8 Things Every Family Who Loves Football Understands All Too Well

Ad failed to load

The euphoria that fall brings can only really, truly, be understood by football-loving families. The crunchy leaves, the all-day tailgating, and the crisp air get us giddier than a couple of kids on Christmas morning. Sure, there won't be any presents, but the gift that football continues to give throughout the season is, well, priceless. It's undeniable that there are things all families who love football just understand, and that understanding makes it easy to recognize that fall is, by far, the best time of year.

Everyone has their vice; for some people it’s drugs, for others it's food or bad reality television, but for us it’s football and we make no apologies for dawning our favorite team's jerseys and stressing about last-minute plays. We definitely won't feel bad about raising our kids in a football-loving environment, as my partner and I truly hope that, eventually, our boys will love football just as much as we do. After all, any true fanatic understands that football is, first and foremost, a family affair. It's a great excuse to get together, and whether we're all pulling for the same team or not, the love of that quintessential game day experience is something we can all appreciate. Most of us learned from an early age that Sundays are sacred and the refs are the enemy; we know not to talk during third downs and that overtime is more stressful than tax season.

As with any family tradition, the love of football is passed down from generation to generation. Our grandparents taught our parents, our parents taught us, and so we too will teach our own children all about the love of the game. It all sounds very weird and cult-like, sure, but if you were raised in a football family you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Ad failed to load

Chip Dip, Pigs In A Blanket, And Buffalo Wings Are All Part Of A Balanced, Acceptable Tailgating Diet


Look, nine days out of ten we sincerely put forth our most valiant efforts to provide at least somewhat healthy and edible meals for our family and we want to seriously stress the importance of a balanced diet. However, on the days when the Broncos are playing the Patriots,devouring various carbohydrates and trans fats is more than acceptable.

Oh, you thought football was just about watching a bunch of grown men tackle each other? Nope! It's also about wing dip, potato skins, the perfect brisket recipe, and a boutique beer that compliments them all. YOLO.

Weekends Are Reserved For Football (Monday And Thursday Nights, Too)

Football season only lasts for five short months, so we will soak up every last statistic and playoff game for as long as we can. Yes, we will happily attend our kids' soccer games on the weekends and provide limitless snacks and Capri Suns and, yes, they will have our full and undivided attention during said games, but there's a distinct chance that we’re checking ESPN during halftime. Technology has come a long way, so it would be a shame for us to waste such a gift.

Wardrobes Revolve Around Team Colors


Until our boys reached an age where they could pick out their own clothes, a large part of their wardrobe contained various combinations of our team’s colors (even by that point they might have been brainwashed into believing that orange is, in fact, their favorite color). Chock it up to superstition or perhaps lunacy, but we think the whole family needs to wear their lucky shirts and/or appropriate colored attire on game day. No, you're crazy!

Ad failed to load

Wanting To Name Your Kid After Your Favorite Player

Picking a unique baby name was more difficult than obtaining my college degree and, at one point, my partner and I picked a few "back up" names that may or may not have been derived from some aspect of Peyton Manning’s life, or some other part of the game and the athletes who play it. Seriously though, who wouldn’t want to be named after Peyton Manning or Russell Wilson (other than any Patriots fan)?

We Truly Believe That Fall Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year


It could be the changing of the leaves, the cool crisp air, or the delicious seasonal lattes that get us so revved up for autumn, but it’s probably (read: definitely) the beginning of football season that has us, year round, looking forward to fall. Football is only around for six short months of the year and we plan on soaking up every single second of the season. Before we know it, the Super Bowl will be right around the corner and the season will be over, so we plan on making plenty of happy memories to fall back on during that difficult time. Our version of seasonal depression has less to do with the fact that it's winter, and more to do with the fact that football season is over in February.

Football Swag Is Always The Perfect Gift

Friends and family members of football addicts have a lifetime of easy gifting-giving ahead of them. When in doubt, they can opt for team logos on any article of clothing or accessory, and we won't even have to pretend to like it. Sure, we might have twelve different shirts boasting different versions of the same year we won the Super Bowl or the National Championship, but there’s no such thing as too many commemorative tees. Long live 1998!

Ad failed to load

Sometimes We're Emotionally Dependent On The Outcome Of The Game


This isn’t something we’re proud of, and we’re working on it. Though it may, at times, seem like we're emotionally unstable after a tough loss, we are usually normal, mellow, and contributing members of society during the work week. Usually, all we need is a hug, a taco, and a few minutes to whisper-yell profanities in peace, and we’ll be back to our normal selves in no time

We Talk About The Players Like They're Part Of Our Family


Of course we know that Aaron Rogers is completely unaware of our existence, but that doesn’t mean that if we met we wouldn’t immediately become best friends. We’ve grown up watching these players for years and we know their stories and we've seen them struggle (at times), so we feel connected to them. Yes, we might hold a little too tight to even the slightest common denominator between us and them but, I mean, that's normal, right? Like, Clay Matthews loves Campbell’s Chunky Soup? OMG, me too! That's more than enough of a reason to be on a first-name basis with a professional athlete that we've never met.

The truth is, there's so much more to sports than just winning and losing, and growing up in a football family is about a lot more than just football. In the end, it’s about spending time together and bonding over a mutual love of the game. It’s about hospitality and making memories with family. Sure, we love the big hits and the hot wings, but they mean nothing to us if we can’t share them with family.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar

Here Are Some Conditions That Might Require You To Be On Bed Rest During Pregnancy

When I worked in an office, I worked with quite a few pregnant ladies all at the same time. Something must have been in the water, because while I was there for three years, two of my coworkers got pregnant twice, and another girl was pregnant with h…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

I Didn't Follow The Pregnancy Diet Rules & My Daughter Turned Out Just Fine

My diet is an ever-changing and wholly personal thing, which is precisely why I refused to follow any pregnancy diet rules when I was expecting my daughter. For years, I've essentially practiced intuitive eating, in that I listen to my body and eat w…
By Marie Southard Ospina

5 Foods You & Your Partner Should Eat If You're Trying To Get Pregnant

When you're trying to conceive (TTC) and it's just not happening, it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong. It can be soul-crushing to keep seeing negatives when all you really want to do is wave a positive pregnancy test in the air. So wh…
By Kate Miller