Tailgaters and Football and . . . Romance?

I’m a huge fan of Duck football.  Have been for years.  Which is something of a surprise since for most of my adult life I’d considered the sport a huge waste of time.  (I know, huh?!)  But thanks to Hubby, it was either learn to tolerate the game or end up on the sidelines for at least four months out of the year.  THAT wasn’t happening.  I also figured that if I was going to spend a minimum of three hours per game watching a bunch of guys chasing after a ball, I might as well learn as much as I could.

I don’t know about other writers, but I have a hard time turning off the writing brain.  Okay, okay, so I managed to forget about my WIP through the tailgater last weekend.  It wasn’t hard.   

But as I sat in the stands at Autzen Stadium and cheered on the Ducks later, the writing brain clicked on, which led me to an interesting observation: there is a parallel between football and crafting a romance.  And it’s all about conflict.  (Can you tell I’m in edit-mode with my WIP? 🙂 )

I mean, think about it.  The opposing team runs onto the field and the crowd boos.  Yet, without the opposition, we wouldn’t have a game, now would we? 

So too with story.  Happy people doing happy things in a world where everything was perfect all the time is kinda lame.  There would be no story.

In a romance, conflict questions how two people with differing views can possibly fall in love and have a happily-ever-after.  If it isn’t easy to justify a relationship with REAL conflict in REAL life (beyond “he doesn’t put the toilet seat down”), I think it’s even harder when you’re making up a story!  Although some authors are brilliant at it.  Alas, that isn’t me. . .. (Umm . . . hello?  Why else would I be thinking about this stuff during a football game?)

So as I cheered the Ducks, I also came up with a couple of more ways to create greater conflict for my hero and heroine.  (Funny how that worked!  They are sooo gonna hate me!)  Life, after all, isn’t always about the tailgater.  Sometimes, you gotta pay attention to the football game, too.  😉


8 thoughts on “Tailgaters and Football and . . . Romance?

  1. Great post and I love the photos. I have recently become a fan of football…. around the time of the Superbowl because they had hours of pre-show human interest stories. Every football player (both sides) are presented as heroes and their journey is told like a HEA (the heroine being the super bowl).

  2. First, Go Ducks! I’m loving watching them this year. Second, interesting take on how writing a good scene with conflict is like a football game. Though I must admit, the language on the field I could definitely do without. It sounds to me like you are primed to write some football romance stories. 🙂

  3. Hi Jessie! The heroine being the super bowl — Nice!

    I like watching the pre-game coverage of the players, too. A player’s drive and the passion that it takes to reach a goal is always inspiring. Hmmm. . .. kind of like an author’s effort to get “the call”! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

    Happy writing,

  4. Ah, yes, Terri. But I think “playing the game” is where all the fun is! And fortunately in a romance, the reader knows how the story ends. 🙂

    Happy writing!


  5. GO DUCKS! It’s been fun watching the team play over the years. What a program! Although I’ve been told that a couple of decades ago Autzen Stadium wasn’t anywhere near capacity. Frankly, I can’t imagine a Duck game without the energy of a crowded stadium.

    As for writing a football romance. . .. we’ll see! 😉

    Happy writing,

  6. Did I tell you that one of my friends got to be a “guest coach” at the UofA game (my alma mater … ouch), which means he and three others hung out with the team during pre-game warm ups and the pep talk, etc. Two things that stuck me from what he described: the military aspect of the pre-game stuff (all of them shouting back in pre-programmed unison to things Chip Kelly said – almost a liturgy) and the fact that the guest coaches were told that “Chip can talk to you, but you can’t talk to Chip.” Given the score of that game and UW game, whatever Chip is doing works!

  7. No kidding? Well, I imagine like most things in life, what we focus on is what gets us there, hence the military-like approach. (Wondering what drives me? LOL.) And, Mer, knowing you’re human and not prescient, last night’s game was with WSU, not UW — that’s next Saturday! 😉

    Until then, I need chapter 4 from you, so get back to work! 🙂

    Happy writing, my dear CP,

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