Rebekah Hawkins, Associate Editor
So, the other day I was browsing Saturday Down South. One of my favorite college football blogs and usually a very good source of information and interesting reads. However, the other day I came across this. It’s an article called “How to (not) lose a girl in 10 games” written by Chris Marler and it’s about how to keep your girlfriend who is uninterested in football throughout a season of college football. It included lovely gems such as using pop culture references to keep her interested, watching a lot of The Bachelor with her so she’ll feel obligated to watch football with you, and buying her cute outfits so she’ll be more inclined to watch the games. I’m not going to read a lot into it because I know it’s mostly for fun, but I have to admit I was a little insulted. Mostly because I’m a girl who loves and enjoys college football and who usually knows as much if not more than the dudes I watch it with. But again, I know it’s just for fun.
So this article sort of gave me an idea. I thought I would write a response to it, because not all guys like football. I know a lot of guys that know nothing about sports and would rather do just about anything else than watch football. So here we go, here’s my advice for all the college football loving babes out there who have a new boyfriend who doesn’t know anything about sports.
HOW TO (NOT) LOSE A GUY IN 10 GAMES
Oh college football. How I have missed you. It’s almost that time of year again ladies. The time when our Saturdays are monopolized by our favorite teams, and our friends text us asking when we’ll be available for girls’ night again (the quick answer is no Saturday soon).
But this year is different for me. This year I have a boyfriend. How could I have done this? How could I have let another man distract me from the most important men in my life, the ones on that football field. I didn’t get a chance to study our recruits, I don’t know what our defense is doing this year, all because my new beau just had to have that new motor for his truck. The things you do for love, right?
But I’ve had it. No more. I sat him down the other day and I had “the talk” with him. He has to know how deep my devotion for my team goes. It isn’t “just a game” for me. It’s life. I scream, I yell, I throw things, there is no other way. And then he tells me, “Babe, I’m not that into football.”
I’m sorry, what? Not “that into” football? What does that even mean? My mind cannot comprehend. I mean I wish that was listed in his About Me section on OKCupid, I should have done my research on this guy. I mean how am I going to cram a lifetime of football knowledge into just a few short weeks? He says that he’s willing to learn because it’s something I love. Aww. Well I guess he’s not so bad.
I’m sure I’m not the only woman with this problem, so I took the liberty of making a simple guide to help get your husband/boyfriend/number one slice in top form for the season.
- RELATE TO THINGS HE LIKES
How does one fit so much information into such a small amount of time? I can’t possibly explain to someone who just doesn’t get it why I despise Nick Saban so much, or why toilet paper is part of my essential bag when heading to Jordan Hare. How can I explain Punt Bama Punt or the Kick Six…
Pop culture is definitely the way to go when explaining things like this to him. For example Alabama is like Tyler Durden in Fight Club while Auburn, and really the rest of the country, are like the unnamed narrator. We’re all basically the same person, but one of us is crazier than the other and will probably kill the rest of us if given the opportunity.
Or you could go a little older than that and go with a Star Wars reference. Alabama is the Dark Side and Auburn is the Force. Of course if your alliance lies with other teams you could switch it up with your rival of choice. But you get the basic idea. Just tell him to pick a side and match it up.
I personally believe the best way for you to get your love on your side for football season is with planning beforehand. It will get you a long way.
Go with him to that car show on your only off-day because that’s what he really wants to do. Sit with him through yet another Godfather marathon because he says you missed a really important part the last time. Act like you really enjoy that Metallica song that he plays every single time you get in the car with him. Go with him to buy a new gun, and then tell him you totally think the AK47 is a better option for a home defense weapon than the Ruger 9mm handgun. Tell him he’s handsome, cook him a nice dinner (even if you barely know the difference between a pot and a pan). He’ll appreciate that you tried.
Then come football season he’ll be more willing to sit with you on the couch and listen to you complain about how Alabama wins every single year even though they play a pansy schedule. Or how Urban Meyer must think the college football world is stupid if they believe he actually had “health problems” and wasn’t just disappointed about losing Tim Tebow.
And if all that doesn’t work tell him he can order Pizza Hut during the games and you’ll spring for the bill. That should be enough to keep him hanging around for at least a few games.
- PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
I know it’s going to be difficult to sit there with him while he’s breathing down your neck wondering what the difference is between a false start and encroachment. He’s going to be confused as to why your quarterback just decided that the team wearing the other color jerseys are suddenly on your team and threw to them (admittedly we wonder the same things). But I cannot stress enough how important patience is when dealing with your beloved.
Ladies let’s be real. When was the last time you asked your man a question about something he was interested in? If he’s sitting there with his headphones on shooting aliens in the face during Halo or Call of Duty or whatever game that is, when was the last time you suddenly looked up from your phone because he was using the only TV in the house and suddenly developed an interest in what he was doing?
“Why did he do that?” “What is that for?” “What are you doing?? Run!!”
Yeah we’ve all done it. He doesn’t want to take time out from his games, because everyone knows that you can’t pause it (right?), and answer a hundred questions. And yet he does. Because he loves you.
So when he asks you for the 50th time what a draw play is or which one the running back is again just remember that you love him. Smile, pause live TV if you can, and answer the questions.
- SHOW HIM THE ANIMALS (NO SERIOUSLY)
Everyone loves animals. It’s a fact of life. Dogs, tigers, horses, whatever Alabama’s mascot is. Animals are awesome. So if he starts to get a little bored while watching your team destroy some small nothing junior college from a town of 350 people in northern Maine by 75 points you can intrigue him with stories of live mascots from around the college football world.
Tell him the story of Auburn’s eagles and their majestic flights around the stadium at the beginning of the game. Or tell of LSU’s live tiger Mike and his brave fight with cancer, that he sadly lost, but then tell him of the new tiger who stepped up to take his place. Show him the cute little Collie that sits on the sidelines for Texas A&M’s games or either of the Bulldogs from Georgia or Mississippi State. Just remember to have backstories and origins on all of these animals, if you don’t believe he’s interested in backstories and origins check and see how many superhero movies he has in his collection. Guaranteed there’s an origin story in there somewhere.
- GEAR HIM UP
No guy likes to shop for clothes. But all guys like presents. So when you’re out one day shopping for your next t-shirt to add to your ever-expanding t-shirt collection before the season, knowing full well that you’re only going to wear the shirts that you were wearing during the Kick Six or the Camback (or Comeback whichever) on game days, remember to buy him a little something too.
You can’t have him thinking that it’s okay to wear opposing team colors, and let’s face it if you didn’t buy him new shirts he’d still be wearing the shirt from 6th grade that had Cookie Monster’s face on it and said “Me Want Cookies” to his formal functions. So get him a few new tees that are comfy and still stylish in the team color’s that you want to instill in him. If it’s Auburn grab him some orange and blue, if it’s Bama get him the crimson and white, if it’s Ohio State tell him that it’s time to break up because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life and never, ever spend your hard earned money on Buckeye gear. Otherwise any team is good.
- TAKE AWAY THE DRAMA
Now listen ladies because this might be the most important piece of advice I can give: guys hate drama. That’s why they’ll never understand dramatic movies or thoughtful documentaries about struggle or anything other than blood and guts and raw power. So take all that out of the equation. When Tom Rinaldi starts talking on Gameday switch it off. Change the channel to something else, preferably another college football program where they’re recapping the previous week’s injury count or something so he can see that football really is a hard-hitting, tough-as-nails, gritty, grimy sport.
Don’t let the sweet story of the quarterback who started as a walk-on with a broken leg that never thought he would play on an actual team and worked his whole life for the opportunity to play football, working multiple jobs in high school just to pay for his equipment and camps because his mom was a single mom and his father was a bum who left them when he was 2 and now starts for a major university, ever get into his ears. If he gets wind that football can actually have an even slightly dramatic side other than touchdowns and injuries, he’ll be out the door faster than you can say “Alabama just won another National Championship”. Yep. That fast.
Ladies, the Tom Rinaldi specials are nice. But for the sake of the guy that you’re trying to teach to love (or at least tolerate) the game of football, let’s wait until he’s good and invested before we spring those on him.
- FOOD AND FRIENDS
Ladies you ever see all those recipe things that pop up on Facebook for football season? Like the football shaped brownies, or the end zone made out of french fries, or the stadium made out of a cold-cut platter and cheese? Yeah well, forget those because we are not that extra and neither is your guy. Order like fifty pizzas, tell his friends to come over, get some beer or Cokes or whatever his drink of choice is and let him cut loose.
He’ll be happy that he didn’t have to buy lunch for a change, his friends can be there to hang out and keep him semi-occupied, and during halftime while his friends are passed out on the couches from all the pizza, you can give him some kisses and back rubs, pay him a little bit of attention so he knows you still love him, and then when the game starts back let him fall asleep in your lap while you enjoy the rest of the game. You can even throw in a few head scratches for good measure.
It may seem very basic but hey we work with what we have.
- GET HIM INTO FANTASY SPORTS
If your guy is really into the tabletop games like Magic or Dungeons and Dragons or even if he likes those adventure type video games where you only play one character except in battles when you control eight and fight those really weird bird things with one eye, then teach him about fantasy sports.
Show him that building a fantasy team is basically like building a group for his D&D night. You have a quarterback, that’s your fighter. The leader. Then you have your halfback and fullback those are your rogues. Your sneaks, the ones that skirt through the defensive line to the end zone. Your wide receivers are naturally your rangers, and your tight ends can be wizards or sorcerers, whichever you please. Then your offensive linemen are your barbarians, the tough guys. The opposing team’s defense are the bad guys. The enemies. So build a team to cut through the bad guys. See?
I know it may seem complicated but your guy will definitely understand it better than you. You may have to explain the positions to him so he can accurately build a fantasy team to his standards, but that’ll be worth to see him happily occupied and asking you which quarterback would make a better fighter Jalen Hurts or Nick Fitzgerald? Eh, maybe that’s not the best example. Lamar Jackson maybe?
- SKIP A GAME
Nah, we don’t believe in that much sacrifice.
This post originally appeared on Rebekah’s blog, Saban’s Sweater Vest