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Despite all of the drama, the NFL is back this season and since men around the country spent the last seven months nervously biting their nails, this season will be especially intense. Be prepared to not have a name or a face on Sundays this fall.

Unless you’re the female that loves her Sundays off to do her girl things, we all know the easiest way to compete with Football Sunday is to join in. Most women aren’t familiar with the game and it may seem a bit overwhelming to attempt to learn it with all of those rules, so we tend to stay far away. Besides looking at all the big strong men running around in tight pants, here’s 5 fun and engaging ways to genuinely get into the game and have fun learning it.

Ask him to explain the basic rules to you: Show him you’re really interested in learning what’s so fascinating about the game. What’s a touchdown, field goal, off sides and punt return? Just enough so you’re not completely lost for three hours. The rest will come to you in time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the game as well. It’s ok if you’re wondering why the coach is challenging a call or what it means when they bring the chains onto the field. Involve your guy with your learning process so he can involve you during his guy time.

Bet on the game: Not for money or anything serious. But make friendly wagers such as loser cooks dinner, or the winner gets a massage. Having a desired outcome at the end of the game always makes it more fun and enticing to pay attention to the score and how your team is performing. Even though your guy may know more than you do about the game and has a better chance of winning the bets, it’s nice for bonding and shows him that you’re taking an interest in his interests.

Get to know key players: Football fan or not, you know the big stars on your home team. And if you don’t, check the name and number of the jersey your guy wears every Sunday. Do a little Google research and find out a little about the players. Not so much stats and college team, but personal info. Where are they from, what’s the latest gossip about them, or charity involvement? The more you personally know and humanize the player, the more you’ll be invested in the work they put in on the field. If you won’t be rooting for them for the sake of the game, you can at least root for them as someone you know personally.

Join a fantasy league: I don’t suggest joining your guy’s league; it’s probably a bit more intense than what you’re ready for. Maybe start one with the girls (the ones who’d be interested in playing for fun) or find a free and easy league to play online. It would be good to do some football related activities that don’t include him. That way, when you come together to watch the games on Sunday, you’d have your own interests in certain games and scores and it wouldn’t seem as if you’re only following his lead.

Drinking games: We’re not trying to get anyone unrecognizably drunk here so use this advice with your better judgment. Make the game more entertaining by taking a drink every time the referee throws his yellow flag. Want more of a learning experience? Every time the flag is thrown try to indentify why, if you get it right, he drinks, if you get it wrong- bottoms up!  At the end of the game you may be a little buzzed, but you’ll know more about the rules than you did when it started.

Who says football is only for guys?

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