Enjoying a Football Game with Children

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My husband has been coaching high school football for almost 15 years, and since we have six children, I’ve been sitting in the stands with small children, “watching” football, for a long time. I’m not sure how much of the action I’ve really seen, but I have learned a few things about how to enjoy the time with my children.

Be Prepared

1. Build excitement for the game by wearing your team’s colors, applying face paint, and a smart watch. Kids love shiny gadgets like smart fitness watches for sports. Check out skagen watch review to learn more about skagen brand watches. Let the kids throw a football around the yard.

2. If you’re planning to play the sport in your home garden, make sure the grass is completely trimmed so you have a clean ground to play. I personally use orbitrim for small grass. You can read more about reviews of orbitrim on this blog. It’s all about gardening. Plan for accidents by packing Pull-Ups for little ones, extra clothes and a bib in the diaper bag, and baby wipes for sticky fingers.

3. Autumn nights can be chilly, so bring warm blankets and jackets. Snuggling feels great as the evening wears on.

Football Tastes Better with Food

1. Help hungry tummies by bringing simple snacks in your purse, such as packaged “fruit snacks,” candies such as Skittles and bubble gum, or small pretzels and corn chips.

2. Practice math at the concession stand. Bring one-dollar bills and plenty of quarters so that kids can learn to count out money and pay for their own snacks.

3. Prevent soda-pop messes by bringing extra straws and sippy cups.

4. Celebrate touchdowns, field goals, and special team achievements with a special treat all around, such as a candy bar or Smarties.

Show Your Spirit

1. Make noise when spirits lag. Clap and yell with the cheerleaders, stomp with the band, and applaud when your team does well. Bring noisemakers from home, pom-poms, or a colored towel to wave in the air.

2. If children are old enough to begin understanding the strategy of a football game, bring magnetic checkers and try to arrange the football players into their formations. Kids will learn about offense, defense, running and quarter backs, referees, special teams and more.

3. If you’re given a program with the names and stats of players, try to find each player on the field or sideline, or play a guess-how-much-that-player-weighs game. Collect player autographs after the game.

When Kids are Bored

1. Many bleachers are open to the ground below, so tie toys from home onto long pieces of string or yarn. Good toys to bring include Hotwheels (that can race up and down empty seats) and stuffed animals (dressed to match the cheerleaders).

2. Bring a digital or video camera, and plan photo events throughout the game. Bored children will enjoy being the photographer for a few minutes each quarter.

3. Play “I Spy” with all the numbers, colors, and shapes you see. Counting games are fun, too.

Showing support for a parent or older sibling can be a real drag for young children, but with a mom who’s a good sport, everyone can have fun at the game!

Women Only: Check Out Indoor/Arena Football

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Ladies, is your husband always trying to persuade you to attend a football game? Do you go wearing your winter coat, hats, earmuffs, two pair of gloves and a blanket but you’re still cold? Do you hate how your behind gets sore from sitting on those hard benches (even with the stadium seats)? Do you dread getting up out of your seat just to go to the bathroom (I seem to always have to go) or to get refreshments because it’s just too cold. Oh yes, and don’t you hate the huge crowds at professional football games, not to mention the high prices? Well, recently my husband and I found a great solution to our football problem – indoor arena football. Arena football is something that we both enjoy and he doesn’t have to put up with my whining about how cold it is, or how far the bathroom is, or me asking 50 times “what down is this”? No, arena football has solved all of those problems. Now I still occasionally go to one or two high school games (when it’s warm), but no more professional football, not as long as there is indoor arena football.

Why am I so geeked about arena football? Here are the pluses in my opinion in comparison to good old standard “American” football.

It’s Indoors – I live in Michigan so the biggest plus for me is that arena football is indoors. Last night it was really cold outside, but we were warm indoors watching our local team clobber Summit County of Ohio.

The Tickets Are Much Cheaper – Some of you reading this may not know much about indoor or arena football. That’s exactly the point. It is not near as popular as regular football, thus the tickets for games are much, much cheaper. For example, a ticket for a Detroit Lion’s (NFL) game costs around $40-$70 per game, as opposed to going to see the Grand Rapids Rampage (AFL – Arena Football League) which would cost you from $17-$55 to see a game (almost 1/2 the price of an NFL ticket). This past year I tried to get tickets to a college football game and couldn’t believe how pricey those tickets are. Because there are a few indoor and arena football leagues, you have several teams to choose from. My hometown recently got a semi-professional indoor football team. They are a part of the CIFL (Continental Indoor Football League) which has about 14 teams in the league. Tickets for CIFL games usually run from as low as $8 – $16 (and those are the seats where the players sometimes fall in your lap, and you’re bound to catch a ball). In other words, a family of four can go to the game, and have refreshments for under a 100 bucks. Try doing that at an NFL or even a college football game.

More Personal and Personable – Our CIFL team is made up of mostly homegrown talent. Even the coaches are from a local high school team. But don’t fool yourself, it is high level talent. For example, one of our players has played for arena football teams in Nebraska and Oklahoma, and he played for regular/outdoor football teams in Italy and Denmark. Here is the truth, small leagues make for a more personal “fan experience” and they typically also have more personable players. These guys are happy to be fulfilling their dreams, even if it’s not in the NFL. In reality, these guys are not known nationally and surely not internationally, so they don’t usually have big egos. Even though the AFL probably has some of the “biggest stars”, most of you have probably never even heard of the teams let alone the players.

More Intense, More Action, High Scoring – Now the reality is, I still don’t understand the game as well as my husband, and maybe I never will. But I’ve always had trouble following a football game. Possibly this is because in regular/outdoor football there are 11 men from each team on the field. That is a total of 22 players I have to keep up with. In arena football, there are 8 players per team on the field, that’s 16 players, 6 less to have to watch, and in indoor football, only 7 players per team are on the field. The playing space is also much smaller making it easier for me to follow. Arena/indoor football is usually played on a covered basketball or like in our team’s case, a covered hockey rink. The smaller playing space makes for a much more intense competition. It also allows the teams to score many more touchdowns than they would in standard American football. Some other rules in certain leagues make the game more exciting – like a ball continuing in play when it bounces off of the net. Or if you catch a football, it’s yours to keep.

Games Are Shorter – An American football game usually lasts about 4 hours. Now that’s just too long for me. Indoor/arena football games go a little quicker – about 3 or so hours.

Be sure to check out the league websites to see if there is a team in your area. Also, take a look at the pictures from last night’s game. Do you like arena/indoor football? Be sure to leave a comment and help me give indoor/arena football a plug.

How to Dominate Your PPR Fantasy Football League

Fantasy football is a pastime enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Many players don’t understand the difference between a PPR league and a standard league in terms of scoring and draft strategy. Here are some tips to ensure you take home the trophy in your next PPR fantasy football league.

PPR stands for point per reception. Each time a player catches a pass they score one point. (In standard PPR leagues)

Look up PPR player rankings before the draft. Many fantasy football websites have player rankings for both PPR and non PPR leagues. Compare PPR rankings to non PPR rankings in order to find players which have more PPR value, and where they are likely to be drafted.

Target players who receive a lot of targets and receptions. In PPR leagues players who receive a lot passes and rack up a lot of yards have the most value, while value is based solely on yardage in non PPR leagues.

Take into considerations touchdowns, yardage totals, and receptions when drafting players. Since PPR leagues have an additional way players can score points as compared to standard leagues, use all three statistics when targeting players.

Target players who receive a lot of passes. This includes players who don’t rack up a lot of yardage. Players who average 6-8 receptions per game will oftentimes score double digit points even if they don’t get a lot of yards or score a lot of touchdowns. Target these players early and often.

A good example of this type of player is Wes Welker, who routinely catches 6 passes per game for around 50 yards. That is an average of 11 points per game (Standard scoring) not including touchdowns. This makes for a decent WR2 or bench player.

A fantasy football team stacked with players who average a lot of receptions will score higher on average than a team built on yardage totals and touchdowns alone.

Target running backs early in the draft. Running backs have much more value in PPR leagues than in non PPR due to the fact that they score additional points for receptions. A premiere PPR running back can score double digit points for both his running stats and receiving stats. Running backs who can gain a lot of yardage through both the air and ground are the most valuable PPR fantasy players available. Target these running backs in the first few rounds.

High end running backs and wide receivers have more value than high end quarterbacks in standard PPR leagues. Draft accordingly.