Editor's Note: Becky Olsen was the first winner of America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author, and this post is her winning entry.
Let's face it, many women don't understand football and frankly don't care. They go to the games; put on some makeup and a cute tee…mostly for social reasons. They often show up late and/or leave early.
Don't worry—I was once there too (but not entirely). They complain that the boyfriend/spouse spends more time watching SportsCenter or classic BYU games on the Mountain and completely dread the fall season because it’s bombarded with football. Yet, these same women expect their significant others to see every chick-flick, watch Friends with them (and enjoy it) and help them pick out their latest MAC makeup purchase.
Before you get all huffed up and defensive, telling me it really is ridiculous that they love this game so much, and that you’ll never understand why on Earth they would watch a game over-and-over again, let me say this: Football isn’t going anywhere. And it won’t end with your husband either. Your kids will most likely be involved with it too. So instead of resisting and resenting football, embrace it. Try these five tips and in no time you’ll be on the road to football superfan-dom.
You know there is a football and a goal post. You know what a quarterback is and you love yelling “first down” with the rest of the crowd. That’s a good start, but ladies there is much more to learn. This should take no time at all. Nothing longer than how much time you would waste on People.com or Facebook. Get familiar football and with your team. Search American Football on Wikipedia, yes this is a credible and will give you a good foundation. Go to your team's site and become familiar with the roster and schedule. Seek out other sources of information like blogs, newspapers and fan forums. Heck, BYU even hosts an Annual Women’s Football Clinic to teach you more about the game. ASB has a great daily regimen for gathering BYU football information as well. The more you know the better. After all, we all hate what we don’t understand.
Quiz & Question
There is nothing more attractive to a guy than a girl interested in something he loves. So if your man loves this game, which he probably does, because you are reading this, then he’ll love to answer any questions you have about the game. A word of warning: Prepare yourself, because he’ll most likely go on and on… sharing his vast knowledge and opinions of the game.
Dress the Part
Nothing is more annoying to a hard core fan than a girl showing up looking like she’s on a Friday night date. (Ladies, you know who you are…fitted turtleneck sweaters, designer jeans, leather boot stilettos and hair down) I’m not saying you can’t look good or sport your designer jeans, just wear your team colors. Besides you’ll be much more comfortable. Get some cute accessories, go crazy. This is the easiest part.
Make a Contribution
Here’s where I really come in/have a lot of experience. See, I have a major interest in baking, especially cake decorating. Every home game we tailgate with our friends. So naturally, I decided I was going to use football as a creative outlet for my baking hobby. I show up each game with a new football-themed treat. I love it, my husband loves it and all our friends love it. I feel more a part of the group and am more excited each week as I brainstorm my next creation. I’m not suggesting you start baking; I’m saying find your niche and see how you can apply it to the football season. If you love face painting, photography, quilting or videography…there are ways you can contribute.
Understand the Commitment, Communicate
I think one of the biggest conflicts couples have with football is the commitment and dedication football fans have to the game. You have the 4-5 hour game, plus a tailgate, pre- and post-game shows, blogs to read, newspapers, TV reports and shows and of course the never-ending conversations they have with other fans. This can seem overwhelming, and truthfully it is. Discuss with your spouse what they think their time commitment is looking like for the season, and what their expectations are for your participation. Try to come to an agreement as a couple; you know go half way or what not. The key here is understanding expectations ahead of time. If you don’t want to watch game recaps on Sunday nights, then don’t—just don’t expect them to give it up. Also, be sure to set aside time to be “away” from football. Maybe a date night is appropriate. Remember: just because he loves football, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.
I promise you if you’ll try at least half of these suggestions your fall season will go much more smoothly and you’ll actually start enjoying football. In fact, you’ll love it. Football isn’t going anywhere and neither is your hubby’s passion for it. I’ll leave you with the words of Patti Edwards, wife of the legendary BYU Football Coach, LaVell Edwards, “I didn’t like it [football and him coaching], I called it the measles and thought it would go away. I didn’t like it at all! But after five years I learned the game and I enjoyed it, it is fascinating.”
Becky Shippen Olsen resides in Provo, Utah and is wife to Adam, the editor of Adam’s Sports Blog. She won the first “America’s Next Top Obscure Guest Author” contest on ASB, allowing her this guest post. She is a BYU Alum and public relations specialist. She enjoys baking, rollerblading and Saved by the Bell. You can follow Becky on her blog, Project Domestication.
**Photos by Trevor and Lesley Winn Photography**