Traditionally, Thanksgiving is regarded as a time when we come together with our families, give thanks for the blessings of the past year, relish in our favorite home cooked foods and bask in holiday traditions.  Now, I’m all for traditions, but one that gets on my nerves is the stereotype that girls don’t like football.  Love of the game has about as much to do with gender as whether you like turkey or pumpkin pie.  So, if you’re a guy or a gal, football aficionado or not, here are my top reasons why watching a whole lotta football should be a mandatory holiday tradition for all!

1.  Football makes yelling acceptable, and it’s fun and stress-relieving to yell. While holiday shopping recently, I saw a magnet that said, “When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles and scream and shout.” Hey, it’s what kids do, and we can certainly learn a thing or two from children. Football games are an excellent opportunity to lose your temper and basically act like a 2-year-old without the time out.

2.  Football is not that hard to understand. If you feel clueless about the game, here’s a simple breakdown:  there are four 15 minute quarters and two halves. (On TV with commercials, about 4 hours). There are 11 players and three types of teams: offensive (they score the points), defensive (they stop the other team from scoring points), and special teams (they kick field goals and only play at certain times). The offensive team tries to advance moving the ball towards their goal line by at least 10 yards in 4 tries, called downs. The defense tries to stop them, or intercept the ball, etc. A touchdown is 6 points, an extra point conversion (which you can only get after scoring a touchdown) is 1 point, and a field goal is 3 points. The goal is to get more points than the other team. When in doubt, just scream and yell when everyone else does.

3.  Football is an opportunity to eat delicious, diet-shattering food. OK, I’m a girl, and I watch my weight, but any diet expert will tell you that no matter what diet you’re following, it’s important to indulge yourself, and I allow that once a week. During football season, I choose Sundays –- for nachos, chicken wings, and meatball sandwiches. And really, are we counting calories on Thanksgiving?

Maybe the most important reason to watch a little ball this season is that it brings family and friends together and encourages team spirit. And in times like these, couldn’t we use a little more of that?

Let us know your favorite football traditions and who you’re rooting for this season. Even better…Superbowl predictions. Personally, I say, “Go Ravens!”

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14 Responses

  • NB Posted November 23rd, 2009

    Why stop at watching? I get out my “wish I could’ve played” fantasies by being all-time quarterback for our family’s backyard games. Somedays I play like Flacco other times like Testaverde, but just one rule–no sacking Mom.

  • Monica Posted November 23rd, 2009

    Gotta say it…but go Eagles! Even though Flacco did attend my alma matter when I attended (hey we rode the same bus to class everyday as the announcers love to say on TV) so the Ravens will hold a soft spot.

    This girl’s Superbowl picks:
    St. Louis Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts

  • Caroline Barlow Posted November 23rd, 2009

    My sister and her friends started their own fantasy football league when they weren’t allowed to join in with the boys! She often wins in her league at work, which is co-ed. So girls DO like football too! However, I am more of a hockey fan… Go Flyers!:)

  • Esther Posted November 24th, 2009

    i can really relate to this article since all of my brother (4 of them) except asa (hes 3) play football. i like to watch it but when i try to ask a question about what just happened my brother owen always says something like, “since when do you watch football? your a girl.” oh well. In our thanksgigving we usually dont go outback and play football, but we do watch a whole lot of it! (you should know aunt rachel. you hosted it one year).

  • UD Alum Posted November 24th, 2009

    The only game the Rams won was against the Lions, possibly the worst team in football?!? So with that pick for a Superbowl berth I will let the “Go Eagles” comment go… This is Maryland after all.

    and who said chicken wings aren’t diet food…

  • RH Posted November 24th, 2009

    I can’t let the Eagles comment hang there. Go Ravens!!

  • BM Posted November 25th, 2009

    I always enjoy having the ladies over for the game. Someone needs to spend the first half in the kitchen cooking up the halftime meal! (God help them if it is not ready on time! haha!) Plus they are always making cute comments like “what period is it?” and “how many baskets did the team score?”. Women and sports…it’s adorable!

    Go Books!

  • LOB Posted November 25th, 2009

    There’s a new football movie out, The Blindside, which is based on a book by the same name written by Michael Lewis. It’s a heart warming story and I learned a lot about football including the function of the offensive linemen. The library should buy this book!

  • Tracy Posted November 25th, 2009

    I agree with LOB. I can’t wait to go see the movie! The lineman that the book and the movie is based on is actually a Raven’s football player, number 74. Go Ravens!

  • SD Posted November 26th, 2009

    Well, what else are 20 people crammed into a room normally seating 6 comfortably going to do? A dramatic reading of _Death of a Salesman_?

  • RH Posted November 27th, 2009

    Oh wow, not sure if I can let the women and sports being adorable comment hang there either…but, I’ll defer to consistency and say Go Ravens!! And Go Books…that, I agree with.

  • AJP Posted November 28th, 2009

    BM: I’m not sure what kind of girls you’re hanging out with, but all of my female friends are right there on the couch with the guys, and have 0 problems following the action.

  • Leah Posted November 30th, 2009

    I’m going to say the obvious thing — Saints are probably going all the way. I wanted the Bears to, but apparently I want them to win more than they do. So now I just nap during Bears games and root for the Eagles. Not that they’re much better!

    That being said, MAN — what about Ravens’ Ray Rice? What a baller.

  • Lisa Posted December 2nd, 2009

    A big screen, quesadillas, cold beverages and the Cowboys! …Need I say more. 🙂