Oh, lighten up! The wigs. The official NFL jerseys. The pig snouts. The strips and stripes and logos stenciled on face and abdomen. The Swiss cheese hats. The Viking helmets. It's all just good, clean fun. Isn't it?
Well, maybe when you try to wash off those blue and white stripes, not so clean. Better stick with the NFL jersey.
Still, why go to all that trouble just to root for your favorite football team? Can't you have just as much fun in jeans and a T-shirt as you could in, say, a Swiss cheese hat and an authentic Packers jersey?
Consider this: the team itself is not satisfied to dress in jeans and a T-shirt. Granted, it helps to have a visual clue when you're trying to throw a pass. Or make a block. Keeps the passing to and blocking of the wrong team to a minimum.
And that's the point: the team. By their uniforms ye shall know them.
There's something to be said for the camaraderie generated by dressing alike. When her kids were teenagers, a friend of ours noted that they made a point of dressing ‘differently. ’ Which meant not like their parents. But, she observed, they all dressed exactly like each other!
So, too, if you're tailgating in the parking lot, by your NFL jersey shall they know you. Instantly, total strangers become long-lost friends.
Okay. Depending on which NFL jersey you happen to be wearing. But that still makes half the people in the parking lot friends. And it's not as if you'll be going to war with the rest of them. Well, probably not, anyway.
That is, dressing in the NFL gear of your choice can create a sort of non-toxic difference. The kind that usually allows both sides to have a drink (coffee, tea, or Bud Light) with each other after (or during) the game.
And look: you're not going to get half of the world to fall in love with the other half anyway. Not even on your best day. So if you can get at least a quarter of the spectators at any football game to become buddies with another quarter, well, you're half way toward, if not world peace, at least a merrier football stadium.
Besides, it's fun.
Bob Brooker and Kaye O'Dougherty have long believed that if you're willing to learn about football, it can improve your relationship, spice up your love life, and maybe even change the world. So they wrote a book about it: Football is for Lovers. You'll find it - plus relationship tips, articles, and how to dress for the game - at their website, http://www.footballforlovers.com They have thoughtfully made available a supply of NFL jerseys to put you in the mood as you read it. They're at http://www.footballforlovers.com/page/1309127