There’s nothing better than rounding up the squad to watch a game. The room fills with team pride and manliness. We are all gathered for one purpose and that is to watch our team smack a W on the other teams lips.

Picking the group you watch the game with is a lot like running a franchise. There’s certain people you can’t have in the room or they bring the environment down. Sometimes you have to trade a guy out because he hasn’t been keeping up with the team or he’s caked up with a succubus. Over time I have found the types of people I try to avoid giving the call to on game day. They posses various characteristics that distract from the game and make you want to curb stomp them. Allow me to explain a few of them.

You don’t want Debbie Downer in the room. You know the type, he’s the one who complains about the team constantly.

“He doesn’t play hard, he’s trash!”

“Why did he call that play?!?! I coached rec league for three years and I know better than that play!”

“My God why is he in the game?!”

“This is where we lose! Watch this!”

It makes you begin to wonder if he’s really even a fan. His negativity over powers the room and you pray he doesn’t draw his next breath. There isn’t a single possession he’s happy with. When the game ends and your team won by 20, he talks about how lucky they were.

You also want to avoid inviting The Big Game Guy. The Big Game Guy only cares when the team is playing a in a high profile contest. He doesn’t call when your team is playing the Browns but if they are playing the Patriots on Monday night he’s blowing your phone up wondering what time to get to your house. He hasn’t watched a game all season, but does a quick summary on his phone before he shows up and is suddenly the smartest guy in the room. He shows up wearing the team jersey freshly cleaned and matching visor. The sun hasn’t shined in a week.

Avoid The Old Guy too. You probably wouldn’t call him anyway. He is usually thrusted upon you because he is a member of your wife’s family. Grandpa George stills calls black athletes “colored boys”. He hasn’t kept up with the team since the 70’s but is fired up for this particular game. He thinks everything is a walk. He naps at halftime. He looks to you to back him up when he calls a foul, that clearly wasn’t, while sitting in your recliner. Grandpa George likes to have sidebar convo about his garden and his recent doctor visit. He says his stool is back to normal. You think about which nursing home he will like least.

Skip over the friend with the BSO. That’s the Bitchy Significant Other. She shows up decked out in team colors complete with matching nails. She also brings a fake enthusiasm for the game. She has no idea who the other team is but she’s “pumped”.

“Oh my Goddddd aren’t you so excitedddd????? I know I ammmm. Go Redsssss!!! Am I righttttt???? Yaaaasssss”

Really she’s just excited to judge how you decorated your home and the amount of dust under the TV. She thinks your couch is tacky. She snarls after every beer you open. She stays on her phone till there’s a minute left and then gets obnoxiously excited for the final moments. You can’t enjoy the game because you are too worried that she might kick your dog when he tries to sniff her.

You may love your boy. But if he’s brining a BSO, don’t call him bro.

Lastly, avoid the False Better. He’s quick to take the “$5 says he misses this kick” bet, but when he loses he just smiles and laughs as if you were joking. As soon as the next opportunity presents itself he wants to go double or nothing. When he wins that bet he demands his payment or it’s a fist fight in the front yard. He’s loud when he wins too.

“Everyone knows Minnesota converts on third downs more than anybody in the league! You’re an idiot for taking that bet. You don’t know anything!”

No matter how the night goes, when the final buzzer sounds, he thinks you owe him money. Eventually you give him ten bucks just to get him out of your house.

These are just five types of people I try to avoid. It doesn’t always work but, like a franchise, sometimes you can’t get the best people in the room. You settle for someone you don’t enjoy watching sports with just to fill the room. I recommend avoiding this practice because ultimately you will hate yourself and inevitably have a miserable time. Miserable times lead to excessive drinking. Excessive drinking leads to asking Grandpa George when he’s finally going to kick the bucket. This leads to a family argument. That leads to divorce. Which leads to Grandpa George not coming over anymore.

On second thought, do what you think is best.

Good luck and happy selections.