Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

“So, maybe you don’t know the names of all the players, but you make an awesome deer chili and you’re superb at beer pong — now is your time to shine, my friend.”

Fall is approaching. In Baton Rouge, that means three things: I can drink red wine instead of white, pretend it’s cold and wear cute boots, and football — football everything.
While a majority of the city is obsessed with football, I can’t say I’m quite there. However, I still attend game-watching parties (for the beer), do my fair share of tailgating (for the food), and I’d never pass up a ticket to the game (for the thrill).

Whether or not you’re into football, this special season still leaves room for love, trust me.

If there are two things that can start a conversation with a perfect stranger in this city, it’s the weather and football. Even if you didn’t watch the game, you can get by with a simple, “Wow, did you watch the game this weekend?”

Doesn’t really matter what game you’re talking about; the next thing you know, you’ve got a new set of digits.

So, maybe you don’t know the names of all the players, but you make an awesome deer chili, and you’re superb at beer pong — now is your time to shine, my friend.

Not so great at cooking or games? Just show up with a tray of Jell-O shots (now that there’s official molds and all) and everyone will want to know you.

Don’t know all the rules to the game? Ask the cute guy next to you. Now, don’t be annoying about it; football is serious business, so ask on the commercial breaks or during timeouts.

Going to a tailgate or a football party is a great way to meet new people. It’s also a good way to see someone you like in a less-formal date setting.

There is a cute guy at my gym that I want to hang out with, and it would be pretty easy for me to shoot him an invite to a football party.

“My friend is having a party if you don’t already have plans to watch the game…”

And if he says no, then at least I put it out there, and then hope that he has a terrible post-game hangover.

If you’re already paired up, perhaps introducing some of your single friends to each other during halftime could result in some extra scoring (I had to) by the night’s end.

While drinking is very likely during the entire football season, and eases tension when you’re meeting someone new, be cautious (read: just eat more gumbo).

A few football seasons ago, I was dating someone new. When he invited me to his tailgate, I was excited to meet all of his friends. They were impressed when I showed up with champagne and homemade hot wings.

But they weren’t impressed when we both drank too much and ended up yelling at each other in the parking lot (complete with foam finger gestures).

If you despise football and everything surrounding it; utilize game days to scope out other locals who also hate it. See a movie, grab a coffee, or hit up the bookstore and see who’s avoiding campus or the bars — could be your next significant other, all because you bonded over hating football.

Truthfully, we’re pretty lucky to live in such a spirited town when it comes to football. It feels like Christmas… only not.

But there’s no other time of year when you can predict what someone is doing on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon — it’s football.

When it comes to football, and dating for that matter, you’re either warming the bench or you’re in the game to make the winning play. The choice is yours.

Read more of Holly’s advice for dating during football season on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com. 


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