Written by The Mom
I used to hate football. With a passion. I hated football. For four months out of the year, otherwise rational people became cheering, ranting, raving idiots. Growing up with three older brothers and a dad who all loved the Seahawks, games were noisy annoyances. Dates to restaurants consisted of me trying to make conversation while my current boyfriend snuck glances at the TV.
If you had asked me to describe football, I would’ve explained it as a bunch of guys running around and tackling each other and not much more than that. I’m not a sporty girl. I’m a book reader. I appreciate things that require you to use your brain.
When my brothers moved out, I began watching football with my dad. With just the two of us watching I was able to ask questions about it. I started recognizing that football wasn’t just physical- it required talent, skill, and planning.
By the time my husband and I started dating, I was a Seahawks fan. Our first date was to a restaurant to watch a Seahawks game. I was no longer competing with the TV for my date’s gaze; we sat side by side and cheered our team on together.
So there’s the history of how I became a football fan. But what are the perks, you might ask? Without further ado… Here is why I love football:
1. It’s not just a physical game
Football is a mental game as much as it is physical. I’ve seen games that have been lost because the other team got into the heads of the opposition and mentally intimidated them. There’s an energy to a team when they walk out onto the field. You can tell if your team is lit or not. There are games where your team is on fire; you can almost feel the current of confidence and energy coming from them. Nothing can stop them. And other times your team is just… Off. Slow. Lackluster. The switch can flip during a game, too. A teams might be behind in the first half, turn their attitude around at half-time and make a huge come back in the second half. A team might start off pumped and fall apart in the middle of the game. Players have to constantly have their heads in their game.
Off the field, individual player often use success techniques such as positive thinking and visualization. They don’t just work hard to keep their bodies in shape, they also have to work on their mindset. They have to be mentally sharp. Having a winner’s mindset doesn’t come naturally to most people but it’s important in football. It’s also important in nearly any successful lifestyle, which is why watching it in a football game is fascinating to me. It’s something that can be applied off the field.
2. Football is about the whole team
Football takes players from all walks of life and from various levels of talent, gives them all the same uniform, and makes them a team. If your team is mentally clicking with each other, it shows. Just as a family runs smoother when everyone is supporting each other and getting along, so does a football team. If there’s one guy creating problems, it can bring down the whole team. The Seahawks have cut skilled players because they can’t get along with the rest of the team. Win or lose, supportive teammates stick up for each other, like in this video of Mike Robinson jumping in during an interview for Marshawn Lynch (who is famously uncomfortable during interviews).
3. No two games are the same
Football never gets boring. It’s simple enough to be entertaining to someone who doesn’t know much about the game, but complicated enough that the more you understand about it, the more entertaining it becomes. And of course with so many moving parts (32 different teams, 22 players on the field during a game, 16 games per season), no two games are the same. No two seasons are the same either; whatever happens during a season, your back at game one at the beginning of the next season and it’s a whole new game.
4. Every Seahawks game is like a date with my husband
During a busy week when my husband and I have had little time to connect, we can turn on the Seahawks game and watch together. We don’t have to get a babysitter and we don’t have to spend any money. We talk during the game and enjoy each other’s company. Because we both (fortunately) love the same team, we cheer when we win and feel bummed out when we don’t… Together. Often we’ll order pizza or take-out and eat while we watch. Everything is more exciting when you have a partner to share it with, including football. If I didn’t like football, I would probably go shopping while my husband watched the games. If I had been shopping during the NFC Championship game in 2015, I would never have seen my husband (normally a calm, even-keel guy) run out of the house and down the street cheering madly when the Seahawks won a spot in the Superbowl.
5. As a parent, I can relate
Football is a bit like life, and a lot like parenting. You win some, you lose some. Sometimes it’s intensely frustrating, sometimes thrilling. Sometimes you’re on top of the world, sometimes you come crashing down. It’s good to have a game plan. When something isn’t working for you, you cut it. When what you’re doing is working and everything is clicking, you roll with it. You make mistakes, pick yourself up again, and keep going. One game at a time. One day at a time.