How To Talk About Football When You Literally Know Nothing About It

Leo was raised with the perfect balance of pop culture obsession and a total lack of athleticism. He spends most of his time trying to decide what show to watch next, giving up, and then putting on Chopped or Seinfeld. His parents thought he'd be a doctor or lawyer until he wrote his SAT essay explaining the entire plot of the show "Lost." Leo now works in NYC and fulfills his desperate need for attention by writing articles and playing with leashed dogs waiting for their owner to get out of Starbucks.

The NFL Playoffs are back again and it’s almost time for Superbowl Sunday…

However, if you’re reading this, you know it’s also that dreaded time of year where it gets harder to avoid talking about games, teams and players, which is a royal pain given that you know NOTHING about the sport.

Don’t fear! There are two simple rules that’ll get you through every football conversation you’ll have this season.


Rule #1

Never bring up a topic! Let whoever you’re talking to state their opinion…and then agree.

Football, much like politics or religion, is a very personal topic of discussion where nobody wants their opinion changed. Everyone wants someone who will agree with him or her and this is your time to be the best friend. All you have to do is listen and repeat!


Actual Football Fan: “The (Insert Team Name Here) have some great players and when you look at that offense, once the ball snaps…guys are gonna be open.”

You: “Yeah, I completely agree. When I think about their offense, I always know there’s gonna be at least one guy open to make the play and that’s why we win.”

Those were the exact same words just copied and re-organized in that second sentence…but there was no actual thought in that response….yet it sounds natural…

Just take the finger crushing high five and chalk that one up as a victory.


Rule #2

When in doubt of what emotion to show, lean in and look serious. Football fans will always respect you if they think you’re too committed to the game to cheer or boo.

Modern science has shown football proves the theory that men can actually show emotion. It’s the time of week where you can watch grown men openly scream like a small child. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to!

As long as you look serious, it doesn’t matter if something good or bad happens…you’re too invested to bother with simple feelings. And as a bonus, your intense focus will likely discourage others from continuing to talk to you about the game.


Frequently Asked Questions…

1. Why did the referee throw that flag?

Flags are for penalties and that takes way too much time to understand. All you need to know is that, for some reason, it’s usually always “offsides.” What is offsides? No one really knows but if your team gets a flag, do what everyone else does and call that ref a “jerk” and keep watching!


2. Why does the winning team dump Gatorade on their coach’s head

No one really knows this tradition’s origin, but it can safely be assumed that the game wouldn’t be truly all-American if we weren’t being wasteful while others are dying of thirst in the world.


3. It’s the last four minutes, that means the game is almost over right?

I’m sorry. These last “four game minutes” in the game will take approximately 2 1/2 real hours. I know you thought you had almost made it but go take a power nap and get another drink because you just hit the slowest part of the game.

That’s it! With these simple rules, you’ll survive the rest of the season….just make sure no one asks you to actually “play” a quick game.