There Needs to be More Football Romance

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a marvelous series of books all set around a professional football team, but really, the role of the football announcer has not been sufficiently explored in romance fiction. For one thing, as YA author Carrie Jones pointed out on her blog, there is no shortage of somewhat bizarre, certainly ridiculous and potentially explicit things that football announcers say. Madden especially. He’s a big pink turducken of vaguely erotic commentary.

My favorites from Jones’ list: “The guys love him. He puts them in different positions and they love him.” And: “He’s looking for holding and that’s all he’s looking for.”

However, the single greatest play I’ve heard of was a firsthand experience of Hubby: in the 1994 AFC playoff between the Dophins and the Chargers (who later went on to beat the Steelers,which sucked), Hubby saw Aubrey Beavers and Bryan Cox of the Dolphins converge to tackle Chargers running back Marion Butts. The call: say it out loud! “Cox and Beavers converge on Butts.”

How is this not the stuff of totally win-full and epic comedic contemporary romance?! 

[Thanks to Stephanie Burgis for the link.]

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  1. 1

    I’m not a football fan, though of course, I love my Gators, but that quote almost makes it a pastime worth pursuing.[g]

  2. 2
    Kismet says:

    You should have a football romance contest.

    Bonus points to any author who can use “Double Yoi” appropriately.

  3. 3
    ev says:

    I love Terry Bradshaw. I will turn on a pre-game show just to listen to what comes out of his mouth. And I hope to hell he keeps coming on the new Jay Leno show when it moves. (They remind me of Johnny Carson and Burt Reynolds and how you never know what to expect but it will be dirty!)

  4. 4
    Angela James says:

    I noticed last night that Madden was particularly fond of the word penetration, which just did not compute for me.

  5. 5
    jmc says:

    Along the same lines:  why not more romance, erotic or otherwise, set amongst tennis players?  As I watched the men’s final yesterday, the announcer kept talking about strokes, especially when there was a particularly long volley (16-18 strokes).  I snickered.  A lot.

  6. 6
    hydecat says:

    Baseball announcing is like that too. For example.. “he likes to take it inside.” My husband and I watch the games and just giggle at the stuff that comes out of the announcer’s mouth.

  7. 7
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Bella Andre has a whole series of super hot football romances that started coming out in 08.

  8. 8
    Julianne says:

    During the Superbowl, I was giggling so hard when Madden was going on and on about Larry Fitzgerald’s big hands.  He wouldn’t stop talking about them.

  9. 9
    Silver James says:

    Half the fun of sports is listening to the announcers. It’s all “off the cuff” and they have no clue what they are saying.

  10. 10
    Aunt Lynn says:

    I, too, noticed Madden saying “penetration.”  Hee!

    Congrats Steelers fans (of which I am one, Penn Hills born and bred)!

  11. 11

    I have to say that every time my the announcers on my husband’s favorite sport—mixed martial arts—start shouting “he’s going for a rear naked choke!” it’s very, very hard for me not to snort soda through my nose.  I mean, seriously.  A rear naked choke?

  12. 12
    StacieH4 says:

    Years ago, my husband and I were ‘snuggling’ on the couch in front of a football game and the announcer, might have been Madden, suggested the losing team needed to hold onto the ball and ram it up the middle.  And thus, a new euphamism was born in our house.

  13. 13
    SonomaLass says:

    I <3 John Madden.  His knowledge of the game amazes me; I lost count of how many times yesterday he would comment on some aspect of one team or player, and that would turn out to be a crucial element within the next play or two.  Just incredible.

    I think it is endearing that he doesn’t hear, or doesn’t acknowledge, the wonderful double entendre in so much of what he says.  But I love the idea of comic romance that plays it up.  I join the call for a contest; specifically football related, in honor of SB Sarah’s Stillers.  Maybe you can make a Terrible Towel part of the prize?  (That’s a loaded term around my house already —a “terrible towel” in my family means one that has been used to protect the mattress from…something….)

  14. 14
    amy lane says:

    “Big pink turducken…” 

    Guys—besides the Madden quotes, I think that one’s going to stick with me for a loooooong time…

  15. 15
    Fizz says:

    While we’re on it, why not more ‘football romance’ in general?

    Why not tell a story with soccer in it, or either of the rugby codes, or Aussie Rules? NFL’s not the only code with double entendres in the commentary box…

  16. 16
    Victoria Dahl says:

    A huge shout out to Jennifer Echols for writing a hilarious romantic comedy built around football. I don’t like sports. I don’t watch football. And I LOVED it. Not slapstick hilarious, just WITTY and sexy as all hell.

    It didn’t get picked up though… Damn it.

  17. 17
    Strategerie says:

    I’m currently finishing up a romantic comedy. My hero is a former pro football player turned NFL Network announcer.

    I’m hoping that an editor finds it wonderful. ;-)


  18. 18
    Crystal says:

    Yes. I’m a huge fan of American football, both college and pro, and I’ve been looking high and low for football romance of any sort (m/m is the obvious choice: tight ends, wide receivers? Seriously?) with no success. Why is this? I mean, there’s John Madden and his love of penetration, then there’s hesitation as an announcer introduces “Riley Cooper, [Florida Gators quarterback] Tim Tebow’s… roommate”… the list goes on!

  19. 19

    Jesus, Sarah. As Vicki says, I had an adult romantic comedy make the rounds, and more than one editor said she might have bought it if it weren’t about football. Worse, the hero was in charge of PR for the team, and the heroine was an announcer. Hilarity ensued. Just kill me softly with your song. If you post “why aren’t there more country music band romances,” I’m going to bed.

    And Vicki: stop telling me to come over here. I was really happy and getting a lot of work done not knowing about this post. *grumble grumble*

    Verification word: ill76. HAHAHAHA

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:

    Baseball is lovely for the entendres. J.J. Hardy was once featured in a CBS SportsLine headline in truly wonderful fashion: “J.J. Hardy Likes it in the Two Hole.”

    And yes, there needs to be more country music band romances. No question.

    (That would actually be awesome).

  21. 21

    Also…for those of you who read YA, there’s an adorable romantic comedy called Love, Football, and Other Contact Sports by Alden R. Carter. It’s actually a series of interlinked stories, and it starts with the female school newspaper reporter’s list of what kind of boy you have to be in order to play each position on the football team—HILARIOUS. In short, this book is so cool that I still can’t believe it got published—do you ever get that feeling while reading? Totally clean, OK for younger teens.

  22. 22
    Victoria Dahl says:

    And Sarah rubs salt in the wound! Damn, I’m outta here before Jenn hits me.

  23. 23
    OH says:

    Crystal: For a m/m football story, Quarterback Sneak by Pepper Espinoza. Very sweet.

    Never liked football but maybe I should give it another shot, I’m missing comedy gold. (Ok, comedy bronze, but I’ll take my laughs where I can get them)

  24. 24
    Kate Pearce says:

    There was a very famous moment during a cricket match in the UK between England and the West Indies, when the announcer stated (quite correctly) that the bowler was Holding the batman’s, Willy.
    Totally true and totally hilarious :)

  25. 25
    Kaetrin says:

    In Australia it’s Aussie Rules (AFL) football.  A couple of years ago Dean Cox, a VERY tall ruckman (leaps about tapping the ball on to other players when the football is bounced or thrown in) took a screamer of a mark (this is when they “catch” the football – a screamer is when there is a big leap, sometimes using another player as a springboard (a “specky”).  The commentator was so excited he roared “BIG COX!!!!!”.

    There was a moment of silence and then the rest of commentary team (and prolly the audience too) sniggered.  A lot.

    I just forwarded this story to my husband.  His response?

    BIG COX!!!!!!

  26. 26
    KimberlyD says:

    On a local morning radio show, The Rod Ryan show, someone cut and spliced the Superbowl commentary and made the dirtiest football announcing I’ve ever heard. All the “penetration” and “big hands” you could ever want. It was full of win. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a link to it on their website.

  27. 27
    Stelly says:

    I was quite excited when I read the title of this one until I realized that it was about American Football and not soccer.

  28. 28
    StephanieL says:

    Bella Andre has written some good football-themed romance, but they are m/f though.

  29. 29
    flawlessb says:

    Mills & Boon is releasing a series of rugby-themed books. Their press release was titled “No knickers at Twickers.” Def. puts a new spin on “To Ruck or not.”

  30. 30
    ms bookjunkie says:

    Catherine Hart’s book Impulsive is a really satisfying (IMHO) read where the h/h are both connected to a football team. A lot of the action takes place around the stadium, on the road, involving the team etc. Especially since the team seems to be experiencing a lot of bad luck…or is it sabotage? I heartily recommend it! (It was published around ten years ago.)

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