Are you ready for the FOOTBALL?! Are you ready to put football to work as a dating ally?! Read on for the 411 no matter your level of football love.
Football, love it or hate it, has become America’s pastime. When you combine college football and the National Football League you have, by far, the most financially successful and viewed sporting activity in America. If you’re a fan, that’s great news – games on more and more nights, 24/7 chatter on radio, TV and the web, and the rise of fantasy football. If you’re not a fan, you may feel that this surging tide of shoulder pads and analysis is a menace.
It has long been my hypothesis that in most long-term relationships football has some role. Sure, there are times when both individuals hate it, avoid it, and are completely unaffected by it. But even that is, in a sense, using football as a bonding agent. The typical couple must spend some time negotiating the place of America’s preeminent sport within their happy home. Is she a “football widow” spending 4th quarter Saturdays and Sundays without her man? Is he a doting husband who is desperately searching for time to slip off and catch up on the latest scores? Perhaps the roles are even reversed. Either way, football is changing the way you live.
So as the season gets going we wanted to create a guide for daters on how to use America’s 800-pound sports gorilla to their advantage.
If you’re a man who hates football…
You’re in luck. The vast majority of women think football is a complete waste of time. Just mentioning that, “you’re not a big football fan” and that you like to spend your weekends taking drives, or getting outside, or going to movies is likely to get nods of approval from the women who are seeking refuge from the endless ballgames and beer commercials.
You’re next move: Choose a random Saturday or Sunday afternoon during the season and make your way to a book store, coffeehouse, or art museum. Behold the vast the range of opportunities before you.
If you’re a man who loves football…
It is important for you to understand that, unless you hold season tickets or play on a football team, your exposure to the sport is more properly described as “watching television.” You may love football, but what you do all weekend long is watch television. The majority of women see watching television all day Saturday and Sunday as ridiculous, and fantasy football – don’t even ask about fantasy football.
If you are a football addict (college on Saturday, pro on Sunday, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football) remember that you will likely need to compromise if you want a real relationship with a woman. Since most of us work 40+ hours a week and commute, the weekends are all we have for quality time together. Go ahead early in your dating process and share your passion for the game. It’s better to know early if she can’t stand it. As we mentioned, you may have to compromise, but it is equally important that you insist on pursuing your passion. We’re all entitled to our hobbies no matter how silly our partner believes it to be.
You’re next move: It isn’t crazy to try and find a woman who loves football, but you’ve got to focus and look in the right places. You may be lucky enough to spot an enthusiastic female fan at your local sports bar. If you want a more pro-active approach, you can scan the online forums for your team. They may already have game watching parties, or you can suggest them.
One costly, but extremely fun, alternative is to find a wingman and buy two tickets to a game for your favorite team. The pre-game tailgate is a collection of the most avid and friendly fans you’ll ever meet. Wandering the tailgate area with a smile and the right attitude can get you a conversation with almost anyone.
If you’re a woman who hates football…
There will be some men who agree with you, but they are relatively few. If you want to meet a man in these United States, you’ll likely need to make peace with his interest in the gridiron. Many single men have dated the woman who hated football and made it an ugly issue in the relationship. He may even hide his interest in the early months of a relationship out of fear. (“Sure, I like football, but I can take it or leave it.”) If you have an allergic reaction to the sound of cheering crowds on TV then get it out in the open early. “A man who watches a lot of football is a deal-breaker for me.” That way he’ll be forced to own up to how intense his interest is.
If you find that you don’t hate football, but do find it boring, confusing, or slow, that’s a good thing to confess early in a relationship. Most men can’t remember a time when they didn’t know what a cornerback is, making it hard for them to teach the game effectively, but your willingness to learn and his effort to show you the finer points of the game will bring you closer and make for some fun weekend afternoons.
Your best next move: As a woman who hates football, you should probably start by looking for men where football fans are scare. Get tickets to the Sunday afternoon symphony with a girlfriend. Arrive early and have dinner in a nearby restaurant or at the theater if that’s possible. Dress up and smile. If you’re feeling really bold, host an Anti-Superbowl Party and invite a wide range of people. Ask everyone to bring friends. Work your football hating network.
If you’re a woman who loves football…
Well, some people just have it easy, don’t they? We’ve saved you for last because most men see a woman who loves football as a gift from the gods. It is an instant conversation starter. “Can the Vikings really succeed by just handing it to AP and watching him run?” It is an instant pathway to respect. It is a clear and obvious first date. “Why don’t we get together and watch Monday Night Football?” MNF is 60 minutes of stop-and-go football and two hours of commercials that you can talk through.
Your best next move: Do a search in your area for sports bars. Choose the nicest one. Don a jersey for your favorite team and go early on a Saturday or Sunday. If things look slow, identify the most interesting guy in the room and ask him to “…put his money where his mouth is.” The rest is up to you.