Men Love Sports. How To Speak Their Language Without Sounding Like a Complete Idiot.

By Shannon S. Miller, former sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press

Many men love to meet a woman who enjoys watching the big game as much as they do. Sports can be a natural conversation starter, especially during bowl season, the playoffs and March Madness.

But what if you don’t know the difference between a 4-3 and a 3-4 defense? That’s okay. I can’t think of the last time I got that in-depth about football with a date or with the man I eventually married. But a basic knowledge of some top teams and players can help break the ice with that cute guy you’ve been eyeing across the sports bar!

For the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the top stories in college and NFL football to help keep the ladies on top of their game. Then in March, we’ll switch to college basketball and help you make the picks to win your office pool (and dazzle your potential mates – assuming they like sports, of course!)

College football

The regular season concluded last weekend with conference championships, and the lineups for the holiday season bowl games are set. Although there’s a clear hierarchy among bowl games, if your hometown hosts a game, why not check it out? Cities from San Diego to Detroit offer plenty of activities in the days leading up to the game, and you could find yourself enjoying a great time with some out-of-town fans for a reasonable price.

More than half of the large college football teams will go to a bowl game, but the one everyone will be discussing is the Bowl Championship Series National Championship between Notre Dame and Alabama.

This should be a hot ticket for many reasons. Alabama, ranked second in the nation, is the defending national champion and tends to beat most opponents pretty soundly – save for one loss to Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide almost didn’t make it to the national championship game though, barely beating Georgia in a thrilling Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta last Saturday.

Notre Dame is another historical football power with great tradition, but the school hasn’t always lived up to that storied history in recent decades. Every season when people predict the Fighting Irish will “return to glory,” they often fall short.

Not this year. The Irish are 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation thanks to a stifling defense featuring linebacker Manti Te’o. Alabama is always tough to beat in bowl games and coach Nick Saban is one of the best in the game. With Miami as the backdrop, this Jan. 7 game will be one to watch.

For the next few weeks, we’ll talk about some of the results of the other bowls and what’s going on with Alabama and Notre Dame.

Keep reading for the latest news in the NFL and what you need to know to talk professional football like a pro!

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