How to F O O T B A L L


By Marla Keller

Molly (Played by Goldie Hawn): * sings * “…. It’s the sport of kings, it’s better than diamond rings, it’s better than anything…! “~From the 1986 Movie “Wildcats”

I grew up  l o v i n g  football! Especially when the 49’ers were playing. (Take a step back, haters. We can agree to disagree. =) ) It was a great way to connect with my dad who, for lack of a better way to put it, was completely addicted to sports. So, to relate with him I watched a lot of football. I asked a lot of questions. I’d like to say that I’m pretty well-versed in the sport. And, for those of you ladies out there who feel like widows (and for some of you guys, widowers) during the long, seemingly interminable, 6 months of football season, here are some “Cliff Notes” that may just help you feel like you have become a card-carrying member of a secret society for football lovers:

  • You may already be familiar with the basic player positions like the Quarterback (he’s the one that calls the plays, throws and/or hands off the ball to another dude on the field, and sometimes gets completely pummeled, and you feel really sorry for his mother/wife), the Kicker/Punter (he’s the one that kicks the ball; AKA the one guy who can ruin an entire season–just ask the BSU Broncos, but I’m not bitter…I’m not…really…I forgive you, Kyle.), and the Receiver (the really fast one that catches the ball and runs, and runs, and runs if he’s not tackled first).
  • Here are some other important positions — The Offensive Line and the Defensive Line. These are the  r e a l l y  big guys who keep the bad guys from sacking the Quarterback (the OL) or go and sack the other team’s Quarterback (DL). And these dudes don’t look nimble at all. In fact, they look like they’ve enjoyed way too many Thanksgiving dinners, but boy can they move!
  • And lastly, important items to chime in on…
  • When the team your partner is rooting for SACKS the other team’s Quarterback (pushes him down rudely before the poor guy has a chance to throw/hand-off the ball), jump up and down wildly, then throw your hand up in the air as if it has a football in it and slam the imaginary football down onto the ground yelling, “Gotcha, sucka!!!” BUT, if it’s “your” Quarterback who has been sacked, yell wildly at the TV, “Defensive penalty, defensive penalty. Don’t you have eyes, Ref?? Throw the darn flag already!!!”
  • If “your” Quarterback throws an INTERCEPTION, put your hands up to your head and moan loudly, expressing aloud your hope that there was some sort of infarction (like “pass interference”–google it) made by the other team so that the interception is ruled out. If “your” Defense intercepts a pass, get very excited and celebrate profusely, possibly to the point of spilling your beverage (well, maybe not that effusive).
  • And, when “your” team is awarded a FIRST DOWN, clap and whistle. If the opponent receives a first down, express your disapproval with a slight nod of your head back and forth. No need to expend to much energy here, unless the game is about to end.
  • I could go on and on, but to spare you more boring details I will call a TIME OUT from this silliness. If you want to study up some more, check out this webpage — 

Here’s to connecting with your partner during a time of year that in the past may have been a not-so-great season. Joining your partner in something they love can be both enjoyable and empowering. Stop whining about it, grab a glass of wine (or whatever beverage floats your fancy remembering that BEER is really the more appropriate thirst-quencher for the activity) and start celebrating the fun stuff! I promise, it can be a great time.

What ideas would you like to share about football season? Any fun traditions to add even more connection and fun to the season?

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