If you’re in the States and you have the chance to go to a football game, then you should definitely give it a try. The atmosphere is quite different from that at a UK match – and part of the reason for that is that the audience is much more evenly mixed between the sexes. In fact, 45 per cent of football fans are female, so you definitely won’t feel like you’re in the minority going along.
It’s also one of those all-American experiences that is fun to take part in when you come from a totally different culture. You may not have a clue about what’s going on during the game, but that doesn’t matter – just go along and soak up the atmosphere.
So, you’ll be thinking about what outfit you should wear to an NFL game. Well, a lot depends on the weather, of course. The football season runs from September to February, so in many States, you’re going to want to wrap up warm, or at least have a number of layers so that you can make sure you can adjust according to the weather on the day.
Should you wear a team jersey?
Yes, if that’s what you feel like doing – but there’s no pressure on you to do so. Of course, you should only wear the jersey of one of the teams that is playing – it’s no good turning up in another team’s colours.
If you care about your overall looks, you won’t want to make do with a man’s NFL jersey. These squared-off, shapeless sacks do nothing for a feminine figure. Fortunately, there are plenty of fashion brands that produce NFL wear. For example, there are plenty of great items in the Victoria’s Secret NFL collection and Nike do a whole range of fitted women’s NFL jerseys. You can get the team of your choice, along with particular player names and numbers.
Then there are plenty of other brands that have NFL themed merchandise without limiting themselves to the jerseys. Take a look at Marchesa’s NFL t-shirts, and the cute t-shirts from Touch by Alyssa Milano! They feature team-coloured logs, rhinestones, plunging necklines and super burnout fabrics.
Of course, if you don’t want to wear branded t-shirts or jerseys, you could just go for the casual weekend look with sweat top, jeans and trainers, and show a little team loyalty with a baseball cap with your chosen NFL team logo on it.
While there’s generally a friendly atmosphere at an NFL game, it pays to know a bit about how to act as a spectator. Of course, most of it is good sense, but here are a few things to bear in mind to make sure you don’t inadvertently annoy other spectators.
- As mentioned earlier, don’t turn up in NFL teamwear that doesn’t relate to the two teams on the pitch. That’s a definite sign that you don’t know what’s going on! Also, if you’re going in branded merchandise, you should probably also check that you have this season’s shirt – and not one that is now out of fashion.
- Similarly, don’t wear a sports jersey that belongs to another sport. Other fans will be perplexed if you turn up for an NFL game in a New York Yankees shirt.
- If you want to get a bet on the outcome of the game, place your bets online before the match, using an exchange such as Betfair, where you’ll get all the NFL odds and the best betting margins. Then you can relax during the game and concentrate on the action.
- Drink – but do so in moderation. If you drink too much – you’ll risk offending other people and you won’t really get that much out of being at the game.
- There’s no point getting stressed or irritated if people in front of you stand up during an exciting part of the game. If you want a completely guaranteed view of every second of the game; watch it on TV.
- Don’t leave early. Many of the fans in the crowd will start heading for the exits before the game is over. Don’t follow suit as you might miss an exciting turn of fortunes right at the end of the game.
- Don’t go to a game just to be negative. If you’re not an NFL fan, this is unlikely to apply to you, but believe it or not, some NFL rivalry between teams and their fans runs so deep that some people will go to a match that features just their rival team and not their favourite purely to shout discouraging remarks and send out negative vibes. Never mind that they’re annoying for other people to have to listen to, but you’d think they’d have something better to do.
- Don’t shout at a player if you’re not sure who they are. A lot of NFL fans get overheated by the excitement of the game, and start trying to direct from their seats. However, they’re going to come across as foolish if they don’t know the names of the players that they’re shouting at. And if you’re a newcomer to the game, there’s a good chance you won’t know what you’re talking about!
Your first football game may be the one and only game you go to, or it might spark off an interest in the sport that captivates so many. Either way, it’ll be an experience!