It’s that time of year again; the time of year when summer is officially over and we unofficially lose our men to football. A glimpse at my world on Sunday is likely a reflection that many women can relate to. The morning begins with my husband running around frantically in an attempt to accomplish any tasks that may be required of him as a husband and member of society (this may or may not include showering), followed by setting lineups for fantasy football and about nine hours of vegetating on the couch in front of NFL RedZone, a channel that bounces between games highlighting the most important and exciting moments as they happen. (If only they would create a channel that would do the same for reality television; that would be something women could relate to!) Quality time together is replaced by yelling and swearing, and so it begins.
As I prepare for yet another season of football, I can’t help but once again channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw and wonder: What is it exactly about football that attracts men so unconditionally yet deters us wholeheartedly? Perhaps it is the seemingly violent nature of football or the fact that most women do not understand the game, making it that much harder to keep our focus. Whatever the case may be, most women prefer leaving football Sundays as a sacred day better off spent apart from the men in their lives.
I have now endured nine long seasons of football, (some of which were spent with the girls and others that I spent giving it a chance), and though hard to admit, somewhere along the way, I began to hate it a little less. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I even enjoy football now. This seemingly impossible feat some years ago has now become a reality (shhh, don’t tell my husband) as a result of the fact that I took interest in something my husband is fond of. This is likely the same reason that my husband can name all of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, or recount The Hunger Games.
Watching football does have its benefits. It allows you to spend more time with your significant other doing something he loves. It provides you with an interesting way to start a conversation with a new guy, and sometimes, it’s even fun. Regardless of what your case may be, here are five reasons to give football a chance:
1. It’s an excuse to have a party AND eat junk food. You probably don’t need an excuse to get together with your friends, but football is the perfect reason to throw a party. Whether you’re hosting a group in front of your largest television screen or tailgating before a game, it’s always a good time (AND here’s a secret, if you invite other women, you don’t even have to really watch the game!). Football also provides the perfect excuse to throw the diet out the window. Salads, veggies and granola bars DO NOT go with football. Instead think: chili, chicken wings, potato chips, nachos, burgers, and virtually anything else you can eat with your fingers.
2. Two words: day drinking. Outside of college, there are very rare occasions when day drinking is acceptable. St. Patrick’s Day and you guessed it, football, give you a free pass to throw a few back with the sun still shining. Enjoy an adult beverage at a sports bar while watching the game, wash that dip down with a cocktail and remember to save room in the tailgating cooler for the six-pack. They don’t call it Sunday Funday for nothing.
3. Eye candy. What woman doesn’t love a man in uniform, and football boasts quite a few swoon-worthy men. Enjoy the view as players such as Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tim Tebow, Tony Romo, Reggie Bush, Tom Brady, and Adrian Peterson take the field.
4. Comfy, cute and pride-worthy team gear. Supporting your favorite team and sporting their gear can be a turn-on for your significant other and an attention grabber for a new guy. As an added bonus, you can be cute and comfortable while doing it. Finally, companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Lady Fanatics, and NFL Shop are creating apparel geared toward women including tanks, sports bras, shorts, hoodies, and sweatpants. In fact, the NFL is kicking off a campaign called “It’s My Team” that targets female football fans (almost half of the NFL’s fan base) and includes famous faces such as Serena Williams, Melania Trump and Condoleezza Rice.
5. Less games, more excitement. During the NFL regular season, each team plays 16 games during a 17-week period. In comparison the MLB regular season runs for about six months and is made up of a whopping 162 games per team. Why should you care? Less games, means less time watching, and more concentrated excitement. Each win or loss weighs heavily on a team, and can make or break their chances of making it to the playoffs. So get into it, and yell, curse and cheer for your favorite team!
Thinking of taking the plunge? Tune in to NBC for a pre-game performance by Mariah Carey and No Doubt, followed by the New York Giants - Dallas Cowboys game, the first game of the season, and keep an eye out for “A Renegade Chick’s Guide to Football,” to learn the basics just in time to watch the game with the guys.