As the lone parent in the KSK gay mafia, I thought it might be a good idea to begin an occasional series about the NFL and fatherhood. Here you'll learn how to focus on being the best NFL fan you can be, while still maintaining the illusion of being a good parent. Today, we tackle the topic of bringing up football as a discussion point with men you do not know.
I went to my first baby birthday party the other day. This is when a baby turns one, and other parents and their babies are all invited to come over and passive aggressively determine whose baby is genetically superior. I knew no one at this party except for my wife and kid, but there was free beer and cake. So wild horses weren't going to stop me from going.
There were a handful of other fathers at the scene. I am nothing if not outgoing, so I headed over to the group of guys standing around the requisite ice bucket filled with Coors Light and Yuengling (the only thing that justifies Pennsylvania's existence). I immediately went into an in-depth discussion of parenting methods with one of them:
"So, you got two kids?"
"What's two like? I only have one."
"Oh, it's great."
NOTE: Long pause. The guy's kid walks by.
"So, your kid's walking?"
"Oh, it's great..."
This was like a tennis match between two mannequins. It's a moment where the NFL's existence becomes so paramount. The NFL is the common bond that links us all together. Can religion do that? I think not! In order to have anything remotely resembling an actual conversation, I had to find a way to bring up the subject of football. Now, I could've just conjured that shit right up out of the blue. But then I risked exposing the other guy as a non-NFL fan.
There is nothing worse than talking to some guy you don't know, trying to bring up the NFL to spark some conversation, and then having the asshole pipe up, "Oh, I'm not really into sports." Not into sports? Then what do you do, asshole? Read? Pfft. That's fucking gay. If the guy had turned out to not like football, I would have had to cut off the conversation abruptly and leave him hanging. Or worse, I would have had to stay there and keep up our little game of cadaver racquetball.
There are ways around something like this. First off, if you attend one of these events and you are a male, you should immediately identify yourself as a football fan by donning the apparel of your favorite team. Doing so announces to other men that there is a path of conversation readily available to them. If this guy had been wearing a Redskin shirt, I could've said:
"So, you like the Redskins?"
"Pfft. The Redskins eat a chocolate cookie out of my ass."
"Hey fuck you, buddy."
And thus, a love affair would be born.
But what do you do if that isn't so apparent? In my case, the guy I was talking to was wearing a U-Maryland sweatshirt. Close enough. I asked him if he'd been to any Terp games. He said no, but his dad had season tickets to the Ravens. And off we went. Oh, the Ravens are good this year! Who did they beat the first week? Tampa! Hey, how about that gaywad Chris Simms losing his gay spleen? What a gay! You know who I like in that division? Carolina. Isn't that a unique stance? Hey, are you a fan of tits? Tits rock.
So I had it relatively easy. If he also played fantasy, I could've milked a solid six hours of discussion out of the guy. But if there's no clothing to tip you off, you can also do the following:
Bring up a game you went to a while back
Most awkward dad conversations include this gem of a question: "So, what have you guys been up to lately?" Now, you could answer honestly and say, "Well, the kid still shits her pants. I haven't gotten laid in two weeks. And last night I masturbated to a picture of Ali Larter in TV Guide. Twice. Oh, and I write for a blog. How about you?" But then you run the risk of being labeled The Creepy Husband, and no one wants that. But here's a perfect place to bring up a recent NFL event you attended. If the guy has no interest in turning the discussion to the NFL after that, your attempt at least won't look so blatant.
Find an ongoing NFL discussion and join in
Hanging around other people talking has its risks. If you can't find an opening, you wind up standing there with your fucking dick in your hand. But if you find guys talking about the NFL, it's fairly easy to hop right in. Don't be shy. "Joe Theismann is a fucking douchefucker." That'll get you off on the right foot!
"Got any weekend plans?"
Ask this question. Again, it's one of those completely empty conversational staples that don't lead anywhere. But if you ask one guy this, he'll almost always ask you the same thing back. Then you can go off:
"Eh, just hanging around with the kid. Having some beer. Think I'll watch the Vikings on Sunday. I like them this year, except for the fact that THEY HAD TO COME FROM 14 FUCKING POINTS DOWN IN THE FOURTH QUARTER AGAINST A LION TEAM THAT COULDN'T BEAT FUCKING WHITNEY HOUSTON! MOTHER FUCKING MOTHERFUCKS!!!!!"
Failing that, I strongly suggest drinking so much that things like conversation and making a good impression become irrelevant to you. It's one of my strong suits. Happy Parenting!
NOTE: On an unrelated tangent, students at Gallaudet U have been protesting their new school president for the past week or so. Let me tell you something: there is nothing funnier than watching someone getting super pissed off in sign language. They can't yell, so they "yell" via really emphatic hand movement. I watched footage of it on the news the other night and skipped beating it to Ali Larter altogether, I was laughing so goddamn hard. If anyone's got a YouTube of this, you have my undying loyalty.