Are you a geeky parent who’s discovered your little one is a big football fan? Do you know what to do? If not, let me give you a few helping hints!
Okay, I know, it is a stereotype that geeky folks don’t like sports. And stereotypes can be (and generally are) detrimental to the social, racial and political progress of our modern world.
But, come on, let’s face it: a good many geeks don’t know a nose guard from a mouth guard.
The scenario: you have discovered that your kid is, somehow, a huge fan of American football.
The question: how the heck are you, as a geeky parent, supposed to handle it?
And the answer? Find a way to enjoy it with him or her! You’re a full-fledged geek and you know nothing about quarterbacks and halfbacks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun in the wonderful world of football.
And even though geeks generally care more about Minecraft or the new Nintendo 2DS, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a geeky sportsfan.
Here are some tips to raise a geeky kid who loves sports. In particular, a geeky kid who loves football.
How to Raise a Geeky Sports Fan
Statistics: Getting Obsessed with the Numbers Game
Oh yeah, we geeks love statistics. Sure, they usually have to do with hit points, magic points, armor strength, and the percent chance of defeating mountain ogres without a Doom Hammer… But once you get down to the nitty-gritty of football fandom, you’ll find that the joy of keeping and guessing stats isn’t all that different.
Fantasy football is one of the ways you can immerse yourself in the joy of numbers. You choose players (this time folks like Adrian Peterson instead of Adio the Destroyer), you decide which ones will serve you well in battle and which ones need to stay at the local tavern (read: the bench), and you hope and pray that when the enemy comes for a fight, your stats will outweigh theirs.
If your kid is a player as well as a fan, then that’s even better. Because then you get to keep stats for a real life person, one you happen to love with all your heart.
Visualize Football Games as Epic and Brutal Battles
A full-on battle on the gridiron is very much like your favorite fights in fantasy epics. There’s honor and victory on the line and plenty of sweat and tears are shed.
And you can bet your bottom hip pad that there’s gonna be some blood.
If you’re asked to sit down and watch a football game with your new sports fan, go into it as if you’re a spectator at the battle of Helm’s Deep. Because I guarantee you, that’s exactly how the players are seeing it. Their livelihood is at stake and they won’t stop until every orc or Oakland Raider is defeated.
Use it as an Excuse to Watch Awesome Movies & TV Shows
One of the best things about your new life as the parent of a football fan is getting to watch some really awesome movies and TV shows.
There’s no denying that we geeks love to binge on Netflix offerings, but now you get to expand your horizons to stories you haven’t thought of watching before.
Movies like Necessary Roughness, Remember the Titans, and Rudy are fan favorites, and not just because they deal with the ins and outs of football’s finer points–they’re funny, they’re touching, they’re inspiring, and they’re full of great action.
There’s also at least one TV show that you cannot miss in your new role as sports-fan mom or dad. And that’s Friday Night Lights.
Set in a small Texas town, FNL details the lives of high school kids, their families, teachers, and coaches for a glorious five seasons. Everything you want in a long-form story (short of police call boxes and Agent Scully) can be found in this brilliant series.
These flicks and shows offer more than just entertainment; there are life lessons to be learned here, too. They’ll also help you understand the game far better with story-lines that detail almost every aspect of football.
(Bonus: Flash Gordon just happens to be the absolute best of both worlds. A world famous football star traveling the galaxy to fight for truth, justice, and the Milk Way? Check, check and check!)
Become a Card Collector
Collecting cards is a big part of Geekdom. It’s also a big part of being a football fan (at least it was in the 60s-90s…).
A lot of people who aren’t into sports might not even know that there are such things as football cards. We always here about ones for baseball players, but footballers?
Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, and Press Pass are just a few of the card types out there. Make it a game to try to collect every player from your little kid’s favorite team.
Buy Geeky Football Gear
Oh my goodness, there are a bunch of AMAZING products designed for both geeks and football fans. Keep your eyes opened for these cross-over items to find the best of both worlds (kinda like Flash Gordon).
Here’s a few to get you started:
Open-Mindedness is an Absolute Must
Last, but certainly not least, you have to be open-minded. You have to understand that your little kid isn’t going to be an exact carbon copy of you and if he or she has some different interests, then THAT’S OK.
It really is.
Geeks like us aren’t the type to become the tyrant. We will not (and must not) demand a specific life for our kids. We need to let them walk their own way. (Unless they have no interest in watching Firefly or Raiders of the Lost Ark–then you can absolutely force away).
And if being open-minded means trying to become a football fan for a little bit, then by golly, you best try it.
But I’ll tell you right now: as a full-fledged geek myself, a geek who happens to LOVE football, life over here really isn’t that bad. Nope. Not at all.