In less than a week the 2015 football season will finally kick off. I for one treat the first weekend of football like a child on Christmas morning. I run through the house in pure elation that I can finally resume my fall tradition of yelling at the TV and living vicariously through 19-22 year kids.
This year will be a little different though. This year I have a girlfriend. I know, I know. How could I let his happen? Where’s the discipline and focus? Blinded by the consistent sex, I neglected studying the roster and the incoming recruits like a responsible fan. I traded in message boards for back massages, and even missed the spring game for some fucking art festival.
So last week I sat Bae down to have “the talk.” Basically, I wanted to brief her and preemptively apologize for my behavior that will ensue over the remainder of the year. Then right in the middle of my monologue about why it’s not my fault I drop “Goddammit” so gratuitously during pre-snap penalties she hit me with a bomb — She’s “not really that into football.”
Not really into football?! That’s information I would’ve liked to know before I swiped right last winter. As if Bama’s indecision on a starting QB wasn’t stressful enough, now I have to teach someone the ins and outs of my fanatical insanity? Luckily she wants to learn because she knows it’s important to me.
I’m sure I’m not the only dude facing this dilemma, so I took the liberty of preparing a guideline on how to get your athletically-atheist wife/ girlfriend/sidepiece into the game this fall.
1. Make it Relatable
We’re a week away from first kick, so we’re essentially facing a crash course tutorial. That being said there’s no way to squeeze a hundred years of rivalry games, iconic moments, and heartbreaking losses into her brain to make her truly understand your unfounded hate against your rival. No recounting, recanting, or reenacting of a heartbreaking loss will allow her to justify you muttering “Fuck Auburn” when you see an 11-year-old at the mall in an AU hoody. You have to make it relatable.
I like to use simple pop culture to get the point across. For example, Michigan and Ohio State are a lot like the Mean Girls of the Big Ten. They’re the popular kids in school, and shitty teams like Indiana and Purdue can’t sit with them.
Or if she’s younger, reference those fucking vampire movies from a few years back that brace-faced preteens lost their goddamn minds over. It’s not that either is essentially better than the other. Ohio State and Michigan are both national powers with proud traditions and great fanbases. But fuck sportsmanship. Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? The answer doesn’t really matter as long as you swear a lifelong blind allegiance to one and promise to hate the other with a passion every fall.
2. Preparation and Groundwork
If you truly want Bae to be a part of your team then you need to treat your preparation with the same focus and seriousness your team does every game week. Stick to the basics. I can’t preach the importance of fundamentals enough, guys! Open doors, walk her dog, go to bullshit wedding/baby showers with her coworkers you don’t like, pretend to like Ed Sheeran songs, or sacrifice your Monday night by watching The Bachelor. This type of foundational ground work will pay off huge dividends throughout the season.
I especially recommend sacrificing an afternoon by going to a bridal/baby shower with her. Yeah you’re gonna want to cut yourself in a room full of 25-year-old sorority sisters talking about how cute the name Paisley or Connor is, but stick it out. Also, definitely watch The Bachelor with her. Not only that, but mirror her emotional outbursts. When Stacy gives a rose to the dickhead lawyer instead of the sweet aspiring artist treat it like you would when your running back fumbles on the 1-yard line.
Your dedication and investment into shit like this will come in handy later in the year when she gets upset that you haven’t gone out on a Saturday night date since August. “We never do anything anymore? What about that baby shower I went to? Or when I make you dinner/Digiorno for our Bachelor Mondays?!?!”
3. Be patient and have the DVR ready
Because no matter how great she is, there is undoubtedly going to be a time when she’s confused and incessantly asking questions about what’s going on. The DVR is gonna’ come in handy when you have to pause the game to explain to her what encroachment is for the 15th time. On the positive side, being on a delay will allow you to fast forward through the 3898398324 commercials during a 3:30 game on CBS.
Just remember to be patient. It’s not her fault she doesn’t know what a cover 2 defense is. It’s not like you know the ins and outs of contouring and cosmetics. So get off your high horse and walk her through it. After all, someone had to explain the game to you once. That being said if she ever gets confused and cheers for the wrong team you are totally valid in breaking up with her and/or pouring bleach on all of her clothes.
4. Show her the puppies
There are few things girls love more than puppies. Don’t believe me? Check her Instagram and guaranteed she follows a minimum of 3 accounts of baby animal pictures. So, if at any point she seems to start losing interest have a few live animal mascots on deck to melt her heart. “Hey bae, I know we’re up by 50 on Southeast Alaska Tech, but check out this picture of UGA as a puppy.” And, be thankful that your rival doesn’t have a koala for a mascot because if they did she’d be their biggest fan.
5. Get her geared up
If she’s gonna be by your side for 12-15 games then she needs to look the part. I’m not saying you need to give her your lucky shirt with the yellow pit stains that you’ve worn for every game since ’98, but she can’t go to the bar or stadium wearing some bullshit graphic tee from Forever 21.
Drop about $50 at the team store and get your trap queen g’d up from the feet up, son. A simple t-shirt should suffice, but I do recommend taking the Richard Gere “Pretty Woman” route and making it rain on her with accessories like koozies, face decals, or some monogramed bullshit.
If she can somehow incorporate fashion into your football routine then she’ll be blissfully occupied with color coordinating while you’re yelling at Verne Lundquist for being a biased asshole. Plus, how much hotter will bae be when she’s rocking a low cut v neck reppin your alma mater?
6. Add some drama/tug on her heart strings
This may be the most important advice I can give you. Girls love drama. That’s why every Sunday night your boo binge watches literally anything that comes on E! or Bravo. I’m not saying you need to create a Real Housewives of Ann Arbor or recreate those awful Sarah McLaughlin commercials with the 101 abused dalmatians. However, if you force feed her a few Tom Rinaldi specials about some walk-on who beat cancer and is now your team’s starting left tackle then she’ll undoubtedly be more interested. Get creative with it, guys. Think Nicholas Sparks meets Rudy.
“Yeah, that guy was actually an orphan from South Africa who raised his 6 brothers and sisters by himself. At one point he was just a down-on-his-luck prostitute until he met our rich coach who took him out shopping for pearls and shoulder pads. It completely turned his life around…”
7. Booze for Bae/gameday rosé
Girls love rosé. That’s just a scientific fact. When you go on your game day liquor run make sure to pick up a bottle of something specifically for her. It shows that you’re thinking about her. Plus, there’s no way she’s gonna want to drink beer all day, AND it’s not like you’re gonna want to share your fifth of bourbon that you’ve been power drinking all day because it’s the only thing that will help you cope with the stress of a bend but don’t break defense THAT HAS SOMEHOW MADE NO IMPROVEMENT FROM LAST YEAR.
But I digress. Anyways, spend $15-$20 on literally any rosé that isn’t in a box or from Barefoot because you’re not a fucking animal. You’ll thank me when she’s tipsy in the second quarter and you get to spend halftime having a quickie instead of having to listen to Lou Holtz struggle with the word “Syracuse.”
8. Stop talking about Fantasy Sports
Guys, do yourself, her, and everyone a favor and just shut the fuck up about fantasy sports already. It’s enough that she’s spending 3 hours watching a game with you instead of flower crown shopping on Pinterest. You don’t need to send her over the edge by talking about your fantasy football bullshit. Quit while you’re ahead because you sound like some virgin in a basement playing Magic the Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons with sports.
9. Skip a game for a wedding
I’m kidding. Fuck fall weddings. Fuck that forever.