You're a Redskins fair-weather fan and you want to spectate Sunday without making a spectacle of yourself? Sports psychologists--and true fans--recommend that you:
* Avoid asking "What is a down?" If you fail to muzzle that and similar displays of ignorance at this point in the season, "You might wind up," says psychiatrist Edward D. Greenwood, "with a beer bottle on your head."
* Pick one thing to watch. Such as blocking, passing or tackling, says psychologist Steven Danish. "You don't have to know the rules to enjoy the sport."
* Take a cram course now. If you want to learn the rules, says psychologist Ed Trickett, and avoid being gagged during the game.
And if you're a veteran fan:
* Watch with friends. "Part of the fun is in the anticipation," says psychologist Bruce Ogilvie, "and interaction with others."
* Invite fellow spectators with care. "It can be very stimulating to have fans of both teams watching together," says psychiatrist George Ginsberg. "But consider their level of mental health if you want to protect your dining room."
* Have a good cry, should the unthinkable happen. "You'll need to grieve," says Ogilvie. "Videotape the game and replay only the good parts. Indulge in therapeutic thumb-sucking for 12 to 24 hours."