Sure, I picked up a few football buzzwords here and there, but it didn’t prove very fruitful for me. I had about three player names in my arsenal, and I kept them in heavy rotation: Tim Tebow (because my mom was already planning our wedding), RG3 (because I automatically supported anyone who was helping Waco be known for something other than housing a cult), and AJ McCarron/Tyler Bray (whom I considered the same person for some reason, using them interchangeably, and whom I only knew of because they both had horrifying body art). Needless to say, someone could’ve stepped up to the plate and helped a sister out.
That being said, here is what you need to know in order to have a meaningful conversation with your wife, girlfriend or potential love interest between the months of May and July:
Doug, 33, Real Estate Agent
The thing you need to know about Doug is that he gets REALLY annoyed when the other guys try to impress Emily with their "fancy vocabulary," meaning any word that can be found in a 4th grade level textbook or higher. Doug is so down to earth, man. Doug doesn’t do ostentatious, showy things like use correct grammar and stuff to woo Emily. Nah, brah. Doug is REAL. You will be able to recognize Doug immediately from his incessant use of the brain cell-murdering phrase, "Check yourself, Brah," his go-to line whenever one of the guys says something Doug doesn’t really understand, which is every time.
Tony, 31, Lumber Trader
Tony likes to exploit his young child in order to win Emily’s heart (sadly, so does Doug, but I figured he had enough problems to deal with already, including figuring out what “exploit” means, so I decided I'd leave him alone here). Tony’s tactic is one I can't necessarily knock, because sadly, I've seen it used quite efficiently before. Except it wasn't by a guy on a TV show, it was by my mom, Trudy. And it wasn't to win a man's heart, but the hearts of tens of mall dwellers that had the good fortune (or misfortune) of stumbling upon my Willowbrook Stripmall performances during the years of ’93-’95. Tired from all their shallow and meaningless mall shopping from the day, these people were craving a performance with passion-- these people with their empty wallets and hungry eyes. They were craving real, raw emotion, and Trudy wasn't about to let them down. Which is why she wanted not fake but REAL tears in my eyes when I sang the Tanya Tucker classic love song, "Without you."
Not having had many forlorn lovers to evoke said tears in my ripe age of 6, Trudy wisely put a 5x7 headshot of my tiny puppy, Halo, next to me on the stage, draped Halo’s hot pink leash around my neck, and then told me to imagine Halo had run away and I was singing the desolate, ghostly melody in remembrance of her. All Trudy had to do was kick back and watch the waterfalls flow as the sweet sounds of 14 pairs of clapping hands roared in. And it was all worth it.
Stevie, 26, Party Emcee
Then there’s the guy who's always accusing everyone of “being in it for the wrong reasons” or being the "wrong guy" with the "wrong motives." There’s one every season, and they are more irritating than the guy who’s always saying “I just really feel like we have a real connection here, you know?” I am so sick of Stevie the Party Emcee getting to dictate who is wrong each episode. You know what's REALLY wrong about this situation, Stevie boy? The way you’re just sitting there smiling, all smug and carefree, when you know good and well that you have not one but TWO HIGHLY OFFENSIVE patches of hair just chillin’ there on your face, all up in everyone's space. You need to worry more about the deformed eyebrow haphazardly sprouting out from under your lower lip and leave the rest of the guys alone. Your facial hair decision is careless, way too aggressive, and frankly just rude, and what's worse is that you don't even care what it does to me and every other innocent pair of eyes on this planet. So until you become more respectful of everyone and take a Gillette MACH3 Turbo to that mess, everyone else on that show is more right than you.
Charlie, 32, Recruiter
Oh Charlie. Ambiguous, enigmatic Charlie. Charlie “The Recruiter” from Nashville. Recruiter of what, we do not know. Recruiter of corporate executives? Of sous chefs? Of small Asian children? We may never know. However, part of being a good writer is knowing your audience. And since I know y'all so well, I'm going to suggest that you think of Charlie as a recruiter of SPORTS. Of football! Finding the show more bearable to watch now? I thought so.
Jef with one F, 27, Entrepreneur
Typically, I’d start out with a stale, trite joke about “entrepreneur” really meaning “unemployed joker” in Jef’s native language of “Moronic” which is spoken in his hometown of “Loserville” where he took classes in “Man Bouffants 101,” but I actually like the guy. He’s sweet and soft-spoken and always looks away disinterestedly whenever he catches Emily’s eye (so he’s either playing super hard to get (HOT) or he’s gay (STILL HOT)). Right now, all you men have nothing to talk about except how many more days until football season kicks off. But we women? We get to talk about Jef with one F’s luscious man-pompadour. And if you want any chance at any sort of conversation with us any time soon, you will learn to talk about that, too.
Chris, 25, Corporate Sales Director
Alright, look, I'm just gonna save everyone some time here. Please, just do yourself a huge favor here and either gouge out your eardrums with rusted ice picks (unsanitized) and/or drink a bottle of bleach (industrial-sized) whenever this man begins to open his mouth and attempts to make conversation (and I use the phrase “make conversation” more loosely than it’s ever been used before in the history of phrases, ever).
Lerone, 29, Real Estate Consultant (but you can just call him “Token Black Guy”)
Lerone is a great guy who—oh wait, never mind. Lerone didn’t make it past Episode One. Lerone was sent packing after the very first rose ceremony. Lawsuit commencing in 3…2…1…
Ryan, 31, Pro Sports Trainer
Ryan is just your average dude with tiny baby ears and pointy hair. He’s not really that interesting or compelling or intelligent, but he has radioactive white teeth and dimples (HANDSOME) and the kind of socially-acceptable man boobs that you’re pretty sure he could make dance up and down with the effortless flexing of his pectoral muscles (HOURS OF ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOU BOTH), so Emily is into him, obviously. I’m including him here because he works in SPORTS and used to play SPORTS. Another SPORTS connection, guys. A comforting thought you can reference whenever you find yourself in the living room with your girlfriend watching as a few dozen full grown men lather on coconut oil and hair gel and strut their shiny, hairless bods around on your TV screen.
So there you have it, your All-Star Roster of players to keep your eye on this season. Football season gets closer every day, and soon enough all will be right with your worlds again. Soon, you will be back to watching meat heads in tights and helmets running around trying to win a boring, silly game; so right now, you’ll just have to quietly take your seat and be content with watching meat heads in bathing suits and body spray running around trying to win a boring, silly girl. (Emily is boring and silly because she is skinner than me and has better clothes. If she had cankles and dressed a little on the frumpy side, I'd obviously have nicer things to say.)
Now go impress your woman with your newfound knowledge. You'll have more sex than you ever believed was possible.
You owe me.