Unofficial Guide to Watching the NFL Playoffs

So your team is in the playoffs and won their Wildcard Round game for the first time this century, how do you survive? I’ve been asked this question a couple of times since playoff matchups were set. While I’m sad that I don’t have my own team to cheer for, I am happy to get to revel in stress-free playoff football for the first time since 2008. It got me thinking, how did I survive all those years, especially years the Patriots were Super Bowl bound? Well, here are my tips and tricks for surviving playoff football.


A simple concept we’ve been doing since we all left the womb. Yet, when watching your team in the playoffs, we all seem to forget to do just that. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Converting oxygen into carbon dioxide can seem like a strenuous task, but it’s the only way to ensure that you get to watch the game.


Snacks are an important part of every sports watching but especially playoff sports watching. I’m a stress snack-er so I prefer bowls of chips over chicken wings. It’s like how you eat the entire bag of popcorn at the movies before the movie starts – that’s my kind of snack. Chicken wings and pigs in a blanket are more halftime snacks for me. Fueling up for the second half is just as important as mid-game snacks. Indulge in a few beverages, if you’re above the legal drinking age! If you’re under 21, in the States at least, have some hot cocoa or chocolate milk. Drinking a tall glass of choccy milk is a wonderful stress relief even if you’re above 21.


Following what you did the last game day is extremely important. It’s like Michael Scott once said, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious.” I’m a little nutso during the regular season, but I am a whole different level of crazy for playoffs. I will dictate where one can and cannot sit depending on how the team is playing. I will not get up at any time because if the team scores while you’re out of the room, you’re stuck there now. Wear the same clothes if you can, sit in the same spot, order the same food. These are all super important things to follow. Should your team win a hat and t-shirt game, resist the urge to buy that shirt or hat. The one that matters takes place in February.

The losses hurt worse the further you make it in the playoffs. Trust me, I’ve felt the ultimate pain once or thrice in my old age. The wins, though, the wins are amazing. Every step of the way they feel like you narrowly escaped a hard level of a video game. So rewarding. I know the NFL playoffs are stressful because every game is an elimination game, but take this advice when your teams are facing elimination in the NBA, NHL, or MLB too. Best of luck to all the teams and their fans as they head into the Divisional Round. 

-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)

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