How to Survive The Football Season

As if on queue, the weather has turned to fall, perfect weather for the first Sunday of the NFL.  It’s an official holiday at my house. As I write this, my husband is doing a touchdown dance behind a wall of minuscule helmets each representing his team picks.
In my exuberance for the start of this wonderful season, I posted on Facebook the old cliché “Are You Ready for some F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L?” I was taken aback by some of the replies I got. Get this: some people don’t like the game. Huh? Let me repeat that. Some people don’t like football. It’s hard to remember a time when football wasn’t a part of my life. Sure, my parents never gave it a thought one way or another, so I wasn’t raised in a pigskin atmosphere.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I was exposed to the game. I was hooked from day one. There’s something about the whole season! There’s the smell of victory in the air! There’s gathering with your friends and family, needling each other about their picks. Some are surprised that a geeky woman such as myself goes gaga over the game. They think of football as a man-thang.
Oh, there are plenty of women who love the sport as much as I do, but I’m talking to the women who dread the approach of the first kickoff.  First, let me explain why men love the game. To men, football is like a soap opera. It’s filled with intrigue, drama, violence, cheap shots, and cutthroat strategy. It’s the one-thing he can talk about with the guy he doesn’t even like but has to work with. It’s the only time when its OK to exhibit manly characteristics without offending everyone on the planet. It lets men be, well, men.
Here’s an idea, instead of “tuning out” when he starts talking about football, listen. When he’s droning on about the subject, is the word “football” preceded with the word “Fantasy?” If so, you can become his favorite cheerleader if you head on over to App Guides and get him the fantasy football app for his specific cell phone. Personally, fantasy football just looks like a bunch of numbers to me, but I can’t ignore the studies that have shown that businesses that participate in fantasy football leagues have an increase in company morale and, therefore, output.
If you’re into cooking, why not bowl your man over by packing a tailgate party for him and his friends as they head off for the game? Don’t make anything, “girly.” Make him proud to put it out for his pals. Tailgate foods are very similar to backyard barbecue menus except that they have to pass the asphalt test (they have to be portable and not easily ruined by excessive heat). You don’t, after all, want to make your football loving’ man ill. You don’t have to go overboard. A single perfect-dish will make more of an impression than a host of second-string entrees and, hopefully, will leave his football buddies drooling with envy. Second, don’t forget the drinks. Beer is essential, but also make sure you add plenty of water. You don’t want him to get dehydrated. For some great ideas, go to The Food Network’s tailgate section at Tailgate Party. Check out Rachel Ray’s Super Nacho’s, its one of my favorites.
If you’re artistic you can help out your football fanatic by making him the envy of the cheese heads, or what ever team he’s nuts about, by picking up some body paints. You can find “Face Painting Kits” at Target and Wal-Mart. If you’ve got a little time and want to order the perfect colors go over to the Halloween store.
Can’t stand the thought of your guy painted up like that? Or if he’s, thankfully not into that, you can incorporate his team-colors into your living room decor. Not sure what the colors are for your football fan’s favorite team? Go to ColorWerks for a list of each team’s color including primary colors and a full palette of complementary colors. Or, if you really want your guy to worship your toes, give him his own man-cave and paint the room in his team colors with Glidden’s “Team Colors.”  Home Depot has provided an online worksheet for planning your fan’s man cave. It includes the measurements, team colors, and a checklist of items you’ll need. You can get it at the store or download it here.
Still not swayed to come over to the “dark side?” There’s still hope. Why not throw an Anti-Football Party? If you’re football-lovin’-man ditches you every Sunday to watch the game with his pals, organize a gathering for their significant others that feel the same way you do? Plan a hookup with them to do something you love. Take some time to do something for yourself. Maybe you’re a book-lover? Start a book club. Love movies? Go out and see the films you’ve been dying to see. Or, if the football fans are at your house, why not offer non-football activities at your home. Have a separate room for those who have no interest in the game. Have a “Sex In The City” movie marathon, or a book club meeting, or just gather to chat. At the same time, you can have your own anti-football pool. Have your guests guess which one of the football fans will get drunkest the fastest, or who gets the most upset during the game. The guys won’t know why you’re all laughing, they’ll just be happy that all of you seem to be having as much fun as they are.

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