Facts About Alcohol and Football Season
Watching football is one of America’s national pastimes, averaging over 17 million viewers during regular season games and over 90 million for the 2022 Superbowl. Football fans love their sport passionately, and the athleticism and pageantry of NFL games are spectacular to behold, either live at the stadium or home with friends. All that excitement can create a powerful thirst for alcohol, making finding out tips on how to enjoy your favorite sport and maintain sobriety essential.
Celebrating team success at home or the stadium often includes having a few drinks for many football fans. On average, NFL fans consume 3.7 drinks on game day, which is higher for attending a live sporting event versus watching at home. Up to 47% of NFL fans also report binge drinking during a game, with Atlanta Falcons fans reporting the highest percentage of binge drinking, up to 87%. Many manufacturers of beer, and other alcohol, have longstanding business relationships with the NFL and feature prominently in their advertising.
How Much Do NFL Fans Drink?
Unsurprisingly the most popular alcoholic beverage on NFL game day is beer. Alcohol sale statistics indicate the average NFL fan will spend at least 50 dollars on alcohol at the stadium, which is more than college football, but less than the NBA, NHL, and MLB. As mentioned above, Falcons fans are the biggest binge drinkers in the league, followed by the Jaguars, Cardinals, and Bills. If their team loses, fans report drinking more, and 34% consume more alcohol. On the flip side, 31% of fans reported drinking more if their team was winning. Consuming alcohol is deeply embedded into NFL gameday culture, and tailgate parties are notorious for their drinking games and consumption.
Triggers to Drink During Football Season
With beer flowing like water all around you, either at your friends or a live event, it can feel incredibly isolating not to partake, especially if you are newly on your sobriety journey. There are reminders about alcohol everywhere, from game advertising to TV commercials. Having had several drinks already, your friends may offer you a drink on them, and they have trouble understanding why you have to say no. You may be at a pub or bar, and people could be buying rounds after the home team scores. Temptation and the desire to have a beer are everywhere during sporting events and are impossible to ignore.
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Tips for Watching Football Without Jeopardizing Your Sobriety
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can adopt to avoid relapse. It’s a good idea to discuss and formulate a plan for enjoying football sober with your therapist when in treatment for alcohol addiction, but the following tips can also help:
- Peer support – Chances are you aren’t the only football fan in recovery. Utilize groups such as AA or SOS and see if another member will accompany you to a game. Or ask a good friend to be your sober buddy for football games.
- Opt to watch the game from a restaurant instead of a pub or bar
- Set boundaries with your friends, tell them how important your recovery is to you, and ask them not to offer or pressure you to drink. True friends will respect your boundaries.
- Bring a non-alcoholic drink with you, like club soda, ginger ale, kombucha, or sweet tea.
- Attend a recovery group meeting before the game to re-emphasize and re-enforce your reasons for staying sober.
What to Do if You Relapse
Alcoholism is a cunning disease, and if you aren’t consistently focused on your recovery, it is easy to slip up and have a few drinks. The desire to drink can make you forget why you wanted to get sober in the first place, and you had good reasons to try, firstly that your drinking negatively affected your relationships and your life. If you go to a game and end up consuming alcohol, you wouldn’t be the first person to have a relapse from sobriety. You must reach out and connect with your recovery team and formulate a plan for being successful at sobriety on NFL game day. Call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today; we’re here to help.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.