A Female Football Fan
Anyone who knows me, knows that it's no secret I'm a HUGE NFL football fan...New England Patriots, specifically. I don't know what it is that draws me in so much versus other sports, but I just love it. Maybe it's the physicality of it, the tackling, the hardcore plays, and the phenomenal passes and catches that just seem out of this world. Whatever it is, it intrigues me. It's fun to watch and there's always something to talk about. Before I delve more deeply into this though, let me just clarify that the point of this post is not to bash men or call anyone sexist. Some people these days are just taking things the wrong way and it seems like everyone wants to make everything political. I'm not. That's not what this is about. The fact is that there are more male football fans than women and they tend to be much more knowledgable about the sport. So it's no surprise that most men are a little shocked when a woman starts talking football. Hell, even a lot of women I meet are shocked that I'm into football as much as I am, including my own mom.
Sometimes when I'm in a group setting and people start talking about football, it almost becomes a game...how many people can I shock this time? As a woman who knows anything about football, you become accustomed to the surprised reactions. It's not a bad thing, and it's not like the reactions from people are bad. I've never joined in on a football conversation and had the men around me treat me like I know nothing. It's usually something along the lines of, "holy sh*t, Zander, you know football? Cool!" Sometimes I don't get a reaction at all, and that immediate acceptance is pretty awesome too.
Now I'm not saying I know everything there is to know, because I don't. I don't memorize every stat in the book and I can't tell you who won what game 17 years ago. Obviously, I remember just about everything I can about the Patriots because that's my team. But I also try to pick up certain things I hear on tv or the radio or read online regarding other teams/players because those topics tend to be the most talked about for the next day, week, or month. If I at least remember those things, I can generally join in on any football conversation that happens shortly after. Playing fantasy football every year also plays a significant role in my knowledge of NFL football.
Being able to retain so much information about the NFL makes it much easier to be "one of the guys" as well. I've been a tomboy my entire life. I grew up holding the bowl of folded up pieces of paper, so that my dad and his buddies could draw a number, and figure out the order of fantasy draft picking. I remember watching them pick their teams and typing in comical versions of the players names...at one time, Dante Culpepper was Dante Longpecker. They all laughed hysterically and I enjoyed watching them have so much fun. There's no doubt that my love for fantasy football comes from watching my dad and his buddies play. Who wouldn't want to have as much fun as they were having?!
I can tell you that I look forward to fantasy football drafts with my friends every year. A whole day full of football talk just puts me on cloud 9. The competitiveness and trash talking that comes with playing fantasy football is a blast in my opinion. It doesn't hurt that sometimes I win...last year I played in a league with my boyfriend and his male coworkers and I won the whole thing! BOOM! Bragging rights. Being a football fan just brings an incredible life full of experiences. Watching football, having a team to cheer for, Fantasy football, Super Bowl parties, tailgating...I just don't know what I'd do without it all.
That all being said, it's time for me to head to a Super Bowl party to watch my Patriots versus my little brothers Eagles. Sibling rivalry! GO PATRIOTS! #PatsNation