1. You can’t find your boyfriend on Sundays, until you remember he’s right where you left him: glued to the TV.
You may never get him back, unless you join him.
2. Your town shuts down on game day.
When you step outside, it’s like The Walking Dead.
3. People start to keep time by football games.
Example: “Oh, that happened three Bears games ago.”
4. Every bar in your area has an array of themed-drinks and specials to compete over who the biggest Chiefs or Niners fan is.
However, if you’re an out-of-towner and look hard enough, you might be able to find a bar for your hometown team. They’re always there, waiting.
5. Your local quarterbacks and star players take on an almost mythical quality.
Drew Brees and Matt Ryan become God for 16+ weeks. Peyton Manning suddenly becomes the most magical and important person in the world. I’m convinced he’s not human.
6. If your team is doing badly, however, that person’s name will be spat upon, as the mood of a failing team just infects the city’s atmosphere.
Poor Eli Manning.
7. Every person you know suddenly has an endless supply of sports paraphernalia and face paint.
You’ll even find old ladies smeared with Bengals orange and black on Sundays.
8. People start to talk in a weird code made up of only sports lingo and trivia from last week’s game.
If you missed it, you’re already behind. Football isn’t just a lifestyle; it’s a language.
9. During sports season, someone’s ability to understand your favorite sport suddenly becomes the hottest and most alluring thing about them.
It’s fucking sexual catnip.
10. A lot of people suddenly care about something as technically silly as Fantasy Football.
You won’t understand why until you are suddenly in first place. Success changes you.
11. Cities or states with two teams are divided tribally, sometimes dividing household against household and brother against brother.
This is especially true during baseball season.
12. You can always tell whether your local team won by the expressions on peoples’ faces outside.
The world gets quieter after a tough loss.
13. Football dominates the feed on your Facebook, no matter what else in the world is going on.
Aliens could make contact with Earth, but they’d get an away message. Not when the game is on, guys. Call back later. We’re busy.
14. The sports section becomes the most important section in the paper.
Also, everyone’s home page is ESPN or CNNSI.
15. You can’t go to sleep without watching Sportscenter — to get caught up on the day’s recaps and see all the best parts of the games you didn’t watch.
It’s like Sparknotes for football.
16. When you find out that your friend roots for your rival team, it’s like a betrayal.
If you’re a Ravens fan, I just don’t think I can be friends with you.
17. People are suddenly able to remember really specific statistics, like pass completion rate or average yards per carry, right off the top of your head.
Football season is some serious Rain Man shit.
18. Pork Rinds suddenly become appropriate food.
And surprisingly delicious.
19. Everyone’s ability to stand the cold magically changes, and people who might normally complain when it’s 50 degrees are able to stand without their shirt on in nearly below zero temperatures.
When it comes to their home team, people just become Polar Bears or clinically insane.
20. You develop a heart condition.
Watching your team fight through a shootout can give you a serious stress disorder, and I think all sports fans should be given heart medication. Football can be actively difficult to watch.
22. YOU START TO HATE PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNow — for no apparent reason.
I’m convinced that every time Tom Brady scores, God takes away an angel’s wings.
21. Grilling suddenly takes place in someone’s driveway or outside a football stadium.
If you don’t tailgate, you aren’t a real patriot.
23. Some of your friends will not understand your maniacal obsession with football but will put up with you anyway.
After all, you have the chance to return the favor. Oscar season is next.