1. At some point, you will have to relinquish your coffee table to the crazed layout and James Bond-like scheming that is picking a fantasy draft. You will not understand it, but you will have to learn to respect their patented methodology.
2. You will learn to be very good at consoling them over losses and fumbled balls and incomplete passes that are, you know, kind of arbitrary in nature but which they will take personally anyway, regardless of the fact that their yelling at a television screen has no effect on how any given play will transpire.
3. You will learn that you never ever, ever admit that these things are arbitrary.
4. You learn when to let them fume out on their own and when it’s time to relinquish all hope of trying to console them with logic over feeling personally wronged over a particularly ugly loss.
5. You will come to regard the vague, muffled yelling that happens when their team is in possession of the ball as nothing more than Sunday afternoon elevator music for your own home.
6. Under no circumstances should you ever wear the colors of their rival team in their presence. (I once dated a guy who was such a hardcore Seahawks fan that he would not step foot into Target because their uniforms too closely resembled the 49ers’ colors. Target. Nothing bad could ever happen to you in Target. And still…)
7. It doesn’t matter if you just show up at their team’s bar for the beer. The fact that you went at all is the gesture that matters.
8. You will, at some point, find yourself spouting off some tidbit of football knowledge that you didn’t even know you knew.
9. You will come to cherish Football Season, because it is the one time out of the year that they will not gripe about why you have to work on the weekends, or work late on Monday nights or anything else. They couldn’t care less what you do at this time, as long as it doesn’t involve the TV. Use this time apart to your own advantage.
10. You will realize that yeah, you can actually learn a thing or two from them. You don’t have to love football, or basketball, or baseball, or any other sport in the supreme history of sporting events. But having a basic understanding of these sports helps make you a more well-rounded individual. You might not care now, but you could get into it later, and having an open mind towards your significant other’s interests helps make your relationship stronger.
11. You will learn how to convert everything to the dreaded Football Time. It’s one thing for your significant other to be the kind of person to run late, but unless you factor in six hours for them to watch a “one hour” game plus halftime and post-game commentary, forget even setting plans for afterward.
12. At any family gathering, you will introduce your significant other to a family member who is just as football crazy as they are, and then run away before they have a chance to suck you into the conversation, too.
13. Your significant other will try to ease you into bonding with them with such offerings as the Puppy Bowl and the Superbowl commercials. They’re trying to share something with you, and that in itself is a very sweet gesture.
14. Every thought you have about which player on which team is “the cutest” or whose celebrity wife is your favorite stays inside your head. Good looks and a Gisele Bundchen do not a championship win.
15. You will consider spending money on a jersey for yourself just to make them happy. Or maybe branded underwear? On sale? I mean, if you’re on the Victoria’s Secret website anyway, you might as well mosey over to the Pink collection, but then again, you have a sinking suspicion that your significant other thinks that football is too sacred for rhinestones.
16. You’ve given up on keeping the living room clean on the weekends. It’s best to just do a scrub-down on Monday lest those pizza crumbs attract mice.
17. If you remember to order the wings for them, you, my friend, are a true keeper.