There are two seasons: football season and off-season. Sometimes this surprises people. Whaaaa!?! A girl likes football!?! Maybe it’s because I’m a Texas girl, a bit of a tomboy, and ultra-competitive, but I live for fall and winter. If you love pigskin (and even if you don’t), there are some amazing shows to catch and keep you entertained between setting your fantasy line-up and game days (both college and pro).
The League [Season 6 currently airing on Wed at 10/9c on FXX]
Being as last night was the premiere of The League’s sixth season on FXX, I have to start with this show, written and based on a couple that both participate in fantasy football leagues. I was a little skeptical at first, and not sure if this show would be for me, but I instantly fell in love with the many characters and interesting dialogue that seems so conversational and realistic. Please be aware that this show gets away with a lot of shenanigans, trash talk, Shiva blasts, casual drug-use, sex, pranks, borderline racism, and I’ll-do-anything-to-win behavior between our six main characters. I wouldn’t recommend watching this with your kids, your grandparents, or your pastor; but if you can take this comedy and run with it, you will find yourself binge-watching the hell out of this show and singing your way into the Shiva Bowl. As a second-year fantasy football player, I find myself wishing my league had the same atmosphere and comradery as The League, minus Dirty Randy and all the drug use of course. Guess I can’t complain if I have Megatron in my starting line-up though. “Shiva, kamini-soma, kandarkram-shiva, kaminisomakandarkram, hey!” (5 seasons on Netflix)
Coach [1989-1996 on ABC]
Who doesn’t love them some Craig T. Nelson? Please, tell me you know who Craig T. Nelson is. He’s Coach. This is iconic 90s television at its best. ‘Nuff said. (9 seasons on Netflix)
Friday Night Lights [2006-2011 on NBC]
I told you I was a Texas girl. Naturally, this show is set in a small Texas town known as Dillon, and is full of heart, drama, and football. Honestly, this show is a million times better than its movie counterpart, with Kyle Chandler (Early Edition, Homefront) playing Coach Taylor, a man of integrity and a true father-figure and role model for his team. Connie Britton (Spin City, American Horror Story, Nashville) plays his wife, a guidance counselor and mother to their high school daughter dealing with her own growing pains. Friday Night Lights will get you pumped for football season. “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.” (5 seasons on Amazon Prime and Netflix)
Blue Mountain State [2010-2012 on Spike TV]
Blue Mountain State is the raunchier, more outrageous older brother of Friday Night Lights, making Spike TV the perfect home for this football saga. Be prepared for stereotypical jock-talk, college partying, sex-capades, and oh yeah, a little bit of football. It makes The League appear much, much tamer. “I did some uppers annnd then I did some downers. Annnnnd then I chased the dragon. Not proud of that.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you. (3 seasons on Amazon Prime and Netflix)
Pros vs. Joes [2006-2010 on Spike TV]
Another Spike TV sports show, only this time it’s a reality show that brings the Average Joe face-to-face with a Pro athlete to compete in athletic events for a title, bragging rights, and some cash. I love watching people talk smack and only occasionally come out victorious, and the pros are talented and entertaining. Re-live your glory days and watch Pros vs. Joes. (5 seasons on Amazon Prime)
Behind the Mask [2013 on Hulu]
When you think of a team, you often think of the mascot, and this original docu-series on Hulu shows you the world of being a mascot on every level: high school, college, semi-pro, and pro. You will be rooting for Rooty, saying “hey” to Hey Reb, and bowing down to Bango in no time. Hopefully a second season will be out soon, but for now, enjoy this Sports Emmy Nominated Series on Hulu. (1 season available on Hulu Plus)
Stereotypes: Fantasy Football [Dude Perfect on YouTube]
Even though Dude Perfect is a company developed by a bunch of Aggies, these Texas boys know how to entertain people, especially with their short-form series known as Stereotypes. Get your laughs from their fantasy football stereotypes video that captures every personality in a league perfectly. “Fantasy Football, it’s not fantasy. It’s real life.”
First Take [Currently airing M-F 10am/9am, central on ESPN2]
Don’t get me started on the epic casting of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith as analysts for one of my favorite sports talk shows on ESPN. I don’t often find myself watching sports analysis, but when I do, I prefer First Take. These guys make any and all topics entertaining, especially because they never seem to agree on anything, which makes for heated and hilarious conversions. Also, as a side note, I find Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith’s names entertaining to say, and Skip’s resemblance to Maury Povich uncanny.
College GameDay [Currently airing Sat 9am/8am, central on ESPN]
Apart from the fact that College GameDay held their weekend broadcast in Fort Worth for College Kick-off this year, I have to say that this is one of the most thrilling ways to wake up on a Saturday morning. It’s like Saturday morning cartoons for football fans. I know a lot more people who watch college ball than the NFL (which is part of the reason why I joined a fantasy league, so I could find more love for the pros). Every week College GameDay hits the road, showing viewers what fans are like across the nation. They go over the major games of the day and what fans should expect, while also giving a nod to the local college they’re visiting. This show really gives you a sense of pride and joy for the college energy and atmosphere. Sometimes I get up on Saturday morning, eat my cheerios, watch College GameDay, and feel like I’m still a college kid. Honestly, it’s totally worth waking up early on the weekend to watch this program… unless your rival team’s hosting. Then you may get a little sick of the scenery.
Epic Meal Empire [Season 1 currently airing on Sat at 10pm/9pm, central on FYI]
Part of the reason why I love football season is because of the food. And if you haven’t heard of Epic Meal Empire (formally known as Epic Meal Time), then you haven’t read my first blog post. Tsk-tsk. Anyway, Epic Meal Empire began as the YouTube channel Epic Meal Time, in which big, burly men made these, well, epic meals loaded with the most ridiculous ingredients and typically resulting in caloric values in the 2,000-10,000 calorie range. With their YouTube success, these guys started a company to make epic meals for businesses and events. What better way to spend your evening watching a food masterpiece come to life, after already gorging yourself with potato skins and frothy beverages? (Episodes on Hulu)
Well, I hope this scratches that football itch you’ve been having all spring and summer. Now go lock your line-up, because regular season starts in just a few hours and nobody likes a lazy coach.