It's not always easy to hit the bars or clubs. Drinks can be pricey. Loud music can make it tough to strike up conversation.
Few things are more important than having a good friend who is up for playing wingman.
While there are many definitions and expectations for a wingman, their responsibilities can be summed up as someone willing to pull back their own goals for an evening to support a friend.
Here are five players who would make for a pretty decent wingman.
(For the purposes of this list, all players listed are under 25.)
When you're out, you want your pick of ladies, not all of the ladies picked.
In this sense, it's a good idea to have someone who's not afraid to be a distributor. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is your guy.
He may have struggled in his 2009 rookie season with picks, but he stepped up his touchdown-interception ratio big time in 2010. He's a lock to be a major offensive weapon in 2011.
Who wants to be blindsided by an ex while hanging out at the bar? You need somebody who's got your back.
Count on Oher to keep an eye out for you when you're out to keep you out of trouble.
(And yes I know Oher's move to right tackle means he's not guarding the blindside anymore. In my mind, it means he'll cover you from all directions.)
There can be plenty of distractions when you're trying to talk to the girl you met at the bar. Maybe there's an extra friend with an uninteresting story from her work. Maybe another guy attempting to make a move.
Blocking these distractions out can be the difference between a so-so night and a great night.
Likewise, New York Jets second-year running back Joe McKnight showed some extra effort in making a late punt block against the Dallas Cowboys.
The clutch block was the difference between a winning and losing start to the season for Gang Green.
When things are rolling for a guy, it's easy to forget the work the wingman put in to get the ball rolling.
Likewise, fullbacks never get the credit they rightfully deserve for the success of their running backs.
Cleveland Browns rookie fullback Owen Marecic struggled early, but is putting in big effort to support his team's running game.
While fellow back Peyton Hillis may get the credit for the team's success (or at the very least the public spotlight), the team will be well served with Marecic setting up big blocks for his running backs.
(Like any good wingman, Marecic is versatile when necessary. He was the only two-way starter in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season as a fullback/linebacker at Stanford.)
Lead the charge...we're right behind you.
Sometimes you don't feel like putting your best effort when you go out. Maybe it's the fatigue of previous nights out. Maybe you're hung up over a girl you've stopped seeing.
In situations like these, it's critical of the wingman to provide a pick me up. Someone with confidence to carry the day. Even if the night doesn't go as planned, the wingman will put in a good effort to get you going.
Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback has no shortage of confidence, as most visibly demonstrated as he described himself as an entertainer and icon before playing his first pro snap.
While most rookies would play conservatively in their pro debuts, Newton worked like a man possessed, racking up 422 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Even if the game didn't go as planned (the Panthers lost to the Arizona Cardinals), Newton definitely gave a great effort to get the team going.