Football season: five months out of every year during which most heterosexual males would rather look at men in tight pants than at women in tight pants. The women at YourTango knew we weren't the only ones whose relationships are affected by our significant others' relationships with football, and so we took our questions and frustrations about football to our resident male mastermind, Tom Miller.
Thought football season was a painful time in your life? It's actually even more brutal for guys. Football's not just fun for them to watch; it helps define the winner vs. loser element of the male identity. Through the first Sunday of football season, we'll run a series in which we explore men's relationships with football and how that affects our relationships with men. Follow our Don't Hate The Game series through this weekend to learn how a man explains the male football fixation...and the best ways for women to survive the season with our relationships intact. Win $550 Worth Of Luxury Goods From Henri Bendel!
Krissy: What is it about football that guys like?
Tomfoolery: Guys like violence—boxing's more violent, but football is a team sport, a tribal sport; so you've got the violence and then you've got your team. It's Us vs. You.
Krissy: Well then why do you care to watch games when your team isn't even playing?
Tomfoolery: It's the entertainment factor. I want to watch my guys beat your brains in.
Krissy: Does it come from the male biological drive to compete and be a winner?
Tomfoolery: Yes, definitely. You identify some amount of your happiness based on how well your guys do. Like, I take my college's losses personally. I'm in a terrible mood all day Saturday if my team doesn't win.
Natalie: Okay, but what if your team sucks?
Tomfoolery: There's a certain part of being a dude that makes you value loyalty. Like, if you were a Red Sox fan (even though that's baseball), and all that time they spent losing, fans felt like they were getting kicked in the teeth—but it all becomes worth it when they win something big.
Krissy: Take us into the experience of what you feel when your team loses. Is it that you feel responsible in some way, or do you just wish they would've won? What does that mean to take it personally?
Tomfoolery: Particularly when it's college football, you probably went to that college so if they lose, you probably feel like less of a person because this team that represents something about you didn't do well. And the opposite side of that is when your team wins, you feel exhilaration. If you went to that college it represents a very formative portion of your early adult life that you identify with. And no football fan becomes a fan when they're 20. A big part of it is, my dad was a fan of this team, therefore I grew up being a fan of this team.