Football fandom for complete dummies

By Tom Conroy, Staff Writer

The weather is cooling off and the leaves are starting to change, which means it’s time to stay inside all day Sunday and watch football. This can be daunting for someone who may only be a casual fan or has never watched the game. If the latter sounds like you, and you find yourself at a bar or a Sunday watch party, here is how to get by like a pro:

  1. Following multiple games is necessary

Your friends might all be Bears fans, but don’t be alarmed if someone insists on switching over to the Steelers-Bengals game. It probably means that someone at your gathering has Ben Roethlisberger or A.J. Green in their fantasy game. If you find yourself lost, just pick a team. Latch onto the Bears’ bandwagon and cheer whenever you see the navy blue and orange pop up on the screen.

  1. Everyone hates Roger Goodell, and you do, too

Your friends will probably bring up the NFL commissioner at least once, and it will be negative. Whether it has to do with the national anthem, concussion protocols, new penalty rules or his $200 million contract, Goodell will always draw the ire of fans, regardless of their viewpoints. Do not waste time forming your own opinions about the man; just hiss whenever you hear his name.


  1. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are necessary evils

Bears fans are sick of losing to Rodgers and the Packers. The entire NFL is sick of watching Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. However, refrain from wishing season-ending injuries on either quarterback.


I was at the Bears-Packers season opener at Lambeau Field, where I witnessed Bears fans cheering at the sight of Rodgers leaving the field with a potential knee injury, only to exclaim in agony when he returned later in the game to pull off the victory. Guess what? It was one of the most exciting and compelling games I’ve ever watched. Rodgers and Brady may win all the time, but football is more compelling when they are on the screen.

  1. Sundays are now your new cheat day

Diets are hard when pizza, wings, beer and every other game day indulgence surround you. If you know you’ll be gorging yourself on Sunday, plan ahead. Get in your exercise and healthy eating during the week. Pack some fruit if it is a potluck gathering. And make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid a Monday hangover.


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