So a blogger buddy of mine posted a blog entitled: The Woman's Guide to Sports Fandom. I have yet to ask him and confirm but for some reason it strikes me that maybe...just maybe...he had me in mind when he wrote that. (See in particular Article I Section II, and Article IV). It's actually a good guide, but I think it needs to be tweaked a little :) (more on this later).
I never liked football up untill about a month ago when some coworkers were watching a game. I was watching along with them and admiring the pretty colors of the uniforms and pretty much just entertaining myself with their bickering about so and so player and who is injured etc... when I asked (to no one in particular) what "first down" meant. And that was that. I had them explain to me what was going on and the general rules and why the points were going up how they were...and I was HOOKED!!!!
Most of you read about my unorthodox team picking requirements and now I have to explain better. In the same day as I became enlightened at the wonderfulness that is football, my coworker Josh asked me who I thought was gonna win. I didn't have anything to go on except for the uniforms of the teams playing on the screen and the quarterback (Drew Brees, NO Saints) who was getting interviewed at the time. So I said, I favored the Saints. Why? As a joke...a JOKE...I said, because the quarterback was cute and they had flowers on their helmets. And lo and behold they actually won. The next game was between two Div I college teams. And Josh again asked me which team I favored...and I said FSU because Clemson's uniforms were purple and orange and GAG me with a stick!!! And FSU won. So it became a running joke between us...and for the next 9 games I picked teams that way...and 6 of the 9 teams I picked won. Since it seemed to be working for me...I posted my first ever football related blog :)
So then, in anticipation of being asked again I started reading up on rules. I checked out NFL.com, subscribed to NFL mobile on my phone etc...and I am never looking back!!! Football is F*ing AWESOME!!! I really have my coworkers to thank. In the last 4 weeks, the 5 of them have at multiple occasions lined themselves up to recreate a play for me to explain what happened. And because they never made me feel stupid when I asked stupid questions. I kid you not, I once mentioned to coworker Dan that one of the official's parents must be mean...because their son's initials were B.J...only to be told that B.J. meant Back Judge. To which I responded "oh, is that why some of them only have one letter on the back of their uniforms?" To his credit, he didn't even crack a smile. He just explained to me what all the letters meant. :)
Now for all you football fan wannabees...take it from someone who knows...the key to loving sports (football in this case) is to know what you should know and know what it's ok to learn along the way.
So here we go (please pay close attention)...stuff I learned in my fledgling career as a football enthusiast...
A good rule of thumb is to always pick the home team. Even if you don't know jack sh*t about whether your home team is good that season or not, nobody can fault you for having home team loyalty. Unless of course you live in Detroit...in which case pick another team. Trust me on that! Also, although it's good to pick one team to be loyal to, it's ok to have 2 or 3 other teams you like. Especially because your team is only going to play once a week and you must know who to root for when watching Monday Night Football. And Thursday Night Football. And the awesomeness that is Sunday Football where you can catch 3 games back to back if you're lucky.
It's also ok (in my book) to pick a team based on the attraction you have for a particular player. We are women after all, and need our eye candy too! Just keep in mind that players get injured, traded, and retire all the time. Plus unless they are really really good at their position, you almost never see them without their helmets on...so have backups.
#2: Betting on who wins and who loses
DONT! Because football is unpredictable and you will be dissapointed to the point where you wanna quit watching. So for the love of Gosh!! DONT. Just be content to watch and even though you can favor one team over the other, save the money for that new pair of shoes.
#3: Sports Apparel
I completely agree with WWW here. Don't get a pink football jersey, or shirt, or hat if your team color is not pink (and let me save you the time to look up whose colors are pink...there is none...the closest you can get is powder blue). And don't go overboard with those stupid dresses and earrings and underwear (ok well, you can get the underwear) and scarves and commemorative plates and windshield scrapers. I would keep it down to the basics:
Shirt or Sweatshirt.
maybe a Keychain.
And it's ok to get apparel specifically sized for women. Because I have a football jersey from an ex that is a Men's Large and it literally goes down to mid calf...I won't be caught dead in that outside of my bedroom not only for fashion reasons but also for dangerous tripping hazards. Besides...we're girls! It's ok to look good AND be officially licensed at the same time!
#4: Talking like an expert.
Although it's nice to know the official lingo, if you don't know what the exact terms are and how to use them...don't! Someone will call you out on it and you will look like an idiot. It's better to use words you are comfortable with until someone corrects you or you correct yourself. But I do want to advice you to try not to use words that you haven't heard someone else use in the same context...and to always ask someone you trust what terms mean before you say them out loud (see my B.J. reference). And guess what?!?! Before you know it you will soon be spouting sh*t like "they won the game after he intercepted that pass and hauled ass to score the winning touchdown" and actually know what you just said!
For other rules and terms: NFL.com and (don't laugh) Wikipedia.org
#5: Other Helpful Hints
Don't bother memorizing team rankings, because they change every week and you will go crazy.
Do know the difference between League/Conference/Division and which teams belong to which Division
Do know what the positions are and their general placement on the field.
Do pay attention to who is leading each Division because they are probably going to be the ones who are gonna be in the playoffs.
Do pay attention to 1) quarterbacks, 2) receivers, and 3) other top players and for which team they play for...chances are you will be hearing their names a lot and it's very impressive when you hear "blah blah Warner" "blah blah Fitzgerald" "blah blah Collins" and you prove you know who the hell they are! (p.s Warner = QB for the Cardinals, Fitzgerald = WR for the Cardinals, Kerry Collins = QB for the Titans).
And last but not least...
DO ENJOY THE GAME!!! At the end of it all who cares if you know the statistics and who is favored to win the playoffs and who is going for the wild card and whether or not Cassell is replacing Brady as QB for the rest of the season. If you like to watch football because that Tight End looks cute in Black and Gold then by all means!!!! =)