I spend every Sunday throughout the fall season (and into February) on the couch with a bag of tortilla chips, watching as many NFL games as I can. The New York Giants are my team, and I wear a piece of Giants apparel at least 5 times a week, all year round. I typically lose my voice at some point during games because I yell at the refs through the TV, and at some point I usually add at least 2 or 3 more snacks into the mix.
The truth about being a football fan, especially as a female, is that it becomes more than a game. Whether it ties you and a family member together, or has given you a great set of football-fanatic friends, being a football fan makes the fall season both energetic and super exciting.
My story with football goes back quite a long way, to as long as I can remember. My dad threw the TV remote across the living room after every bad play, and my grandpa cursed his head off when the ref made a wrong call. It was high energy, but it was also a stressful environment; and I loved every second of it. I loved watching the ball fly around and see people in the stands jump up and down, whenever a pass was caught. There was something truly motivating about my team, the New York Giants, and how they were always the underdog. I wore kids-sized jerseys and all kinds of gear, while my dad taught me something new about the sport during every game. From the comfort of our living room, I was able to both spend some special time with him and consistently learn more about I game I grew up around.
Being a football fan doesn’t always involve stress, though. I’ll be honest, it does most of the time, but a lot of it is just having a blast and being able to meet people who are on the same level of dedication as you. A couple beers, wings, a sea of jerseys on a Sunday afternoon or night; it becomes a routine that you miss immediately after the season ends. In college, my friends and I (despite our different favored teams) would get together every Sunday at one of our apartments and round up at least 10 different types of snacks. Wings, chips, candy. You name it. We’d all crowd around the TV on a massive couch, all wearing our respective teams’ apparel, and spend nearly the entire day cheering, laughing, and completely stuffing our faces. It was instant love.
The off-season is semi-torturous if you don’t follow it. Since football is only from the end of summer into early February, there isn’t a whole lot of time to enjoy the game. The awesome thing is that each team consistently updates their website with information about the NFL draft (covers the first 2-3 months post-season), free agency period, and anything about the signing/release of players. I make football a year-long sport by following every event that occurs within the NFL, and it quickly becomes habit to check my team’s site or app. Most football fans have argued that the regular season game count, which is 16, should expand, but paying attention to the off-season makes things a bit more bearable.
There’s fights, food, disappointment, cheers. So many elements go into what it means to wear a jersey or go broke from buying tickets to a game (which is incredibly worth it). I think the most special thing about being a fan of this game is that it quickly turns into a love fest between you and the people you bond with over the sport. It’s a strong common interest, and being able to share that with anybody is honestly rewarding. Yeah, it’s pretty stressful at points when you get into it, but the rest of it is worth it. Especially the snacks and wings.