Discussing Football When You Just Don’t Know

The Big Game (NFL claims copyright on “Spr B*wl” and I can’t afford to pay that fine) is coming up in less than two weeks.  And, if you’re anything like me these days, you don’t give one flying fig.  Sadly, everyone around you does.  And the day after The Big Game, at work, you’re going to be the outcast if you can’t discuss the pertinent details of the game.  Here I’ll provide you with a list of short phrases and key ideas to put across at work to fake it.  They’re cliché enough that nobody will know you were fast forwarding through the game to get to the Marvel movie trailers: 

  • “Boy, they really came to play, didn’t they?”  (A completely meaningless thing to say.  The flip side of the coin is “Too bad they didn’t show up, eh?”  Use that one if you get blank stares on the first.)
  •  “The game would have been completely different if it weren’t for that one play.”  (This is the best one, because the person you’re talking to will immediately fill in the blank and tell you which play that was.)
  •  “It would have been a completely different game if the ref hadn’t blown that call.  Did you see that play?”  Follow that up immediately with this crowd-pleaser:
  •  “But the refs are only human, not perfect.  You can’t let them beat you.  You have to work around that, just like the other team.”
  •  “Special Teams is what it’s all about.”
  •  “You have to hit your man and hit him hard.  A missed tackle is a game lost.”
  •  “You could see the quarterback scanning the field, but he still missed his one opening.”
  •  “Stupid coach. Overplayed it.”
  •  “It’s all about clock management.”
  •  “It was still a game for a long time.”
  •  “Who knew they had that play?  It completely stunned the defense.  Wonderful!”
  •  “They must have loved playing somewhere where it wasn’t 20 degrees out, eh?”

 With the help of these generic phrases and an over-enthusiastic colleague, you can fake your way through any football conversation.  For added credibility, go to ESPN.com first to see who won.  You might be able to tailor your phrases with the appropriate winning or losing team’s name. (Hint: It’s either The Steelers or The Packers.)

Good luck on February 7th.  Start practicing today!