Soapbox Therapy: The Big F’ing Deal About Football

It seems like an age-old battle: guys want to relax and watch the game and women get annoyed by it. But like with most relationship clashes, there's more to it than there seems. Brooke breaks it down and explains how everyone can get what they want.

A disclaimer so I don’t get angry emails: I am aware that not all men are into football. I’m also very aware not all women aren’t into football. But, for the sake of this article, just go with it. Thanks. Now, let’s get to it.

Here we are. Smack dab in the middle of football season. Since 1920 the NFL has been going strong, and most men, let’s be honest, are basically obsessed. Whatever their poison; at a bar screaming, in their living room with one hand strategically placed on the remote and the other down their pants, or with friends eating whatever is placed in front of them while concentrating on the TV like it’s the first porn they’ve ever seen…they’re watching. And even more-so, they’re paying attention.

And every year at that very same moment, the screaming-hand-down-your-pants-watching-like-it’s-a-porn moment, women across the country are trying to figure out what the big f’ing deal is.

For the entire season–while each of the 32 teams play each of their 16 regular season games that supposedly go for 60 minutes but really last about 3 hours, not including the pre-season (WTF?), playoffs and of course the Superbowl, and lets not forget college football, and most importantly, fantasy football, which, note to self, is an entirely separate article–women drive themselves nuts trying to figure out why their crushes, boyfriends, husbands, and every man in-between, is able to express the kind of emotion while watching the game that she can only dream about him expressing while in a conversation, or in bed, with her.

And that’s exactly it. But before I explain that coveted it, I’ll say this:

This is a men’s magazine, you don’t need to hear me bitch about not understanding why you’re so obsessed with hot guys in tight pants running around and jumping on each other with the goal being to safely bring a ball into the end zone. But I digress…kinda.

The reason I’m writing this article is because I want to let you in on an age old secret. Why girls get mad at you for watching football. And, more importantly, what you can do to stop it. So, listen up Primer men. And be enlightened.

Women get mad at you for watching football because football, my darlings…is the other woman.

Yup, you heard correctly. The yelling and the throwing your hands up and laughing and crying and getting excited and disappointed and the attention to detail and the knowledge of the players and their families and their colleges and their lives…the emotion you express while watching football is the kind of emotion your girlfriend or wife wants to see in your relationship. See, I told you. Enlightened.

When your girl sees that you’re capable of emotion on every level, that it’s not just that you’re “not a crier”, and you seem to be able to express that emotion very easily-if there’s a game on–well, shit’s just gonna hit the fan now won’t it?

Contrary to popular belief, women don’t dislike football because we simply don’t like the game. We don’t know the game, and why would we ever want to know something that makes you cry of joy more than we can? Why would we ever want to get to know the other woman and witness how happy she makes you? Exactly…we wouldn’t.

Women will understand your love of football just as much as you’ll understand why only one pair of jeans and only one pair of black high heels isn’t even scratching the surface of a respectable wardrobe. The point isn’t to agree with each others obsessions, or even get to know them very well…that’s just not going to happen. It’s about making sure to bring your best self to more than just the game.

You’re capable of every emotion, and women know it, they watch you watch football. So, show her you care by paying as much detail to her as you do to those on the field. And mark my words; she’ll be all over you in a way that makes you say thank you while on Sunday, she’ll give you permission to sleep around…with football.

And, she may just start getting as excited about you as she does about her ass-fabulous jeans. But I’ll talk more about that in the fantasy article.

You’re welcome.

Born in Detroit and raised in Chicago, Brooke Miller, MA is now a San Francisco based advice columnist and relationship expert. Her column, Soapbox Therapy, has been called “ Raw, honest, thought-provoking, and wisely witty” by readers and critics and can be read in several publications including The SF Chronicle’ s affiliate, TheIsCollection, and Cheeky Chicago. Brooke supports clients all over the country via Skype and phone coaching sessions. She can be contacted at brooke(a)

  • AJ

    So now here is the question, what do you do when football is your girlfriends “other man” haha, sometimes it honestly seems like she gets more into it than I do.

  • Andrew

    AJ, That’s actually a great question. I can relate!

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  • Brooke

    AJ, just turn the article inside out, doll face. Read it to your girl, the other way around. Tell her you want her to get as excited about your manliness as she does the guys on the field! You deserve it!!

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  • http://primer michael

    A.J. , The article made me laugh out loud, and I do standup. So many thoughtful charming insights, brilliantly put together with humor. Congratulations.

  • Kevin

    Football is in fact the other woman. The always interesting, leaves you wanting, never asks about your feelings woman.

    Ladies should watch football and take notes really.

    On a side note, I just realized that I will never cry while watching football. There was one moment I would have cried, If Brett Favre (with the Packers) had beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 08′. Like, really cried too, not just, “oh man, its the ending of Field of Dreams and I’m a little chocked up” crying. Full, on the floor, sobbing.

    But that didn’t happen, it will never happen. And I will never cry.

    Sorry ladies.

  • Kevin

    Oh, those jeans are pretty nice though. They’re the first thing I noticed when I opened the article. If that makes you feel better.

    Somehow, I feel like I dug myself a deeper whole here.

  • Rob

    Funny article, Brooke. Though im not a fan of watching football, this article can be universal for other hobbies/vices. Four years ago when I was 25, one day my girlfriend (at the time) Jenn, asked me, “How long do you plan to play baseball for?” Mind you, she knew I played baseball my entire life through HS and college and now post-college. I told her, “Probably until I cant anymore.” She didnt know it, but it struck a nerve in me and was one of the reasons we broke up a few months later. I was 25, above avg fit, spent much of my free time with her, and a couple years in to my generously paid career so it wasnt like I wasnt giving her enough attention or that I wasnt headed anywhere in life.

  • Matt S.

    Speaking of “ass-fabulous jeans,” this is a great picture for the article.

    Thanks for the insight, Brooke!

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  • Egdhbrfh

    “This is a men’s magazine, you don’t need to hear me bitch about not understanding why you’re so obsessed with hot guys in tight pants running around and jumping on each other with the goal being to safely bring a ball into the end zone. But I digress…kinda.” Edging on homophobic.