Dating a football fan? Here's how to stay in the red zone

Dating a football fan can be intimidating. Amongst talk of player stats, fantasy football picks, franchise tags and salary caps, conversations can be downright daunting. There are loads of lingo-driven words tossed around during the course of a football game, but no need to feel frustrated. Take a deep breath, watch the game, and listen for some of these terms to keep the conversation going:


  1. Audible: Ahem, the commentators are not talking about audiobooks by Amazon. This refers to a quarterback changing the play on the line of scrimmage (where the players line up) before the snap (the transfer of the football from the center to the quarterback... or the punter or place kick holder). This is called in the last seconds before the play clock runs out and allows the offense to make adjustments after seeing how the defense lines up.

  2. Blitz: As in blitzkreig, for historians out there. In this move, the defense attacks more players than usual in an attempt to sack (tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage).

  3. Offside + false start: At the most basic of definitions, an offside call is made when an offensive or defensive player's body is past the line of scrimmage, which results in a penalty of five yards. False start is when an offensive player (usually a lineman) flinches before the ball is snapped to the quarterback.

  4. Pocket: This is not a commentary on team uniform fashion. Instead, it is a commonly heard term referring to the area where the quarterback stands and moves to throw the ball to a receiver. As in "he is in the pocket." In this area, he is protected by his offensive linemen. If they can't protect him, the pocket has "collapsed" and the defense can move in to disrupt a throw or sack the quarterback. No bueno.

  5. Holding: Can occur on both offense and defense and is one of the most common penalties in football. When blocking a defensive player, it is important for the offensive player to stay in front of the defender without grabbing him. On defense, holding most commonly happens when a defensive player is beat downfield by an offensive player and the defense tries to recover by grabbing that offensive player before the ball is thrown by the quarterback.

Looking for perfect date locations for football fun? Be sure to check out these local hotspots:

TVs for miles, Strider's

When it comes to football, guys like to talk about the size of their... ahem, TV screen. Don't make the mistake of knowing nothing about HD, plasma, LED, LCD, OLED, and the merits of instant replay on a big screen. Take the pressure off by heading to Strider's, home of 150 HD TVs and a 15-foot TV wall, in other words, heaven for a football fan. Just be ready for LOTS of commentary.

100 J St., downtown, 619.363.7166, striders.com

"Monday Mash Ups," Draft Republic

Dating someone from a rival team is tough, except at this all-inclusive weekly party. Pass the olive branch while munching on Draft Republic's offerings of signature dishes from both of the team cities playing that week. So if the New Orleans Saints are playing the Carolina Panthers , get ready for some Creole and down-home Southern cookin'. Also up for grabs are $4 beer, wine, and well cocktails, along with a whole smoked beer-brined chicken for $18.95.

4282 Esplanade Ct., University Town Center, 858.450.1400, cohnrestaurants.com/draftrepublic

Double the foam, barleymash

Foam doesn't just come on beer, as the popular downtown spot hands out signature barleymash foam fingers for football fans on Monday nights. Chow down on their popular

600 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.255.7373, barleymash.com

Prizes!, True North Tavern

Take care of holiday shopping by winning big at this North Park staple. To be automatically entered in the contests, football fans just need to register with the bar's NFL Regular Program Rewards, and watch games each weekend on the 25 widescreen HD TV's around the venue. Simple right? Prizes include $100 bar spends (hello, free date), Amazon gift cards, flat screen TVs, and bikes. Seriously, go enter.

3815 30th St., North Park, 619.291.3815, truenorthtavern.com

Gameday/Beach Day, Tavern at the Beach

Before hitting the sand or taking a celebratory swim, enjoy a Hail Bloody Mary at this popular neighborhood locale, while watching any game under the sun on the 42 HD TVs. Celebrate victory or drown the sorrows with a post-game $15 bottle of champagne and mimosa bar.

1200 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.272.6066, tavernatthebeach.com

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