This weekend shapes up as a sports fanatic's dream, a non-fan's nightmare: the World Series, football -- high school, college, pro -- hockey and preseason basketball.

One Oxon Hill woman says she has gone to all extremes to rid her husband of what she calls a "dreadful disease" of sports viewing. "He's not a sports fanatic. He's a sports fool," says Margaret, who asked that only her first name be used because of the embarrassing things that she has done to get her husband's attention during a sports event on television.

"I raise such a fuss that eventually he figures that it would better for him not to watch them than to put up with my screams and threats," she says. "I've done everything except pour Clorox into the television set while it was on. I've even gone to the extent of cutting the television cord to keep him from watching them."

If he could, says Margaret, her husband would watch sporting events nonstop.

For Brad Stevens of Arlington, business can wait when the football season kicks off. He and his wife, Marilee, who is uninterested in sports, do not plan any activities together when professional football games are scheduled, especially Redskins games, because Brad cannot miss a play.

"If someone wanted us to do something spontaneously, it would never happen, because we've already arranged for that time to be free for the game," says Marilee Stevens, adding that even if it were someone requesting a business meeting that could result in a profit of thousands of dollars, her husband, who is an artist, would say he is unvailable.

Although some might jump to use a rendition of a popular phrase, "It's a male thing, you wouldn't understand," Joe Schwartz of Lanham begs to differ. His wife, Harriet, is the sports fanatic in their home.

"She's there {in front of the TV set} Saturday. She's there Sunday. If there are two games on, she watches two games," he says of his wife. "On New Year's Day {in 1979} -- our wedding day -- I had to stop to buy a shortwave radio on our honeymoon so she could hear the Penn State game. After they lost she was sort of in mourning."

Fifty-five years ago Harriet Schwartz attended her first basketball game and has been hooked ever since. Now an equally crazed football fan, everything takes a backseat while the television is tuned in to a game.

"I plan my weekends around what's on. I watch 98 percent of {all spectator sports}. I do not talk on the phone," she says, admitting she furiously hung up on a friend once when she called twice during a game. "I don't care if the house is burning down, it'll have to wait until the game is over."

After 11 years of marriage, Joe Schwartz says he has just grown used to his wife's passion.

"I watch movies in self-defense. I escape from it. We used to fight over the NCAA finals and I would go out and see a movie. I can't deal with things being thrown all over the den during a game," he jokes. Her daughters, on the other hand, are now die-hard sports fans from watching them with their mother.

Some may say this is zany, but true sports spectators will tell you there's just nothing like the excitement of watching their favorite sport, if not all sports.

"If my favorite team wins I get a real high, the adrenaline starts pumping. It's like a natural high," says Kevin Chatman of Northeast Washington. "Everyone and everything else is secondary when it comes to my sports. I don't like to do anything that will hinder me from watching every play."

He has canceled dates to stay home and watch a sport. Just recently he broke off a date to view the last game of the football pre-season.

"Watching a good sports game takes the place of my playing it," says Chatman.

There is a thin line between actually having a passion for sports and being addicted, and more cross that line than often realized, say some psychologists. "An addiction would be life-denying and a passion is something that would be life-enhancing," says area psychologist Patricia Webbink.

"In any kind of behavior where you're not making rational choices, (such as overeating, drinking in excess or taking drugs) it would be a good idea to look at this behavior in terms of an addiction," she says.

Sometimes obsessive sports viewing is a way to escape from life situations, says Leonard Allen, a clinical psychologist in the District and Virginia.

It's simply sometimes a way to get away from an unhappy marriage or relationship," he says. "With some men, they simply have never matured. Growing up, being with the boys, doing boy-like things is simply safer than being in a good relationship."

"Men ... are identifying with the athlete, pretending that they're one of them. It gives them a feeling of power and skill that they may no longer have," says Wolfgang Weigert, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of adults and children here in Washington.

Women could quite possibly be drawn to sports as a way of struggling with their own identity. "In the few cases that I have seen, {these women} were trying to establish whether the masculine or female role was more comfortable," says Allen.

"When I was growing up ... there was more emphasis put on the guys. They were given the praise. Girls weren't," says Harriet Schwartz, who spent much of her high school and college days playing a variety of sports. "I was a frustrated male athlete. I wanted to be a man because I wanted to have more options in life."

Since there don't seem to be any support groups for either the sports fanatics or their partners, other measures must be taken.

Watching and going to sports events "allows us to be together so much more," says Carol Van Horn of Silver Spring, who attends at least 13 baseball games a year with her boyfriend.

Marilee Stevens, on the other hand, will "go off and work on something personal. It give me time to pursue solitary interests." She finds that the best time to shop is during a popular sports event. "I can go out jogging or work on the computer as well."

Another "strategy would be to show that {you} don't care and go out and then maybe they would take other interests in the family," says Weigert, then the family could work on an agreement that would suit all members.

"Maybe," says Margaret, "the Clorox trick is not such a bad idea after all."