Your Football Friends: Analyzed

At any football game, you’re sure to run into a variety of fans that choose to express their loyalty to the sport in a number of ways. Whether you find them annoying, hilarious, or maybe a little of both, no NFL football game would be complete without at least some of these colorful characters. As you go through this list, you’re sure to spot at least one friend who fits a description below and even though they might annoy you, you know deep down that watching a game without them would be boring.

The Pessimist

This fan typically keeps quiet until something goes wrong, not wanting to disturb the fragility of any potentially positive outcome.  If the rival team makes positive yardage on a play, The Pessimist will often be known to say “Our defense can’t stop anyone today and it’s been like this all year.”  One incomplete pass clanks to the ground or nicks a receiver’s fingers and suddenly the Quarterback, Receivers and Offensive Coordinator need to find new jobs.  This fan is usually OK to watch a game with, provided the team they root for is playing well, but at the first sign of trouble it’s a one way ticket to negative city.

The Jersey Freak

We all have those people in life who run a little late, but we adjust.  If dinner is at 6:00, you tell them 5:30 just so they don’t hold everyone up. If the you want to pick them up for tailgating at 10:00am, you had better tell them to be ready by 9:00 or you’re going to miss out on valuable time.  So what is the reason why this next fan on our list is consistently late?  Their closet is filled to the brim with football jerseys.  You want to see the Denver Broncos 1986 throwback look? They’ve got 5 in home AND away.  They can never decide which jersey best represents the level of fanaticism that day, and usually spend hours debating between looks before going with old reliable.  Combine this with an NFL fan who is superstitious “I wore this jersey and beanie combo every day during our teams 2001 playoff run and it hasn’t failed me since” and it could be hours before they are ready to head out the door for the game.

The Optimist

Usually optimism is a character trait the people love to be around – unless you watch football games with the fan who has never seen a lead that can’t be overcome.  If your team is down by 20 points with 2 minutes to go, they enjoy creating ridiculous scenarios involving turnovers and onside kicks, that, if executed properly, will undoubtedly lead to a victory for your team.  This is the fan that boos when your team punts on 4th and 10 inside your own 20 because they are absolutely certain that the offense can pick up the first down.  It’s cute in the first quarter, but by halftime it’s taxing. During the final two minutes, if you’re not careful, you might actually find yourself buying into some of their outlandish theories.

The Fantasy Guru

As more and more fans become enamored with fantasy football, fewer of us can actually appreciate a football game for what it truly is.  If you haven’t watched a game with someone who has a fantasy wide receiver on their team and their opponent has the fantasy quarterback from the same team going. Every pass is a roller coaster of emotions that will leave you nauseous by game’s end. You are constantly harried by screams of “get _____ involved in the game” or “why do you keep throwing it to _____, he has no fantasy value!” And if all that wasn’t bad enough, try watching a game with the fan that has more than one fantasy league going at the same time when one of their players in one league is owned by someone else in another league (and they’re playing each other this week).

The Texter

While their label as a “fan” might be in question, we all know the person who texts throughout the entire game.  Whether they are texting the play by play to a friend who was unable to make the game, or trying to reignite the flames of an old relationship after one too many beers, this fan usually spends most of the game looking down at their phone instead of on the field where the real action is happening. Don’t even bother asking the texter what they thought of that last play because odds are that they didn’t even know that the teams had returned from their timeout. It doesn’t really get bad until the drive back home after the game, when their phone battery is finally dead and they just stare blankly as the rest of the group recounts the game.

The Statistician

Stats are good things to have. We like to know that Tom Brady throws for over 300 yards per game and that the Broncos have the best rushing attack in the NFL. But we don’t need to know that when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing 9mph east to west after 5pm, that Drew Brees has a passer rating of .347 above average – it’s just too much.  This is the fan who knows every stat for every player and thinks that they can predict how the game will turn out based on these numbers alone.  The phrase “that’s why they play the game” was specifically invented to shut fans like the statistician up, although it rarely works. This fan seems to spend half the game crunching numbers trying to decide at what particular moment in time certain statistical achievements will be made – all that they’re missing is the little green visor and an accounting calculator.

So which one of these fans would you take if you won tickets to the Super Bowl?  Visa has recently launched the Visa YOU + TEN Draft app on Facebook, which will analyze your social graph to find the ten best people to bring with you.  The app will identify your perfect Super Bowl crew by picking out your closest connections and social influencers, from the person you’re tagged in the most pictures with to the one with the most “likes.”  To find out which of your friends would make your 10-person Super Bowl crew, play Visa’s YOU + TEN Draft app here: http://www.facebook.com/VisaNFL?sk=app_259824094080710

Disclosure: We received compensation from Visa for sharing our views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa or the NFL’s. For more information about Visa NFL’s You+Ten Draft App, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/VisaNFL?sk=app_259824094080710

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.