Football games: How to feign a fan obsession

I am a fraud.

The statement has no bearing on my credibility as a nightlife and dating expert, despite the fact that I spent last weekend watching infomercials with my dog.

Instead, my imposter status applies to the world of sports — chiefly football.

Sure, my ambiguous references to “the game” have likely led you to believe that I own a front row seat in fan territory.

But I’m just a good actress. And I’m likely not the only one.

This weekend’s Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic will inevitably attract plenty of fans more interested in the social scene than the game.

Some will openly confess their lack of interest. Others will hide behind fried chicken and just-purchased fan apparel.

Welcome to my world.

Before you criticize me for validating a belief that women would rather polish their nails than watch football, I’ll note my reasoning has little to do with gender.

I like tailgating. I like the game’s intricacies. I even enjoy football-shaped beer koozies.

The problem, however, lies in my failure to develop a die-hard allegiance to a specific team.

Nearly three decades after infancy, I’m reaping the side effects of my parents’ failure to dress me in NFL onesies.

Without a definitive athletic obsession, I bounce between fan circles — much like a “Survivor” castaway too timid to stick with a single alliance.

How do I navigate such a deceptive, covert lifestyle? Thanks for asking.

There’s always the easy route — avoiding the game entirely and spending your time at a viewing party’s food spread. While entirely acceptable, it’s not the most challenging route.

True imposters prefer to immerse themselves among real fans.

Most of my success lies in four simple words: “Can you believe that?”

The question reflects either extreme disappointment or extreme elation, depending on your interpretation. That makes it an ideal viewing party mantra for any fake fan.

My only word of caution: Avoid any vocal inflection that would indicate an obvious team preference.

Also, choose your game-day apparel carefully. In the world of team colors, I usually opt for hues that can be considered either black or navy blue.

Sometimes, I flaunt an even rarer color: the dubious “red-orange.” When party goers ask me to which hue I’m wearing, I turn the tables — “What do you think?”

But I guess all my secrets are out.

If you’re an avid fan, you’ll now recognize the imposters who linger around the chili bowl and offer vague words of enthusiasm about “the game.”

So how do you address the issue?

Just say you can’t believe it.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516.

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