Love, Self

How To Trick Yourself Into Liking Football

How To Trick Yourself Into Liking Football

Though autumn doesn't officially start until next week, football season has already begun. And, as I said last week, a gal with or interested in a football-loving dude has only two options: like it or lump it. Read: How To Manage His Love Of Football

The preferred option, as always, is "like it," and there are two ways to do so: actually like it, and fake it until you make it. If you're in the "actually like it" category, congratulations, you are a fan of America's most popular sport and you can stop reading now. If you're still reading this, I assume that you are not a natural football fanatic. Don't worry, it can be faked.

Why would you fake liking something? Because pretending to dig something for the sake of someone else is the cornerstone of polite society, and compromise is the cornerstone of relationships. Furthermore, eventually, you can learn to like it. At least this is the theory behind anal sex, co-ed sports leagues and The Bachelor. Read: Tom Brady Loves Kid, Wants "A Lot" More

The key to liking football (or really anything) is developing an attachment to the people involved and appreciation for the back-story. When I'm dating someone and they seem interested in giving football a try, I like to assign a favorite player. It really jumpstarts the whole operation. In exchange for accepting the assigned favorite player (until such time as she feels comfortable switching to a player of her own choosing), I promise not to take it so personally when my team loses.*

If you're trying to become a fan of the NFL, I suggest watching HBO's Hard Knocks. Unfortunately, this season follows the lamentable Cincinnati Bengals and I wouldn't wish Bengals fandom on anyone not born into it, though you're really in for a treat with Chad Ochocinco (the wide receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson).

If you decide that college is the way to go, there are plenty of blogs dedicated to each team. Also, CBSSports seems to do a video profile on every player who is either good, had an atypical upbringing or (cross your fingers) both.

While catching the human-interest aspect is a great way to kickstart your appreciation (and love) of a football team, the best way to get into the spirit is to actually attend a game. Hopefully you'll get sucked in by the tailgating (America's true passion) and the intense gestalt of tens of thousands of fans pulling for the home team.

A few other shortcuts: Face-painting (Though I've never and probably will never do this, I can't believe that it doesn't make you love a team a little more. Start with some adorable eyeblack and go from there.), finding one super-fan friend (their enthusiasm will be infectious, though losses will probably require Prozac) and, as always, alcohol (don't overdo it—it's a real rookie move to not know who actually won the game).

Best of luck, and may your team not break your heart too much.

*Note: I have yet to take a loss anything but personally. I think this is the year, though. I have low expectations.