8 Keys to Surviving Football Season By Kathryn Lang

I have never been a football fan. If my husband wanted to watch his favorite college team - the Auburn Tigers - then he had to go to his dad's or a friend's house. Football was not my cup of tea. Why a bunch of boys wanted to run around a field and hit each other while chasing a pig never made much sense.

Big games were tolerated - the Super Bowl and the Iron Bowl - occasionally. I did manage to even attend a few "Bowl" parties out of moral support for my husband's obsession. Even with the fanfare surrounding the monumental games, football just didn't do it for me.

It's not that I don't like sports. I love sports. I grew up around brothers, male cousins, and a whole gaggle of guys in the neighborhood. I ran track, played volleyball, basketball, and baseball. At the University of South Alabama, I became enamored with soccer (yes, the players themselves had much do with that infatuation).

Living in Mobile provided me the unique experience of the Senior Bowl - where all the top college senior football players come together for one last game. I actually attended one of these while at college. Even the "stars" of the sport couldn't get me excited. Our seats were so far from the action that I found myself bored. (If you ever find yourself bored at a football game, don't yell out "Homerun" when the team scores. It's not as funny to everyone else as you will think it is.).

After ten years of a no-football zone, I think my husband resigned himself to being away from the house starting each August. It was this last season that something near miraculous happened to change his fate and my outlook.
I had a chance to write for a football website - ironically it was about my husband's team. Not only did I become intrigued by the game, but I actually found that with just a few minutes each day I was able to keep up with the fundamentals of the sport and even able to impress my husband with my foresight and knowledge (Don't tell him you are quoting footballfan200Z from the internet. Take all the credit for yourself).

Every day (sometimes less often) I took some time to scan the sports page for interesting football stories. If that wasn't possible, I would cruise some of the online football sites or blogs - it's almost sad just how many of these are available for your viewing. It turns out that football had plays and strategies, and it even takes some brains to figure it all out. This blew my whole theory of the dumb jocks and the pig.

I didn't study the stats of the players like many diehard fans would do. I did find out about a few standout players - some personal history and talent facts. It was finding out about the players that made the game much more personal - and more enjoyable for me.

The family reunion is only a few months away, but I'll be able to hold my own when the talk swings to sports. I don't know the name of the plays, or the details of the strategies. I will turn the talk to the player's positives and negatives. I know the players, and that puts me way ahead of most women out there. If I weren't married, it would probably be a good way to pick up guys.

Taking time out of a busy schedule to read about or research a game you don't even like may not be what you had in mind. I've compiled some basic dos and don'ts for the women who don't want to know football, but do want to appear that way.

1. Know which team your significant other is rooting for and cheer when that team catches the ball or kicks the ball through the goal posts (those white sticks on the end of either side of the field) - these are both good things.

2. Know which person is in charge of the team. You don't have to know his name, but at least know his title - "Coach."

3. If your team takes the ball across the line at the end of the field (also referred to as the end zone because it is at the end of the field) it is called a "touchdown." I covered this earlier, but it is still important. Whatever you do, don't yell "homerun." Many a firm relationship has been crushed by just such an action.

4. Under no circumstances should you try to talk to your significant other during the game. Save all questions about the game or the team's reasoning for that odd play until halftime or after the game or better yet just ask someone else. This includes comments about uniforms, coaches expressions, and the signals those guys in the striped outfits make to the camera.

5. Anything about the relationship should be discussed AFTER the season is over - but before basketball season starts. You should have a window of about 4 hours.

6. It is not okay to read a novel during the game. You have to at least pretend to show some interest.

7. Never, never, never ask a question that he doesn't know the answer to, and always accept the answer he gives you even if it is obviously wrong.

8. To make the ultimate impression, purchase seats to your significant other's favorite team and make the game a surprise. Live games score BIG points in the wow factor.

How ever you approach the game of football, approach it you must if you have a football fan in your life. Be careful, if you get to close you are likely to fall into the mayhem. The next thing you know, you have your face painted and are screaming on national television.

As for me, I'll stick with the facts and look forward to March Madness.

Kathryn Lang is a freelance writer specializing in family issues, financial responsibility, and working from home. She has been published on numerous websites as well as in print. She is currently available for writing assignments or speaking engagements. You can read more about her at her own website.

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