Time: 3-4 hours
Recurrence: Once or twice
This is probably the second biggest date that pops up on your radar when you’re thinking about doing something with your daughter. Football is written in our masculine DNA. It’s what consumes our focus during the fall and has us wearing jerseys like formal attire. When there is a football around two men, that football gets thrown. This is the essence of football to a man. Your daughter can be part of that. Not being a man, per se, but enjoying football the way we do. It’s a game, just a like any other. It’s a competition, just like any other. Whether you’re a Packers fan, a Florida State fan, or just like following your local high school team, she’ll benefit just from you introducing it to her.
It’s one thing to show it on TV, but it’s a completely different experience to bring it to her in person. While watching TV, you’re going to be focusing on your fantasy football stats, yelling at the calls, and dodging beer commercials with their not-so-suggestive themes. Get out to watch a game.
You’re saying that professional games are a bit too expensive? You’re right. Damn right. But what’s wrong with a high school or college game? If you’re introducing this to her, she doesn’t need to see the best of the best. I wouldn’t suggest trying to teach her off the pee-wee league, however. Find a local football game and check it out. There’s a crowd, there’s popcorn and hot cocoa, there are even cheerleaders. And they are even appropriately dressed cheerleaders; imagine that.
Most sports have a female version of a professional league. Just to get it out there, for your daughter, taking her to the lingerie football game is in my mind, not the best choice. Seriously, that’s not the representation of an “athlete” you want to portray. Just like you don’t want a boy to idolize an athlete that’s continually in trouble with the law, you don’t want your daughter turning out like Elizabeth Lambert.
One last caution. Sportsmanship is at an all time low. Fans are unruly, rude, and have very little tact. Humanity is on a landslide. Your daughter needs to know that going in. She’s going to hear language she shouldn’t hear and attitudes that are really embarrassing. The key is not to be that guy.
Now, show her the rules and don’t expect her to get them right off the bat. You didn’t pick it up at first, and you’re still a little unclear on what illegal formation is all about. Talk about the kickoff, touchbacks, 3-4 coverage, etc. Notch it back a bit if you see her eyes glazing over, though. She’ll get it, don’t worry. And maybe when she does, she still wants to watch the cheerleaders. That’s okay too. Just like you’re never going to be excited to have a tea party, she may never care about the football game. But you still would do a tea party with her, wouldn’t you? She feels the same way about you and the football game. Of course, she may completely take to football…..at an unhealthy level.
Thanks for being a dad.