It’s that time of year again. Indian Summer is winding down, kids are back in school and my husband and I are settling down for our most special and intimate of marriage rituals. You know, the one where we gaze into each other’s eyes and ask lovingly “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!”
I am a girl who loves me some football. NFL or college, even Pop Warner, I am a student of the game and feel lucky to be part of the millions who are enthralled by the world’s greatest sport (sorry, Euro leaguers!).
NFL football really is the holy grail of all sports. Watching football with my husband is one of my greatest joys in life. Some of my best memories of our marriage center around us being insane fans of the Indianapolis Colts – flying back to Indy for playoff games, sitting dejectedly in our loft in San Francisco watching us go 3-13 in Manning’s rookie year, only to be elated when we were 13-3 the next. And sitting on the couch eight months pregnant watching our beloved Colties finally win the Superbowl, celebrating with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while hubby chugged beers. A month later, my son’s labor was induced on Peyton Manning’s birthday. Are you getting that I love this game?
And being a woman who watches, it makes for some interesting party conversation. Most guys don’t expect you to debate the merits of a 3-4 vs. a 4-3 defense at the kids’ swim party or correct them when they say that defense wins championships (see paragraph two or Google '2007 Superbowl').
There are so many women fans out there, but shockingly, football is still largely seen as game only men watch. Don’t you find it annoying when the commercials show hubby and all his friends gathered around the TV and the wife coming out with the empty soda/beer/trash/pizza box, an exasperated look on her face as she proceeds to berate her man about watching the game. Really?? Sorry, advertisers, but it’s 2012 and more likely than not, we are watching with our guys, or sometimes even without them. Perhaps they are busy changing diapers or doing the dishes. Ahem.
Come on ladies – if you’re already a football lover, you understand my passion and are probably convinced that the couple that tailgates together, stays together! If not, it’s easy to fall in love with this game, for so many reasons.
Football is a metaphor for life in general.
In the NFL, overcoming hardships is an everyday occurrence, especially during training camp when guys are discarded faster then J Lo’s husbands.
You want villains? Look no further than the hooded Bill Belichick, evil leader of the wildly successful New England Patriots. Often accused (and once proven) of cheating, he has teamed with pretty-boy QB Tom Brady and his backseat-coach wife Gisele Bundchen for five recent Superbowl appearances and three wins.
Heroes? There are plenty, from well-documented charitable stalwarts like retired Charger LaDanian Tomlinson to Pat Tillman, the Arizona Cardinal who left the NFL only to sacrifice his life in Afghanistan.
And redemption is the latest story line, with Mike Vick continuing his comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles, proving that an old dog CAN learn new tricks (if you don’t get that pun, ask a PETA member).
It’s a regular US Weekly.
You like celebrity gossip? The NFL is a hotbed of Hollywood hijinks, from The Jets’ Mark Sanchez’ latest conquest (Eva Longoria? Kate Upton?), to Rob Lowe’s inadvertent tweeting of Peyton Manning’s parting with the Colts, to poor Jessica Simpson still being blamed for the demise of wunderkind Cowboy Tony Romo. The story line week-to-week is fascinating…take a little trash talk, throw in loads of testosterone, top it off with millions of dollars and freakishly athletic bodies, and the potential for off-the-field distractions is off the charts!
So many ways to love it.
So go ahead, girls - jump in feet first. Pick a team and start to watch and read about them. Hometown team? Great. Maybe pick another team that’s in a different division, and follow them too. Join a fantasy league so you can learn about the individual players. Buy a cute jersey, wear it on Sunday, Monday night and the occasional Thursday night.
Read this cool blog and learn the basics of all that football gibberish. Imagine the surprise when you tell your man you know the difference between a blitz and a blintz, or ask him if quarterbacks coming through a West Coast offense system in college really ARE more successful in the pros. Football will breathe new life into any relationship!
If all else fails, check out Cosmo’s list of some of the hottest NFL players, and go from there. You’ll be glad you did. So get thyself to the gridiron, girls!