“Go, go, go! Touchdown!” Everyone jumps in the air. High-fives and chest bumps run rampant throughout the room. Cheers swallow the mild chatter that had just been taking place. Everyone knows what just happened.
Football. We all know what it is, even if we don’t know all of the rules. It brings families and neighbors together on Sundays and nostalgic alumni and carefree students together on Saturdays. It gives everyone a chance to show off their team swag and drink beer. Even if you don’t love the sport, it’s hard not to enjoy people coming together and cheering on their favorite teams.
Whether it’s orange and brown or scarlet and gray, football never fails to leave a smile on my face, if only because it lets me kick back and relax. Well, maybe not always with orange and brown.
One of my favorite football memories is going to Donatos after an Ohio State game and seeing tables of my relatives sitting together, talking about our win. We ordered pizzas and drinks and stayed for hours to celebrate. These were people that I didn’t see every day who – at that point in my life – I only saw if we all made an effort to get together. And this is why I love football; it brings people together, even if only for the duration of the game.
Every weekday I look forward to the Saturdays when I can tailgate with my friends without a care in the world. When I can stand in solidarity in the football stadium with the other fans beside me. When I can get decked out in Buckeye gear and wear it all day. Or the Sundays when I turn the Browns on and have the game on in the background while I hang out with my friends.
I can’t tell you what the penalty is for offsides. Or if offsides is even a thing in football. I don’t know how many different positions there are or what every position does. In fact, the only thing I know for sure is that I will inevitably pay more attention to the people watching the game with me than to the game itself.
My love of football has nothing to do with how the game is played – instead, I love being in the stadium and cheering on my team and watching the players’ sweet moves. Or sitting in B-Dubs surrounded by friends and family. Or soaking in the atmosphere that game day brings.
Football gives us a reason to get together, even if it’s only for a few hours. It gives us an excuse to forget our other worries and have fun with those around us. It gives us something to cheer for, something to be excited about.
My relationship with football doesn’t drive me to pay attention to draft picks or new plays. But it does drive me to spend time with the people who make me happy, and isn’t that what a relationship is meant to do anyway?