Now that you know how to find and follow the ball, the only other thing you need to know is how to TALK football. Yes, if you’re watching with others, you don’t want to be left out by not cheering or knowing how to discuss the game.
During the game, here’s some generic cheers you can use to make it seem like you know what you’re talking about. You’ll have to pay attention as to whether your team is on offense (carrying the ball) or defense (keeping the other team from scoring) so you’ll use the right cheers at the right time.
There’s not a lot to say when your team is on defense. Their main goal is to stop the other team from advancing the ball, and not getting any penalties in the process. So it’s always safe to chant generic slogans like “Go defense” or the ever popular “DE’ fense, DE’ fense…) Or if you’re the silent type, you can always go for holding up the big capital D and a white picket fence – that really says it all.
It’s also important to let the defense know if they’re not doing a good job. So if the defense leaves a big gap where the runner gets through without being stopped, you can yell “Hey I could’ve driven a truck through that hole!” or “My grandma could’ve stopped him!” In fact, grandmas and moms come up quite a bit in football. Any time a football player seems weak or ineffectual, it’s okay to compare him to your grandma or mom as in “My mom could have ___________ better.”
When your team’s on offense, you want to cheer them on for advancing the ball. So if they get the first down, you can clap, yell “Yeah!” and the like. If your team is not succeeding in advancing the ball, there’s actually more to yell about. It’s important to shout advice to the players, because they obviously would not know what to do without hundreds of fans yelling at them at the same time. It’s always safe to go with the grandma or mom rant above. Or try to make things more personal to that particular play.
Of course the most important thing is yelling at the refs. Everyone assumes the refs are: blind, biased, lazy, ineffective, unless they’ve made a call in favor of your team. Direct your rants towards the refs’ inefficiencies. “C’mon ref, get some new glasses”, “C’mon ref are you blind?” “Get the home team refs out” all work well. Of course it’s important to focus on particulars so your yelling will help the ref become a better ref in the future. “Hey it was interference”, “He was all over him ref”, “He was out-of-bounds”, “He was offsides” are all pretty standard and work for most situations. Of course one wonders how four refs right on the field can miss these things that we’re seeing 200 yards away in the stands; maybe they do need new glasses.
To top things off, make sure that you shake your keys in the air or wave your cap during the kickoff at the beginning of each half, high-five your seat mates when your team scores, and sing the fight song during time-outs, and you’ll be all set to fit right in at the game.
Coming up: the all important post game analysis and terminology explained.
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