how to blend in at football game

Happy football season! Or not-so-happy football season for people like me, who don’t really like watching sports. So, you want to blend in with your sports fan peers, but you don’t know anything about football? Are you tired of being left out at football parties? Sick of being called a nerd because you don’t like sports?

Never fear, I’m here to help!

I was tired of being unable to connect with my dad, a huge football fan, so I came up with a handy guide for non-football fans to seem knowledgeable about sports. Now, you can seem like you know what you’re talking about!

Get to Know the Big Players

Football is full of famous players and big-name sports stars, so here is a quick who’s-who of football so you won’t be caught off guard in conversation:

Tom Brady

Tom Brady, football player

  • New England Patriots Quarterback
  • Married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen
  • Former intern at Merrill Lynch (1988 and 1989) where he was exposed to upper-level management and company strategy. Memorize his full resume here.

John Elway

John Elway, football player

  • Denver Broncos Quarterback
  • The President of Football Operations and General Manager of Denver Broncos
  • Middle name is Albert

Rod Tidwell

Rod Tidwell, football player

  • Was injured in a game but then he got up and danced?
  • Looks a lot like Cuba Gooding Jr.
  • His agent is Jerry Maguire

Uncle Rico

Uncle Rico, football player

  • During prime of his career (1982), he was “able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile”
  • Can also throw a football over full mountain ranges
  • Career was cut short in high school when the coach benched him in the fourth quarter

Talk About Sports Trivia

Football fans love it when you act like you’re smarter than them. That’s why I’ve come up with some great trivia facts to impress even the most knowledgeable sports fanatic. I’ve also included ways to incorporate the trivia into casual conversations so you can distract people from your general lack of knowledge.

In 1920, University of Texas at Austin players fattened up and ate their mascot, Bevo the longhorn steer, after the university decided it was too expensive to keep him around.

How to Bring it Up: When you see a cute mascot on the field, say, “Hey, guys, I wonder if they’ll cut that up and eat it at a banquet like the University of Texas at Austin players did in 1920 with their adorable mascot Bevo!”texas longhorn

Looking for more mascot trivia? Try this: The Philly Phanatic is the most sued-mascot and, in a direct quote from CBS News in 2012, “This is at least the phourth time the Phanatic has been sued phor antics some phind unphunny.”

How to Bring it Up: Whenever you feel like you’re not getting enough attention, hush everyone in the room, stand up on the nearest chair, and make the following announcement: “Everyone, the most-sued mascot of all time is the Philly Phanatic. This is a serious issue, as one time he threw a woman into a pool and seriously injured her. Please respect my privacy at this time.” That will intrigue everyone in the room because they will think you are somehow involved.philly phanatic head

If mascots aren’t your game, try this to appeal to sports fans and movie-lovers alike: In the classic basketball movie Hoosiers (1986), the hero of the film, Jimmy Chitwood, only has four lines in the whole movie.

How to Bring it Up: Bring a copy of Hoosiers to every viewing party you attend, and when things seem to be slowing down, pop it into the VCR. Everyone will love this charming story of the small-town Indiana basketball team, and they’ll love your trivia even more!hoosiers movie

If you’re looking to be more controversial, try quoting Olympic Skier Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, who famously said in 2010,

My name is Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset. I skied the second lap and I f’d up today. I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days. I have the room next to Petter Northhug and every day there is noise in there. So I think that is the reason I f’d up. By the way, Tiger Woods is a really good man.

How to Bring it Up: There’s not much context for this quote so there’s no wrong way to bring it up, but a great option is to insert it into normal conversation and reference it constantly.

alpine skier

This should be enough trivia to spice things up and really make people think you know a lot about sports. 

Yell at the TV and Insult the Ref

The key to this is to act really passionately so people think you know what you’re doing. Here are some great things to yell:

  • What was THAT?!
  • Hey, (insert player name here), this is football! Ever hear of it?
  • That’s gotta hurt!
  • That’s a tackle, that is!
  • Kick him in the shins!
  • Get him, boys!

To criticize the Ref, you can yell:

  • Hey, ref, you need glasses!
  • Hey ref, you need contacts!
  • Hey, ever hear of an optometrist, ref?!
  • Basically just keep insulting their eyesight
  • Insult their striped shirts or their hats or something

Dress the Part

First, you need to look up what teams are playing at the game you’re attending. Is it the Los Angeles Chargers? The Seattle Seahawks? The Green Bay Packrats? The Chicago Boars? Do your research, then pick who you want to win and find out the team colors to wear.

To take it to the next level:

  • Paint your face
    This is a great way to show your team spirit but keep it relatively subtle. Here’s some inspiration:
face paint, clown
People love when you go all out and flash your widest smile.
  • Paint your body
    Look like the ultimate Baltimore Ravens fan when you show up to that viewing party drenched in purple paint. No one will question your commitment to the team and you’ll probably look like the most dedicated fan there.
  • Glitter
    Try rolling around in some glitter to really stand out. You will look like a sparkly football angel.

Fake Loving Football for the Rest of Your Life and Never be Genuine

This is the most important step because it’s how you get people to like you. My dad now thinks I am a huge football fan and I will never reveal my true ambivalence for fear that he’ll call me a nerd.

Now get out there and fake it until you die!


Photo Credits:

Tom Brady: By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Philly Phanatic Head: By EaglesFanInTampa at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Longhorn: By The original uploader was Hephaestos at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. Originally from, Public Domain,

Skier: By Florian Lindner – Own work, CC BY 2.5,

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