The Non-Fan’s Guide To Surviving (And Actually Enjoying) Football Season

My name is Stephanie, and I hate football. I used to be sorry about it, but I just can’t be anymore. Despite my attempts to get into it, guys getting concussions from ramming into each other just doesn’t do it for me. I’m sick of being told I don’t like it because I don’t understand the rules or I just wasn’t raised with it or whatever other excuse people try to come up with. I understand how the game is played, my dad was a football player in college, and I love other sports, but watching football is just never going to be how I willingly spend my Sundays (much to my boyfriend’s horror).

Just because you’re not into the game doesn’t mean you have to miss out on hanging with your NFL-obsessed friends over the weekend. Or if you’re not into that either, use Sundays with your fellow non-fans or for some good old “me time.”

Instead of pretending to be a super fan, I’ve learned to embrace the fall, and even football, in my own ways. Here’s how.

10 things to do when everyone’s watching football without you:

1. Go for a run. The fall is the best weather for being outdoors!

2. Hit the movies. On a Sunday afternoon, it will feel you rented the entire theater out for a private showing.

3. Shop ’til you drop. As if you need an excuse for some retail therapy.

4. Go pumpkin picking. Or apple picking. Or a hayride. So many fall activities (and so many miserable dads who can’t stop checking the game’s score on their phones to pity).

5. DIY. Head to Pinterest and try out that project you’ve had pinned for three years.

6. Fix up your résumé. You know. The one you keep neglecting to bring to career services. Maybe even build your LinkedIn page.

7. Netflix binge. Might I suggest a sports movie? I may hate football, but I will watch Remember the Titans whenever it’s on.

8. Mani/pedi. Either experiment with new nail art alone or treat yourself to a salon trip. You deserve it.

9. Clean out your closet. Donate those clothes you don’t wear anymore. You won’t miss them.

10. Have a photoshoot. Gather up your fellow football haters, drive out to a cool park or beach, and update your profile pic.

10 ways to enjoy the game when you join in:

1. Watch at a bar. Everyone else might be into the game, but you’re too busy ordering up a round of shots to notice.

2. Get your nom on. Why save the snacks for the Super Bowl? Break out the nachos, pizza, pigs in a blanket, and other goodies that everyone will enjoy.

3. Play host. Everyone knows the host barely participates in the actual party. Have people over for the game, and spend your time chatting while you bake up some yummy snacks in the kitchen and make sure everyone’s beers are full.

4. Learn the game. Now is the perfect chance to ask that cute guy to explain the rules. Just wait until the commercial break.

5. Play a drinking game. My fave is to tape three mustaches to the TV screen. Every time someone on television looks like they’re wearing the mustache, everyone drinks.

6. Bust people’s balls. That huge Patriots fan should hear it when Tom Brady throws the (inflated) ball away.

7. Live tweet the game. Then watch football fans lose their minds on social media – now that’s entertainment.

8. Place your bets. Make a wager with one of your friends – then you’ll definitely be interested in the game’s outcome.

9. Enjoy the commercials. The Super Bowl isn’t the only time there are funny commercials on during the game.

10. Take a nap on the couch. Boredom is a great sleep-inducer, even with noisy fans around.

If all else fails, you only have to endure this until early February. Play ball! (Wait…)

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