ravens got in the Super Bowl," Glickman says, "then you'd find the date of the game and when not to conceive."

Regarding the Ravens scenario, Glickman adds: "By the way," I'm from Cleveland, and I hope that day never comes."

Several thoughts come to the Internet-suspicious mind:

This Glickman dude still sounds bitter about the old Browns coming here, doesn't he? It will be a cold day on the Web when the Conception Blocker spits out a Super Bowl date involving the new Browns.

Can't people count anymore? If college basketball's "March Madness" means the world to you, count backward nine months. That's when you should, in BabyCenter's words, "couch it." But first you must simply "subtract."

And what if you love all sports? Conceivably, there would be no good time to conceive.

Not tonight, honey. The Pro Bowlers Tour begins in nine months.

Pub Date: 1/30/99

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