Ahhh, the gridiron beckons! Football players have agreed on a price. So have players in the NFL. College camps have started. The lockout is over. Players are sweating now to make you sweat later when the game or your fantasy stats or the spread is on the line.

Football is back!

But in order to make it official, you have some work to do, too.

What's that? No, not YARD work! You have some real NEEDS, here, not the wife's honey-do list; so tear it up and throw it away as we present The Five Things You Need to Get Ready for Football.

  • 1

    The Gear

    What is football without overweight men straining to reach a goal? No, not the end zone, the last of your team's jerseys (in your size) on the clearance rack at the sporting goods store. Because, hey, nothing screams athletic supporter like a mesh jersey stretched taut over the frame of a 260-pound football machine!...Too bad you're only 5-6...But don't worry, if you go to a store like R Sports in Bassett Place and they don't already have what you want, they'll get it for you so you'll have it in time for kickoff.

    R Sports
  • 2

    The Beer

    You got the gear, now it's time for the beer! How else could you properly celebrate a football weekend?...We have lots of good friends with great beer and great beer specials. The Side Door Liquor Store, just on the other side of the State Line -- that's both State Line BBQ AND the Texas-New Mexico State Line. In the same building! Mix and match to create your own six-pack...Then there's Western Beverages with locations all over El Paso. Each WB comes equipped with the beer fridge to end all beer fridges. Check out an amazing selection of craft beer, domestic beer, foreign beer, dark beer, lite beer and more!...They'll supply the beer, you supply the @$hole buddies to drink it all and leave you none!

    Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • 3

    The Fantasy Team

    Question: How did Dungeons & Dragons become socially acceptable?...Answer: It ditched its players' make-believe wizards and orcs in favor of Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson and became Fantasy Football! Because what's the bigger vicarious thrill -- rolling a 20-sided die to see if your character, a 3rd-level Paladin you named Augustus, was able to take three hit-points off a red dragon? Or watching AP bust one up the middle for 85 yards, FEELING him juke a linebacker, just KNOWING he would throw that stiff arm to help you win the league this week?...Yeah, we thought so...What? How did we totally know about Paladins and red dragons? Never mind that. You just take your fantasy-lovin' self to the ESPN Fantasy Football League and let your vicarious Tom Brady hair down with the knowledge that Gisele Bundchen is going to be running her fingers through it after your studly performance in that last game.

    Flickr, Benimoto
  • 4

    The Bets

    You've pored over the stats. You've agonized over the injury list. Now it's time to call your bookie and place your bet!...Oh, except that you forgot your bookie's in jail on a RICO warrant from the feds...And he had you on speed dial?! Damn!...How will you feed that gambling jones and maybe win enough to buy some cool swag?...How about skipping that call to the "library" and playing the Pick The Pros challenge at KROD.com? We don't even make you pick against the spread. Just tell us who you think the winners will be and you could win weekly prizes like gear, food, stuff for your car and maybe even cash!...Dominate, and you could be one of our national winners, which could net you thousands more in cash and prizes!...Sure beats asking why that late-model SUV with tinted windows and government plates is parked in front of your house.

  • 5

    The Big-Ass TV

    You've done all the rest, now you need to watch it on the biggest, best, gnarliest, home-theater-system-bass-iest, possibly-3D screen that you can fit into your living room!...Something that will allow you to plug in a computer to get live, real-time streaming stats to keep up with that fantasy league, not to mention those offshore betttsssss -- er, um -- Pick The Pros brackets! Yeah, that's right! Heh-heh! Yeah, Pick The Pros brackets...With a screen big enough to clearly see Rex Ryan's nose hairs...With the ability to do a picture-in-picture that's twice the size of your head so you can keep up with your other fantasy league players...Check out our friends at Best Buy. If they don't have an A/V geek to explain the difference between LCD and DLP, then there just aren't any.

    Flickr, Scott Ellis