Sep 11, 2017

How to Enjoy Watching Football Games Even If You're Not a Fan

It's entirely possible that you're not a football fan, and no one’s not going to judge you for it. Sometimes, however, a football game collides with a social occasion in a way that will require you to get enthusiastic for a few hours. This article is here to help. Did you bring something delicious?

Rule One: Bring Something Delicious

You're not going to know the game like those who make a living playing online lotto. You're not going to be able to contribute insights about "left-handed vs. right-handed spirals" and whether LeVeon is the new Marcus Allen. But you brought those wonderful home-made, deep-fried, jalapeno cheese poppers, and that will give you a lot of latitude.

Rule Two: Not During A Play

It's okay to scream or cheer. But while a play is unfolding, zip it - okay? This isn't the moment for even relevant questions, like "Those are the Jets, right?" much less "Maggie is doing much better in Geology!" Your real football fan is taking in every aspect of the play, including things invisible to you, like whether this is a risky call on 3rd down and 7, wondering where J.J. Watt is, whether this runner has a tendency to fumble, how much time is left on the clock and with how many timeouts remaining. Most actual jobs aren't this intellectually detailed. And that's well before you get to the level of the fan who's prone to checkout sporting events calendar. If there's one thing non-football fans often miss about football, it's that it is such a genuinely cerebral sport. Don't talk while the play is running, not even to offer a wonderful home-made, deep-fried, jalapeno cheese popper.

Rule Three: Embrace The Action

Football might be a cerebral game, but it's a real mean kind of cerebral. Your own mean streak is invited to the game. Enjoy the hitting. Savor it. Make that power yours! This isn't all about online lotto, it's about loosened teeth. If you can enjoy that aspect of the game, you'll find yourself having a much better time. You'll also be much better company.

Rule Three, Four-D: Follow The Hits, Not The Ball

You might not be ready for this, but we believe in you. There is a "Four-Dimensional Chess" version of Rule Three. Usually, it's never a good idea for a non-fan to try to interject half-digested football insights. It's a good way to end up saying something silly, like "Is the online lotto offside on that play?" But there's one expression of football geekery that all fans appreciate. That's the fan who spots the great, and especially brutal, blocks. So if you're such a non-fan there's no use even trying to follow the ball, just ignore it and be on the lookout for big hits. Then point them out to everyone on replay. They'll love you for it. It will clear you of all football fans' suspicion that you're a non-fan because you secretly disapprove of football, even think you're above it. Nobody is above football! Let yourself shriek when one guy really flattens another guy. It'll make you one of the cool kids, even though you don't know what's going on. You'll have won your own kind of sport lottery.

Rule Four: Learning Is Good

Checkout sporting events calendar from websites like Neds. Learn where your team is in the Standings and the names of its stars. You might not be ready for the real sport lottery, but you'll have fun and just might not embarrass yourself. Now about those wonderful home-made, deep-fried, jalapeno cheese poppers...

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