This excerpt is from something I'm working on now entitled A Chick's Guide to Football, as Explained by a Dude. It is a concise guide to everything women really need to know to watch/endure football and everything guys wish they knew so they could enjoy the games. (Basically, it's me being a smartass and talking football…shocking it took me this long to write it now that I think about it…)
Without further ado…
(the formatting doesn't come through too well, so please disregard that…and the lack of graphics, which really add a lot as well…)
Some of my friends have warned me that guys can be really obnoxious when watching football. What exactly am I getting myself into here?
Serena poses an excellent question to begin our discussion of everything you need to know about football. It is assumed that if you are reading this book, it is because there is a boyfriend/husband/roommate/best friend/buddy that you are either trying to become closer with or dupe into believing you are an actual fan. In order to do that, you first must know what you’re up
The very short answer to Serena’s question is, yes. Most guys become completely insufferable when it comes to watching football. Whatever social norms and rules of etiquette they feel shackled with during the week are readily cast aside starting on Friday night and stay that way through Sunday Night. While there will be occasional periods of time where you will be able to reel that in and get them to behave like functioning members of society, good luck ever getting it to stick weekend after weekend. It’s just not happening.
The much longer answer to her question though requires a deeper dive. It mandates not only speaking of the generalities of male watching, but of clearly identifying the eleven types of male football watchers you will encounter along the way. Why is this important to understanding football, you might ask?
Because no single thing will have a greater influence on your relationship with football than the people you watch it with.
Despite what they may claim, or even argue vehemently, every single male on the planet fits into one of these categories. Get to know them, because once you have identified which type the particular men in your life are,
your job will become that much easier.
1.) The Encyclopedia
***This is arguably the most obnoxious football fan on the planet. Even his male friends will avoid watching a game with him if humanly possible***
Do you have that one friend that spends every free moment she has poring over US Weekly and TMZ? The one that knows enough random celebrity gossip to fill an entire holiday season of boring social gatherings? You can now proudly say you know her male equivalent.
Up first on the list is The Encyclopedia, thus dubbed for obvious reasons. The vast majority of the time, The Encyclopedia works a mundane desk job that affords him loads of time and unlimited access to ESPN and Sports Illustrated online. While most men are out cutting grass or washing cars or chopping wood, this guy is squirreled away in a poorly lit room devouring
whatever tidbits he can from every available news source.
Television? Newspapers? Online articles? Radio call-in shows?
It doesn’t matter. The Encyclopedia is equal-opportunity when it comes to his quest to inhale as much football data as possible. All week he makes like a squirrel in fall, storing away enough knowledge to sustain him through the
The unfortunate recipient of all this accumulated data? Anybody within earshot.
Did you know the 1972 Dolphins are the only NFL team to ever go undefeated? Or that the longest field goal in history was 69 yards, kicked by Ove Johannson of Abilene Christian University? Or that the kickoff return a little bit ago was the longest play ever by someone shorter than 5’10”, playing in a night game, west of the Mississippi River?
The odds are pretty good that you are not actually attending the game with this particular individual. If you are, may God have mercy on your soul. And please, for all of us, take this guy out to the backseat of a car and get him to loosen up a little.
More likely though, this guy is a satellite in the room. (No woman would ever actually date The Encyclopedia. If they did, he wouldn’t be wound so tight.) His presence is most likely as a roommate or an old buddy that either (a) managed to tag along despite all best attempts by everyone to ditch him, or (b) has the nicest viewing arrangement.
Those are the only two viable explanations.
If you ever happen to find yourself in a room with one of these guys, unfortunately your options are pretty limited. Yes, he is always this way. Yes, the fact that there is a female present is only going to serve to embolden him.
No, none of us are happy about it.
Let’s just move on…
2.) The Broadcaster
***While not quite the tool that The Encyclopedia is, he is a close second***
What’s that? You were hoping to actually hear the guys being paid by ESPN announce the game? That’s just crazy talk right there. Nobody outshines The Broadcaster when it comes to providing an unending stream of unwanted commentary.
Unlike The Encyclopedia, who spends all week loading up with meaningless data to inundate the weekend crowd, The Broadcaster rarely so much as glances at a sports page. Instead, The Broadcaster waits until game day to display his
chokehold on the manliest of fall pastimes.
Posted up prominently in the group, whether it be in the center of the couch or in the middle seat at the stadium, The Broadcaster insists on calling the play-by-play of the game as if he’s the second coming of Keith Jackson, Don
Meredith, and Al Michaels all rolled into one.
His incessant chatter begins with the opening kickoff and carries through the entire game. Change the channel? You’re not phasing him. He’ll immediately shift from one game to the next like a car switching lanes in rush hour. Refute something he says? Clearly the call on the field was wrong, the measurement was short, or you misinterpreted something.
Hang on, it gets worse. The truly unnerving part of The Broadcaster isn’t the unending torrent of banter spewing from his lips as much as the self-important way in which he does it. Almost without fail, The Broadcaster has a special voice that
he uses while announcing the game. One moment during commercials he is mild mannered Bill from down the street, discussing the weather. The next, he is Boom Box Bill, projecting his velvety baritone for the world to hear.
In some instances, though not nearly as few as we would all hope, The Broadcaster has even gone as far as to introduce his own catchphrase. If at any point you are watching a game and The Broadcaster encroaches into this territory, other males present should jump in and ridicule him into submission.
If not, feel free to take matters into your own hands. Nobody likes these guys.
3.) The Educator
***The Educator is occasionally confused with the The Encyclopedia. While from the same family of football watchers, there are major differences between the two***
Ladies, a sad fact of your fledgling football watching career is that you willrun into The Educator. Like a rain cloud above poor Charlie Brown’s head, one will seem to turn up every time you try to watch a game. He will dump every last detail about the game on you, leaving you cold and alone while most others in the room watch the game and try to pretend they don’t notice what is going on.
The simple reason? You are a female. Like a wedding crasher to a lower-back tattoo, The Educator cannot help but be drawn towards you. He sees you sitting there, a woman in a man’s world, and feels the need to ride in to save the day. He is a picture of football watching chivalry if there ever was one.
The Educator, unlike The Encyclopedia, doesn’t get caught up in the unending trivia of the game itself. He doesn’t care who has scored, how many yards have been gained, or even what players are injured. Instead, he is there to coach you through the very basics of the game itself.
There are two distinct types of Educators. The first is The Educator that did at one time play football. His reign of glory might have ended in the pee-wee ranks. It may have come to an ugly end on a high school field somewhere in rural Nebraska. He might have even played a rec league game or too after high school and tried to pass it off as semi-pro.
Without fail though, his career ended there. No guy that played college or pro ball would feel the need to try and educate others. Things are never that simple with The Educator though. Rooted in his own insecurities, he seeks out the one person in the room that would appear to be lower than him on the Football Authority totem pole and try to teach them the game.
Condolences to you.
The second kind of Educator is the guy trying to use his superior knowledge of the game to open a line of communication with you and/or openly hit on you (depending on many libations have preceded kickoff).
Condolences to you again.
There are only two ways to derail an Educator, neither of which are foolproof. The first is to have something insightful in your back pocket to shoot his way and show him you don’t need his assistance. Try alluding to whichever team has the ball using more play-action pass since the defense is keying on the run…shows second-level knowledge and at the very least will make
him to take his eyes from you long enough to check the veracity of your statement. At that point, run like hell.
The second is to promise your other friends, male or female, anything in your possession to intervene on your behalf. Seriously, it will be a worthwhile investment.
So there ya go folks! I hope ya might have gotten at least a small chuckle from it. If you did happen to like it, look for it later in the year. (And yes, there are nine more football watching guys on the list, including such icons as The Glutton, The Hider, and The Man Cave Guy)