How to Pretend to Understand Football


By Brynne Ramella. New Year's is a big day for football. Or, so I've heard. I'm not a football fan in the slightest. No matter how many times someone tries to explain the sport to me, I can't grasp it. I'm sure plenty of you are in the same boat. Whether you are invited to a New Year's party, or your significant other is a football fan, the odds are that a good number of you will be stuck watching football. So, if you can't enjoy or understand it, just fake it.

  1. Learn what teams are playing. Apparently there are a bunch of bowl games happening on New Year's. Use this website as a cheat sheet to learn who is playing in each bowl. People will be impressed if you can identify teams by their names, and not their uniform colors, as I often do.
  2. Learn names and numbers of certain players. Casually ask which bowl game you will be watching on New Year's. When you have a minute to yourself, do a quick Google search to learn the names and numbers of the star players. Don't overwhelm yourself and try to memorize the name and life story of every player on each team. Just bother to learn about a star player or two. This will make you seem well informed come game day.
  3. Learn the lingo. Try to pick up terminology beyond "touchdown." There are way more football terms than I can keep up with, so refer to this website to quickly become a pro.
  4. Remember one big play from the game. Sorry to say that this means you'll have to pay attention for a bit during the game. But if you do your homework, and learn the terminology and players you might be able to understand at least one play during the game. Then, you'll have something to talk about the next day. This will make you appear to be a well-informed fan. Just maybe avoid any further conversation about the game, as to not blow your cover.
  5. Imitate everyone else's reactions. If you are watching the game with a big group, do what your friends do. If they cheer, you cheer. If they scream at the ref, um...maybe find a healthier way to express your feelings. You get the picture. This will be the easiest way to fit in during the game.

Best of luck to those of you stuck watching football on New Year's. I will be happily doing anything but that.