sports

A Funny Lady Tackles a National Obsession

Susan Cooper's great compromise

Susan Cooper says she and her husband have a great relationship. But during the NFL season, she'd oftentimes feel like “a football widow.” Cooper isn't alone in the struggle to connect—either with a partner or even just football itself. So 20 years ago, she set out to find her own way of loving the sport her husband couldn’t tear himself away from. Football Facts for Females or If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em (RockStar Publishing; $14.95; paperback) is her humorous look at some of the basics of the game, oriented toward new learners, especially women.

Cooper chatted with the Alibi in preparation for an event on Thursday, Oct. 2, at sports bar Gioco (4310 Central SE), starting at 4:30pm. She’ll give a brief talk about the genesis of the book and her love for her home team—the Green Bay Packers—before they take on the Minnesota Vikings.

Cooper says that growing up in Milwaukee didn't guarantee an understanding of football. “I knew a little bit about it; I was a Packers fan way back in the days of Vince Lombardi ...,” she explains, “but I didn't really understand the game for years. When you go to a football game in Wisconsin, at least for me, my full concentration was on staying warm.”

In person as well as in the book (even in the glossary!) Cooper cracks jokes at a frantic pace. She says this is purposeful. She didn't want to pen just another dry manual that was tough to crack. Reading the basics couldn't be the only way for readers to learn; Cooper loves to use humor as an angle of introduction.

When asked about adding more games to the schedule, a move that’s been almost universally derided by players, [Cooper] provided an instantly classic answer: “My addiction says yes.”

Understanding the basics, though, wasn’t enough to share in her husband's all-consuming interest during NFL season. “I felt disconnected,” she admits. “Now wait a minute, this is not good. Early on in our relationship, he would go to concerts with me. I've always been a fan of classical music ... and he decided he liked it. And I figured if he could do that for me, why couldn't I learn something about football?”

Despite her interest, she couldn't find a book that would expand on those basics with any kind of humor. So she decided to write it.

Speaking as a woman, Cooper commented on the current controversy surrounding the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. She understands the NFL is a business, says Cooper, but if she had a chance to speak with Goodell the one piece of advice she'd give him is to work some sort of counseling or anger management into rookie training. In fact, she didn't stop there; Cooper says this should be a mandatory retroactive part of every NFLer’s life. Her fandom of the league hasn't been hampered by the scandal though. When asked about adding more games to the schedule, a move that’s been almost universally derided by players, she provided an instantly classic answer: “My addiction says yes.”

Cooper does not currently play fantasy football. “I plan to but not yet,” she says. Nor has she been to Lambeau Field in Green Bay. “We were planning on going this year, but things came up. Hopefully that will happen next year.”

Cooper's event at Gioco—a sports bar with great food, according to the author—will feature a brief chat as well as plenty of books to sell. Another book signing is slated for Friday, Oct. 3, at the Hastings on Montgomery and Wyoming (4315 Wyoming NE). She'll be selling and signing books from 6 to 8pm. Football Facts for Females is also available at Cooper's website, via Amazon or RockStar, and at Hastings in Albuquerque as well as the two House of Football locations, in Albuquerque (2801 Eubank NE) and Rio Rancho (3301 Southern SE).

Susan Cooper presents Football Facts for Females or If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em


Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:30pm
Gioco
4310 Central SE
266-2127

Friday, Oct. 3, 8pm
Hastings
4315 Wyoming NE
299-7750