How to Pretend You Care About Football

Cesar and me ready for the game!For those of you who’ve seen this post already, thank you for your loyalty! It’s been a year and a half since I first posted it, and some of you are still here! You may enjoy seeing it again, and for some of you, it’s new — and timely.

Enjoy the game tomorrow!

So you’ve been invited to a friend’s house to watch the football game on their ginormous TV. Everyone is going, and you don’t feel like sitting at home alone.

I’ll never be an expert, by any definition, of any sport, but I do have some expertise in pretending to care.

First, a little insight into my own level of knowledge of the game of football, and then a few tips for getting through enjoying the game, or at least letting your friends think you do:

Some years ago,

I was late for my first date with a man who ended up being my boyfriend for an eternity. “I’m so sorry,” I said as I sidled up next to him at the bar (classy date, huh?). “I just had to watch the end of the football game. I know it’s only pre-season, but so-and-so is back from injuries and I wanted to see how he’d do.”

Condescending look. “That’s okay,” he said, “How did he do?”

I went into a two-minute recap of a game it turned out he’d watched in its entirety at that same bar. As I spoke, he had a look of increasing surprise, and when I finished he said, with a tone of incredulity, “You really do know football!”

So I know a little. However, I could have grasped only one fact about football — where the fifty-yard line is — and he would have been equally amazed. My point being, you’re probably not facing great expectations, and I can help you meet them.

50 yard line US Football s
Damn right you should be impressed.

Okay, that’s tip #1, illustrated. The fifty-yard line is smack-dab in the middle of the field going the long way. Once you’ve got that one down, here’s how to further pretend you love the game:

#2 Wear team colors

in some sort of tacky fashion. Mismatched socks will do. This will take a little pre-game research, but it’s important if for no other reason than you shouldn’t be wearing the other team’s colors.

#3 Bring a beastly yet delicious snack treat

and call it your “traditional football (name of food).” Don’t over-think this one. Remember, football fans love melted Velveeta cheese mixed with canned chili. The bar is not set high.

#4 Listen to the others gripe about the game,

and take your cues for shaking your head and saying, “you are SO right about THAT!” This tip is a little tricky since someone may ask a for a follow-up, so only do it if you dare.

#5 Every time you hear someone on TV say,

“it’s first and ten…”  yell, “FIRST AND TEN! DO IT AGAIN!”

(If someone points out the other team has the ball, smile sheepishly and say, “just another chance for our guys to sack the quarterback.” What that answer lacks in logic it makes up for with perceived quick thinking and advanced beginner knowledge.)

#6 Forget it.

You’re not fooling anyone. Take out your cell phone and text all your real friends about how bored you are.

Image Credit: (football field, w/o writing) © gomolach — Fotolia


Earlier today I was driving down one of the busiest streets in my city, when I saw three men riding bicycles approaching from the opposite direction. They stopped, and appeared to be looking at a homemade map, clearly uncertain which way they were going.

What made this remarkable was one of the men was dressed like Raggedy Ann, pinafore and all, with a red yarn wig and rosy cheeks. He was unshaven and wore paint-spattered jeans under his doll getup, and as he started riding again (apparently they’d determined some sort of direction), he put on sleek sunglasses.

I’m guessing they were headed to some sort of party, where he would either cause great joy or profound embarrassement for his offspring, depending on how old they might be. After conversations yesterday with two friends dealing with fiendish teenagers, I found myself hoping perhaps at least one of his children was between the ages of 13 and 15, and was about to be mortified…and momentarily speechless.

There’s great joy when a baby is born. Yes, it’s a lot of work, with sleepless nights to add to the increased responsibility and change in lifestyle. But it’s nothing, from all I’ve observed, to the work involved in raising a teenager.

Over the years I’ve had countless parents of teenage boys and girls say to me, “If only I could get rid of them for the next two or three years — and reclaim them once they’re decent human beings again.”

Not a deal too many people are likely to enter into, so parents, you’re stuck. But why not have a little fun? Take a cue from this man with no shame, who braved the cold and laughter from strangers simply to bring…well, I can only imagine what he was bringing and where, but the destination hardly matters.

Show you’re in charge by showing nothing phases you.

Notice no teens are nearby….

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. You can really outdo yourself on this day with outlandish fan gear. Never mind who your team might be. The face paint, cheeseheads (yes, I know Green Bay didn’t make it — but cheeseheads! how embarrassing!), any number of other team-specific paraphenilia. Do it up right.

Your reward for all of this? Your teenager just might lock him or herself in his or her room for the duration of the Big Game.

Photo courtesy Pixabay

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