Getting Ready For Game Day: NFL Fan Traditions

Let the fantasy football playing and game day overeating commence! The NFL season is officially underway, letting us revisit the traditions, rituals and superstitions that we look forward to each year. 

Regardless of where or how you watch your team play, football season is a special time that deserves our undivided attention. And this year, there is promise for an even larger viewership as more women start watching the games (it’s almost an even 50/50 split between men and women according to “The Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective”). The growing participation of women is reaching the field, too; the first female NFL referee will take the field in 2014.

Even with changes to the fan base, some things remain the same. In this article, we’ll take a look at some favorite pigskin traditions around game day and their importance to the sport’s culture. 



Fantasy Football: With roots in a 1962 New York City hotel, Fantasy Football is the ultimate competition -- minus the tackling. The draft is important so do your homework. I don’t care if you’re a huge Tim Tebow fan, he’s not going to bring you enough points to beat Bill in week three. And with apps and online draft centers readily available for football fanatics, you can always be connected to make those last minute changes to your roster. You can obviously still root for your favorite team, but just remember the competition behind the television set. All of your friends will.

The Jersey: Whether it’s your favorite quarterback, defensive intimidator or a personalized jersey, you’ll take any steps necessary to bring your team luck. And if you’re that person who doesn’t have a jersey to showcase, fear not! and other sites and apps will help cover up your rookie mistake. Retro jerseys and high school throwbacks of famous football stars are welcome, too. Heck, you may not even wash it. As long as your squad picks up the “W” on game day, who cares -- unless, of course, you decide to go in for a hug wearing said jersey that hasn’t been washed. In that case, you might want to consider adopting a different celebratory ritual.  

Food, Beverages and Tailgating: George Foreman grills need not apply. This is where the real work gets done. Manning the grill and ensuring friends and family have a cold one in hand is essential. Regardless of where your setup may be -- the back of a truck at the stadium, a backyard or man cave -- take whatever measures necessary to get it right, even if it means referencing a few guides, like the Weber Grill or GrillTime apps. 

I Have to Sit There: Superstitions are a major part of the NFL experience. Anything from touching a logo to making sure you’re in your special seat is included. I know some people who watch the four quarters from different spots in the room so their team will never catch them sleeping. There’s even an app called “Superstitions” to provide you with a strange habit if you didn’t already have one. This may sound bizarre and some may think it odd, but if they don’t get it, their team probably won’t make the playoffs. 

So put away your work and finish that last rep at the gym, because football awaits you. It’s a sacred season with hopes of watching our favorite team gallivant in heroic domination through February. And whatever you do to help your team get there, we understand. In fact, we probably do something a little crazy ourselves.

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