wikiHow to Pretend You Understand Football

Do you enjoy football, but after years of watching you still don’t understand it? Do you get embarrassed, or perhaps teased, for not knowing the rules despite years of viewing games? Here is a simple way to pretend you understand football, without having to learn the rules of the game. With a few tricks and some simple football knowledge, you’ll fit right in with the fans around you and be on your way to some great games, even if you are just pretending!


  1. Image titled Pretend You Understand Football Step 1
    Choose a football team to follow. It is best to start out this process with one team. By narrowing it down to one, you can learn specific details about that team to make you seem more knowledgeable of football. After you learn the techniques, they can be used to increase your credibility among the fans of other teams in the future.
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    Learn the names and numbers of some of the star players on the team. More than likely, at least one of these specific players will have contributed to any given game. Knowing these names gives you a way to participate in conversations, without actually having to know the plays that were made. Talking about the players, though in a vague way, will make it seem as if you saw the plays they made.
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    Learn a few key football phrases. These can really come in handy during conversation, or during a game. Learn words like “touchdown”, “first down”, “field goal”, “pass interference”, etc. You don’t need to understand these terms, just know the words. If you hear these things said by the announcer during a game, remember them.
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    Keep conversations vague. You can use the names and key phrases you’ve learned, without having to understand the plays that occurred during a game. Using phrases like, “Wasn’t that interception awesome?”, or “Wow, what a game for Thompson”, you give the impression that you understand, when in fact, you only know small details like names.
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    Ask questions using the things you’ve learned. A good way to avoid any possible slip ups is by doing the asking yourself. Use questions like “What did you think of that play?” or “How did you think the game was going to turn out?”. Asking questions gives you the control, and helps you avoid talking about things you don’t understand.
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    Remember one big play that happened in a game. Remember the details of this one play, and it can take you a long way. This is always a good conversation turner. If things start to go down a path you don’t understand, you’re asked a hard question, or maybe you’re at a loss for something to talk about, just revert back to that one play. If it was a good play, chances are other fans will want to talk about it.
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    Feed off the other fans, mimicking their reactions. Though you may not know what is going on down on the field, the people around you probably do. One of the easiest ways to pretend you understand is to do what the people around you do. If those around you cheer a play, cheer with them. If they yell angrily, do the same. The key to this step is to cheer and yell even louder than the other fans. Make your motions really exaggerated and animated, giving the impression that what just happened has greatly affected you. This makes people believe you are paying attention and know exactly what is going on.


  • Make sure and fit the part. Get the sports attire to fit in with all of the fans around you. Make it look like you are committed to supporting your team, even if you don’t understand what they are doing. =)
  • If a topic comes up that you don’t know anything about, just smile and change the subject back to something you can handle.
  • Remember to have fun! Football shouldn’t be all about understanding the rules. This is just a way to fit in and make the experience even more enjoyable.

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Categories: Football