Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guide to Watching Football

Football season is almost upon us! You know what this means--unhealthy food and drink, spending entire afternoons sitting on the couch, cursing at our friends as well as people we don't even know--in other words, typical Sundays. How to explain this tradition to the non-fan?

1) Think of it as a bonding moment. No one I know ever requires total silence during the game, in fact it's possible to enjoy it with the sound off. (The play by play is only useful if you're in another room getting a beer and want to hear what just happened. The color commentator is invariably an idiot with nothing worthwhile to say) Use it as an excuse to gather with friends and sit around talking, only you're all facing the set and you'll every now and again have to hear some cheers or groans that are unrelated to your conversation.

2) The love of the game is due to the American desire for territory (see, Manifest Destiny, The) so goodness is measured in yardage. Accept this as a cultural thing. And stop hating America so much, commie!

3) Understand also that it's a thinking man's game. Although a game will take place over a three hour period, only a third of that has the clock running, and during the one hour game clock there is only an average of fifteen minutes of actual playing (the rest is time used while the clock is running between plays). That means suspense is key!

4) Those cheerleaders on the sidelines? Once, they wore knee-length skirts and sweaters, and these days it is more common to see them wearing halter tops, booty shorts and go-go boots (at least in the NFL). Don't comment about this to the other fans you're watching the game with. They've heard it before. Yes, it's objectifying, yes, you wouldn't want to see your daughter out there dressed like that. Write your letter to the commissioner.

5) You may also have noticed that each season a lot of the players on your favorite team have left to play for other teams, and you may wonder why you should be more loyal to the team as a fan than any of the players. If you were to ask one of these players, they'd probably ask you when the last time was that someone offered you more money to root for a different team. Then he'd tell you to shut the hell up.

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