Gentleman! (and ladies of course), it is time. The first week of the NFL season is here. So lock away the children, alienate your spouse, and put your phone to voicemail. While you are at it, make sure to toss a jersey on, grab some nachos, and plant your ass on your favorite chair.
Oh, and whatever you do, don't forget to set your fantasy football lineup!
With the return of sports life to so many; no offense to baseball or the Olympics but seriously, who are we trying to kid here? Those sports aren't the NFL; it's time once again to embark on a five month alienation of everything outside of football that you hold dear. To get you prepped for football, and to make sure you don't stray from the beaten path, here are a few NFL fan rules that you should adopt for your own safety.
Multi-tasking is a must.
Ok, let's face it, when the game is about to come on, everything outside of it is rendered officially as background static. Unfortunately, as many of us have significant others, that can lead to such things as marital fights, infidelity, homicide and potentially the worst of them all, damage to your TV. To avoid this, some attention must be paid to the family on game day.
The key to pulling this off and still getting your fix is simply this, use commercials as your advantage. Yes, our first reaction on commercials is to flip to another game for a second, but we have to resist, at least occasionally, to show that we are still involved in family matters, no matter how much we wish otherwise for Sundays.
Oh, the exception to this rule is the playoffs, of course.
There is no 'second favorite' team.
In my experience with dealing with people in sports related matters, the one thing that makes me cringe the most is when someone tells me that they like multiple teams. I'm sorry, if you are a true sports fan, then you have one team, period. Yes, you may have others you don't mind watching, but they are to pale in comparison to YOUR team.
Real Fans have ONE team per sport!
Avoid 'bandwagon jumping.' Only tools do that.
This rule branches off of the last one. Ok, sometimes, there comes a time when changing your team is a natural inevitability, but only in special situations. Some of those included, but are not restricted to; your team moving, your team sucking for over a decade (ie Pittsburgh Pirates), management totally killing any chances you have and not making any plans to change in the near future, and finally, nuclear war ravages half the United States.
Other than these, and maybe a few other instances, Your team is YOUR team. You don't change and you definitely don't change because of another team being popular to follow!
Prepare for Fantasy Football created conflicts of interests.
This is the hardest rule of all to acclimate to but it's necessary because as any who play FF can attest to; there will come a time when you have to root against someone wearing the uniform of your team. The standard line of acceptance for this is as follows; It is OK to root against players from your team in a fantasy football environment as long as it remains clear in your head that their poor performance won't overtly affect the outcome of the game.
An example of this is wishing for Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Mike Wallace to go catchless while the rest of the team steps up to deliver a big, lopsided victory for the Black and Gold.
Follow this rule, along with the others, and you are set for a great NFL season.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty