For some women, NFL season is synonymous with football widow-dom from September through February. And when your significant other’s eyes are practically glued to the screen on Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons, Sunday nights, and yes, for Monday Night Football too, who can really blame her for loathing the very sight of a football?
Confession time: Like any proper Wisconsin citizen, I learned to love the Packers at a very young age – even before the wild and crazy gunslinger Brett Favre was a starter. In fact, some of my best childhood memories involved watching the game with my family on snowy Sunday afternoons, and before long, I was seriously bitten by the sports bug – not only because the boys were cute, but because of the inherent thrill of competition.
See, when you’re born in Wisconsin like I was, they stamp Green Bay Packer fan on your birth certificate along with your weight, height and given name. To root for anyone else – or worse yet, to not even care what’s happening with the state’s beloved Cheeseheads – is basically akin to telling a kid there’s no Santa Claus. Or confessing that you’re lactose intolerant at a family potluck in America’s Dairyland.
As much as I still love football and can’t wait for this season to get started already, I’m glad my current job requirements don’t involve me trying to get quotes from a bunch of stinky boys (well, unless my favorite QB Aaron Rodgers wanted to chat, naturally, but only if he’s showered first). Instead, I get to be a fan, rather than a journalist first and foremost, and that’s a beautiful thing.
While my fandom has now been firmly established, and I’m also the wife of a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan to boot, I know there are plenty of girls who don’t exactly share my enthusiasm for the pigskin. Since I’m all about paying it forward, though, I feel it’s my duty to share a girl's guide to surviving (and thriving) this football season.
So on the eve of this year’s NFL season (the first game between the Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys kicks things off September 5th), here are a few ways to make the season fun.
Learn the Basics
If you’re playing a board game and don’t know the rules, it’s probably going to feel pretty miserable, and the same goes for football. If you have no idea why these burly girls dressed in short pants are running up and down the field, it’s bound to be a drag. And while you don’t need to know what a penalty for encroachment is or the intricacies of the wildcat formation, knowing a few basic rules (like what a first down is – and how many yards it takes to get one), along with a few of your hometown players (the quarterback, starting running back and wide receiver is a great start) will help your enjoyment.
Ramp Up the Competition
Like the Oscar party where everyone predicts who’s going to win Best Picture, Best Actor, etc., why not have a little friendly debate about who’s going to win the big game and what the final score will be? If you feel like being even more committed, why not join your friend’s fantasy football league (especially if a great prize is involved)? It’ll sure make following football a little more fun if you’ve got bragging rights.
When in Doubt, Watch Tebow
Want to follow a storyline that’s a born crowd-pleaser? Watch any game involving quarterback Tim Tebow. While he’s not the starter for his new team, The Jets, (not yet anyway), you never know what you’re going to get when he’s on the field. Sometimes he’ll run like Forrest Gump did across America, while other times he’ll throw a pass so bad you can hardly believe he’s in the NFL. And last year, he brought a ho-hum team, the Denver Broncos, back in the spotlight with several come-from-behind victories. Bottom line, whether he stinks or stuns, he’s never boring, which makes him an absolute delight to watch.
Throw Your Own Tailgate Party
Why wait until the Super Bowl to throw an awesome tailgate party? Football is always best when enjoyed with lots of people, and preferably those with varying allegiances, so invite your best pals, dream up a killer menu (mine is below) and enjoy. After all, even if it’s a boring game, that’s nothing a little spinach and artichoke dip can’t fix, right?
Christa’s All-Time Favorite Tailgate Menu
Dos Caminos Guacamole and Chips
Giada DeLaurentiis’s White Bean and Chicken Chili (a lighter alternative to beef chili but totally delicious)
Barefoot Contessa’s Jalapeno Cornbread
Rachael Ray’s Wingless Buffalo Pizza
Giada’s DeLaurentiis’s Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Cookies (I use chocolate chips instead of the chocolate chunks)
Nigella Lawson’s Triple Chocolate Brownies
Copyright 2012, watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.
About the Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own Dallas-based freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.
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