I love several things about the fall, but one of them was never football. However, I realized I should develop an interest in the game that everyone plans their days around to fit in with the crowd. Knowing how to sound like you understand football can even help y’all make some new friends.
Pick Your Team
The first thing I needed to do was find a team worth rooting for. Whether it was professional or college football, I wanted to pick a squad that was entertaining without jumping on the bandwagon. Even with my minimal knowledge of sports, I know that no one likes a bandwagon fan. But I also wanted to show allegiance to any local teams.
Once you find your collegiate and professional team, you can dive deeper and learn the players’ names since football is on TV every Saturday and Sunday from noon-midnight. If y’all can drop the names of the offensive linemen on your partner’s favorite team, they’ll look at you in a different light.
Drop Some Lingo
Football has its own terminology that sometimes seems like it should be on the Rosetta Stone. Now, you don’t need to sound like a head coach, but it helps to know some key phrases. Declaring to your watching party that your team should run a “play-action pass” or a “slant-and-go” makes it sound like you could interview for a head coaching job.
Additionally, I try to bring up relevant current events. A quick search should alert you of what the hot-button topics are so that y’all can drop them into a casual conversation. It also doesn’t hurt to share interesting facts about the NFL or NCAA. The “break glass in case of emergency” phrase you can use is “where’s the hold?!” According to hardcore fans, this phrase seems relevant for 99.9 percent of the players.
Wear Your Team’s Colors
The great thing about being a football fan is that you can treat every weekend in the fall like it’s Halloween by dressing the part of a diehard fan. Wearing a shirt or jersey of your team should earn cheers from strangers in the grocery store. I’d have to imagine “Roll Tide” is like the “Jeep Wave” for Alabama fans. And if y’all don’t want to splurge on the apparel you might wear only once, go with something that matches the team colors that you can wear again.
Don’t Be an Obvious Faker
While y’all are playing a part, you don’t want it to be obvious that you’re posing as a football aficionado. Blend in with the crowd, and don’t become the center of attention. You don’t want to feel the side-eye of others who know you’re putting on a show. When you feel like you’re pushing things too far, take a step back and go back to not giving a hoot about the game.
Learning how to sound like you understand football is as fun as you want to make it out to be. When the weekend social gatherings revolve around the big game, you might as well learn a little about it before you go.