When your friends talk about the "Pats", you think it's a person's name. You yawn when your friends talk about watching the big game on TV. You don't know who won last Monday's game, and you don't care. You don't know the difference between the quarterback and a lineman.
Even if you're not a football fan, you can still join in the fun and enjoy the activities that surround the sport.
Here are some tips to endure — and maybe even enjoy — football season.
1. Learn more about the game
Part of the problem may be that you just don't know enough about the game. If your friends give you looks of disgust when you ask what appears to them to be stupid questions, you may want to learn more online from the NFL.
Simply put, the goal is to get the ball into your opponent’s end zone. The end zone is the area between the end line and the goal line. At Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots' home games are played, the area marked with their logo at each end of the field is the end zone. There are 100 yards between end zones.
The team that has the ball (offense) has four attempts to move the ball 10 yards down the field toward their opponent’s end zone. Each try is called a down. If they don’t move the ball 10 yards, then the other team automatically gets the ball. If you hear an announcer talk about "third and three," he's saying it's the third of four attempts, and the team needs to move forward three yards, or the other team gets the ball.
2. Learn more about the team
If you live in New Hampshire, you root for the New England Patriots. Unless you want to constantly make excuses about why you don't and face withering looks from friends, it's just something you've got to do.
A football team isn't just a bunch of guys throwing a leather ball around the field. They're composed of many different people with varied personalities. Even if you don't like the sport, it's interesting to hear the announcers offer insights into the lives of individual players. Many players visit hospitals to cheer up patients or volunteer in other ways.
Why not surprise your football fanatic friends by learning unusual facts about team members? They may develop a whole new appreciation for your knowledge of little-known facts.
3. Develop activities around game day
The game may be boring, but there are plenty of activities you can plan around football games that aren't. Invite friends over for the event. Fans can watch the game while the rest chat or barbecue or enjoy a glass of wine.
Tailgate parties are one of the most enjoyable activities centered around the game. Fans meet in the parking lot of the football field and barbecue their favorite dishes while enjoying the camaraderie of other fans.
In cities with a lot of football enthusiasts, retail shops may be almost empty during games, and many stores offer bargains to folks willing to forego the game in favor of shopping. Enjoy the deals and the lack of traffic.
5. Learn a new skill or craft
Say someone close to you is a true-blue football fan, but you still want to spend time with him. While he's enjoying the game, you can curl up on the couch and knit or crochet or read a book or do crossword puzzles—or anything that isn't noisy or disturbing.
6. Watch something else
With cable TV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, there's always the option of going into the next room and watching something you prefer.
7. Never interrupt or stand in front of the TV
You would be extremely annoyed if your spouse or partner interrupted you in the middle of an activity you enjoy, so offer the same courtesy to football fans. It's not only polite, but it also enhances your relationship.
8. Enjoy some alone time
Do you have something you enjoy that your football fan spouse or partner absolutely hates? Take time during the game to indulge. Learn the ancient sport of bocce at Sugar Hill's Bocce Court. Get your hair done at the hair salon. Pump up your exercise routine at the Wellness Center. Take the bus into Wolfeboro. At home, decorate the spare bedroom or organize the bathroom. There're plenty of activities you can enjoy doing all by yourself.