Football season is coming! Football season is coming! Are you ready!? I said, ARE YOU READY!?


I have never been a big fan of the gridiron game, despite the fact that I actually played a bit in high school. (A direct quote from my high school football coach: “Pynchon, I can’t use you. You stink and you’re no good!”) But something about the pro game just induces narcolepsy in me. Maybe it is the multitude of penalties followed by the endless challenges of said penalties, maybe it is the overuse and abuse of instant replays, or maybe it is the incessant TV timeouts but, in all honesty, football more often than not is just one big bore. And I know (hope) I am not alone.

Of course, you could just go ahead and completely ignore professional football, though that is often harder than it sounds. I mean it is the number-one sport in America (thanks for trying, soccer) so it is completely unavoidable. And though you won’t be ostracized for not enjoying football in modern society, you will hear so many times the question, “Why don’t you like football?” that it may make you want to ram a meat thermometer deep into both ear canals.

Sometimes, for the sake of your precious sanity, it’s just easier to fake like you actually care about the game of football. Here’s how.

Go to a bar for some Monday Night Football: Many bars have drink specials and discounted appetizers on Monday nights. Some even offer up a free buffet. None of this will help you enjoy watching the actual game of football any more than usual, but at least you get to stuff your face with jalapeno poppers and wash them down with multiple inexpensive domestic brews.

Bitch about the Patriots: Everyone hates the Pats except New Englanders and even they still bitch about them. So either way, you are safe.

Root for the Cowboys: It’s just the easiest and least taxing thing to do. They tend to be on TV a lot and if someone asks you why you root for them just toss out, “Because they are America’s team.” No one will doubt you. (Even though they are not even remotely America’s team.)

Question the relevance of Johnny Football: Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football,” is a recently drafted quarterback for the Cleveland Browns who is more known for partying – with Justin Beiber, no less – than actual football. Showing concern about whether he will be able to play in the NFL is a sure way to show you follow the game, whether you do or not.

Praise/disparage any team’s offensive/defensive line: It does not matter what order you do this. Hell, it doesn’t even really matter which team. Only the true die-hard fan will really know the intricacies of “being in the trenches” (feel free to use that phrase) and diehard fans are just happy discussing football with anyone. Besides, you have a 50/50 chance of being right.

Respond to anything anyone says with, “But can they maintain that if they make the playoffs?”: Again, it matters very little which team you are talking about. This question always works and leads to whomever you are talking to to go on a long diatribe about it, leaving you free just to smile and nod your head. In fact, this question can apply to any team sport you don’t give a damn watching.  

Talk about concussions: The controversy over the relationships between concussions and playing football is fascinating. It’s actually more interesting than having to suffer through four quarters of football. (Note: Pray that there is never an overtime when you watch football. Football overtimes are the most boring of all professional sports.) Concussions are a hot-button topic that are a thought-provoking way to kind of talk about football when you feel there is nothing thought-provoking about football.

Anytime someone gets mad, you get way madder: If they complain about a bad call, you yell about that call. If they yell out about an opponent’s touchdown, you curse out, “Goddamn mother*#king horses*#t assbaggers!” And if they curse out, you flip tables.

If all else fails, say these three words: “Peyton Manning, huh?”

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