Erin Summers

Top Ten Things to do to prepare for the NFL season

Posted September 6, 2011
Updated September 7, 2011

It’s been a long offseason and seemingly longer due to the lockout. But we made it through and we’ll have a full NFL season starting Thursday when the New Orleans Saints take on the Green Bay Packers. 

Professional football is by far my favorite sport. I cannot remember a Sunday that wasn’t dedicated to watching football. Growing up I remember my parents pulling out the TV trays, heading down to 101 to grab some Mexican food and settling in for Chargers games. As far as I’m concerned Sunday is a holiday and there is only one thing I have to worry about – where I’m watching the games.

In light of the first official week of the NFL season I put together a list of do’s and don’ts for the season. Feel free to add your suggestions and comments. 

Top Ten Things to do to Prepare for the NFL season: 

 

10 – Break up with your significant other. 

Okay so not exactly, but kind of. Unless they really appreciate football as much as you do and all that comes with it, you’re going to want to free up your Sundays and Monday nights. A temporary agreed upon break would suffice. Either that or help them find something fun to do to keep them occupied and away from your TV time. Sign them up for a book group, cooking, kick boxing or art class – anything. When all is said and done you’ll probably end up accidentally taking out your anger at the game or lack of points from a fantasy player on your girlfriend or boyfriend. And that’s not going to go over well. 

9 – Get the tailgate supplies together. 

Charcoal, lots of charcoal. A grill, a cooler, chairs, and yard games. If you’re going to tailgate you don’t want to be the guy that’s standing around gawking at the HD TV set up the guy next to you has so they can keep up with all the other games around the league while you’re trying to catch a peak over their shoulder. Don’t be jealous of someone else’s tailgate set up, make other people jealous of yours. 

8 – Up your TV game. 

Invest in lots of batteries because you never want the remote to die in the middle of flipping between games. Get the NFL package or make friends with someone who has it stat. And if your TV isn’t up to par, and you don’t want to get a new one, make another friend. If satellite’s your preference – fabulous, just make sure in case a massive thunderstorm rolls through that your neighbor has cable in case you lose signal.

7 – Pull your jerseys out of the closet. 

Hopefully your jersey made it through the offseason and the preseason. I got burned when LT jumped from the Chargers to the Jets in the offseason. Clearly I had to get new gear because I couldn’t rock a powder blue 21 anymore. 

6 – Get to know your squad. 

With the craziness that ensued after the lockout, I hope you know who made the final roster, who your starters are, and who is backing them up. It’s not cool to yell at #83 and not know its Vincent Jackson. So study up on the type of offense your team runs, their defensive scheme, and who should go off on special teams. This comes in especially handy when you’re out and the sound of your game isn’t on. Know who you play the next week and when your bye week is. Keep track of their status in the division and their playoff potential, but don’t be unrealistic in what they can achieve. It will only hurt worse when they don’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs again. 

5 – Play fantasy football. 

It may make you crazy and mad more than it makes you happy but it adds another element to the game. Who doesn’t love a little friendly banter on who will beat who each week. It’s fun to beat your friends, just because you can’t get out on the field doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of some competition. And it makes you keep up with more than just your team, which will make you a better-rounded fan. Heck you could even win the dang thing and that would be pretty awesome, especially if your actual football team doesn’t. 

4 – Train for the amount of food and beverages consumed. 

It’s football, which comes hand in hand with beer and wings. And whether beer is your preferential beverage of choice, you’ll be drinking something. Games are at least four hours, so if you can’t train yourself to hold it which probably isn’t healthy, strategically plan out your bathroom breaks. Missing game action is not okay. 

3 – Put together a survival kit. 

Your team isn’t going to make you happy all the time. There will be days you’ll drink too much or get too frustrated. Stock up on ibuprofen and throat lozenges for when you yell too much. Have the eye drops ready for when your eyes get dry from starring at the TV for 12 hours straight. Stash away some extra money so you can over-tip the babysitter on the nights you can’t bear to come home just yet and face reality. Make sure you have a few friends that will sit through mindless ranting about how you can’t believe why they’d run THAT play THEN. It hurts. I know. 

2 – Avoid becoming ‘that guy’ in the group. 

Don’t bring an obnoxious friend to watch the game with your crew if the friend doesn’t know anything about the game or is a huge fan of the opposite team. Have a reason for cheering for the team you do. Think before you get a tattoo of your favorite team, player, or player’s signature. I’ve seen it all and it usually isn’t good. Don’t yell at the people standing up at a game, they are probably better fans anyways. Be aware of your surroundings, curse words aren’t okay if you’re around kids. As I mentioned earlier, don’t yell at a player you don’t know. I’m sure #10 appreciates your criticism as much as everyone around you will. Don’t leave a game early, and don’t be a fair-weather fan. And lastly -- don’t drink too much. You won’t be happy about it later, and we won’t be happy about it as you go on an unintelligible rant about your team or worse: you get sick. 

1 – Plan your bar schedule. 

Figure out the area bars and what they offer. Heck, go check them out in advance. See how many TVs are available, will they show all games, what’s the seating capacity, can you listen to your individual game, and do they have any specials? Once you’ve figured out the best scenario places, hit Google maps. Find out how long it’ll take you to get there and some possible back ups. You don’t want to be late for the game. And don’t forget to check for fan clubs. You don’t want to show up week one at a bar that happens to host the Steelers fan club wearing your Ravens jersey -- unless you get joy out of that. 

Now happy football season! May your team exceed your expectations and every Sunday remain a holiday… until February that is. 

6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • TomP07 Sep 11, 2011

    Good lord, people, lighten up.

  • jmoore27540 Sep 9, 2011

    Gotta admit, I almost felt bad for her. Then I read her article.

  • fzero Sep 8, 2011

    I think I'm going to start posting her articles on fail blog.

  • davidh423 Sep 7, 2011

    Do you feel "sorry" for Butch Davis not coaching in the NFL as well?
    Just curious...

  • bobeugene4 Sep 7, 2011

    I'm sorry, but someone actually writes you a check to write these pieces? Amazing, cause you are horrible.

  • daves1840 Sep 7, 2011

    Dear Erin Summers,

    In college, did they teach you not to end sentences with a preposition? Or where to put commas? Or how to avoid run-on sentences?

    I suppose you are a decent conversational writer.

    Nice work.

  • The Ryder Cup

    Saturday at 9:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Duke vs. Virginia

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Oklahoma vs. TCU

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Arizona State at USC

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • The Ryder Cup

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-FM

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 29
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
6
Fri, Sept 30
7
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Preview
10
Sat, Oct 1
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
20
 
14
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
13
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
2
 
22
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12
 
11
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
25
 
8
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
4
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
15
 
9
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
Preview
21
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
1
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
16
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
5
 
17
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
19
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
Preview
24
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 29
Miami 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 北京时间5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ET23:25
Cincinnati 
Sunday, Oct. 2
Indianapolis 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ET12:30
Jacksonville 
 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Baltimore 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Houston 
 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
New England 
 
Seattle 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Jets 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Washington 
 
Denver 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
Los Angeles 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Arizona 
 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Diego 
 
Dallas 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Francisco 
 
Kansas City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Pittsburgh 
Monday, Oct. 3
NY Giants 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Minnesota 
 
NHL Preseason
Detroit 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Boston 
 
New Jersey 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Philadelphia 
 
Pittsburgh 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET21:30 BRT
Chicago 
 
Dallas 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET22:00 BRT
Colorado 
 
Edmonton 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT
Vancouver 
 
Anaheim 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ET23:30 BRT
Los Angeles 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Milwaukee 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
American League
Seattle6Top
3rd
Houston0
 
Boston 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
NY Yankees 
 
Baltimore 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
 
Cleveland 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit 
 
Minnesota 4:15 PT5:15 MT6:15 CT7:15 ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 MST6:15 EST6:45 VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 CT
Preview
Kansas City 
 
Tampa Bay 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox 
 
Oakland 7:05 PT8:05 MT9:05 CT10:05 ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 MST9:05 EST9:35 VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
National League
Arizona 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Washington 
 
Chi Cubs 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
 
Philadelphia 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Atlanta 
 
NY Mets 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Miami 
 
Cincinnati 5:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis 
 
LA Dodgers 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
San Diego 
 
Colorado 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1R. McIlroy - z-12F
2tR. Moore - y-12F
2tK. Chappell - y-12F
4P. Casey-9F
5H. Matsuyama-6F
6tJ. Thomas-5F
6tD. Johnson-5F
8tA. Scott-4F
8tJ. Dufner-4F
10tS. Kim-2F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1I. Chun-21F
2tS. Park-17F
2tS. Ryu-17F
4S. Feng-15F
5S. Kim-14F
6I. Kim-12F
7A. Stanford-10F
8H. Nomura-9F
9tB. Henderson-7F
9tA. Jutanugarn-7F
View Full Leaderboard
 
European Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Levy - z-19F
2R. Fisher - y-19F
3tM. Jonzon-16F
3tR. Karlsson-16F
5B. Wiesberger-15F
6M. Kaymer-14F
7tR. Bland-13F
7tE. De La Riva-13F
7tF. Fritsch-13F
7tG. Havret-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Pacific Links (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Montgomerie - z-15F
2S. McCarron - y-15F
3tM. Jimenez-13F
3tJ. Sluman-13F
3tS. Dunlap-13F
3tD. Garwood-13F
7tB. Langer-12F
7tM. Dawson-12F
7tO. Browne-12F
10tF. Funk-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 28
Chengdu Open (ATP)
Second Round
K. Khachanov3 6 6   
A. Mannarino6 3 1   
(3) G. Dimitrov77 6    
D. Lajovic61 4    
(4) F. Lopez6 7    
J. Monaco3 5    
(8) P. Lorenzi0 4    
D. Schwartzma6 6    
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
First Round
Y. Nishioka6 3 4   
T. Fabbiano3 6 6   
Second Round
(7) F. Fognini63 4    
M. Zverev77 6    
(2) D. Goffin62 6 2   
M. Jaziri77 3 6   
(3) R. Gasquet6 6    
A. Whittingto1 0    
(6) B. Paire0 77 5   
J. Tipsarevic6 65 7   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 28
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
Third Round
(8) M. Keys6 4 6   
D. Kasatkina1 6 4   
(4) S. Halep6 6    
Y. Shvedova3 3    
(6) V. Williams2 2    
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 6    
(7) C. Suarez Nav5 66    
(11) J. Konta7 78    
(1) A. Kerber712 5 4   
(14) P. Kvitova610 7 6   
(3) A. Radwanska6 6    
C. Wozniacki4 2    
(5) K. Pliskova 
(10) D. Cibulkova 
B. Strycova 
J. Jankovic 
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
Second Round
(8) N. Broady2 4    
I. Khromachev6 6    
(5) K. Nara2 2    
K. Pliskova6 6    
(4) N. Hibino7 6    
R. Ozaki5 1    
(2) K. Flipkens77 3 77   
M. Sakkari60 6 64   
(6) L. Tsurenko6 3 6   
I. Soylu1 6 1   
(9) D. Allertova7 6    
P. Tig5 2    
S. Shapatava2 5    
K. Kozlova6 7    
S. Voegele6 3    
F. Schiavone2 2