Start a pool!
If your family is large enough, or dads if you and your son ( s) just want to play; prior to the start of the season pick teams. You can either do this randomly or have a draft. How it works is simply, that person “owns” those teams they have selected for the duration of the season and have a chance to “advance” to the Superbowl. Make it interesting and implement trades where someone can give up a team if its not doing well mid-season or someone else has a team they like. In the end the “Superbowl Champ” gets to pick the meal of choice or some other pre-determined reward.
Join a Fantasy League!
Internet Fantasy Leagues have become a billion-dollar industry these days. While there are many “for pay” leagues out there. A majority of the good ones are free. Joining a fantasy league with your child…. son or daughter even provides a myriad of opportunities to help teach them about team-work, statistics, planning, and management. You can either create a team and draft players together or have teams in the same league and go head-to-head a couple times during the season. I will include some links to some of the popular Fantasy Football League sites out there. If you plan on joining a league you will want to do so no later than a week prior to the season officially starting so as to give yourself time to make roster adjustments.
Watch “the game” together.
If you are a homer and don’t live in a city with a sad team like my beloved Cincinnati Bengals, then you will probably be privy to seeing your team on TV every week and not subject to NFL black-out rules. And if you have a 42” HD with surround sound then watching at home will definitely be almost as enjoyable than being at the game if not more. But this is probably the most challenging way to incorporate family time and football. You’re probably used to watching alone or undistracted, but with your kid (s ) watching or the entire family it might prove to be difficult to devote all your attention to the game. What one can do to make it fun and inclusive for everyone is of course make it fun and inclusive!
- Wear game day apparel , what better way for everyone to support their favorite team than donning a jersey, hat , or t-shirt.
- Make game-time snacks together. This will of course involve some pre-game preparation but nothing will keep someone in front of the TV like watching their favorite team and having their favorite snack. Remember to keep those snacks healthy.
- Explain the game, player and team history and maybe the rules even… to all those who may not be as “football” savvy. But don’t be condescending and have patience. Not everyone , not even EVERY guy knows what a full-safety blitz or a Cover-2 scheme is.
- Know your kid’s/family’s limits. – While you may be able to sit and watch football for a full 9 hours , don’t expect everyone else to want to. If your kids are girls or boys less than 8-10, chances are you aren’t going to get more than 3 hours out of them
- Take a break!- This of course is tied to point 4. Everyone needs a break, even you. Don’t have family dinner in front of the TV. Decide which game you’re going to watch then have dinner or another family activity or even in the age of the DVR…. you can watch the game with about a 45 min – to an hour delay.
I’m excited about the season getting started , and I’m sure you are too. Using some of my suggestions you will find that if careful you can have the best of both worlds with your family/kids/wife , and no one feels neglected or alienated. Also with the entire family engaged or interested on some level , you will find the entire season more enjoyable even if your team is doing poorly. Good luck to everyone and their respective teams. I hope you find some if not all my tips/suggestions helpful.Thanks for reading,