The United States of America is easily the most sports-obsessed country in the world. Between baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer and tennis, America has its hands full, to say the least. American football is by far the most popular of those mentioned, however. Even though it includes the least actual playing time compared to other sports, Americans love their football. Here’s why.
First of all, NFL teams play most of their games during the fall and winter, when the weather is usually less than ideal. Americans avoid the brutal weather and enjoy themselves by watching games inside with their families and friends. Football is played no matter what the weather conditions are (barring an extreme snow storm), so even if the weather is bad, the game is still on for the common fan to enjoy.
The game of football is a hard hitting, exciting contest in which two teams tackle and beat each other up. Each game is extremely physical, contested and intense. This is especially true of NFL football, but describes college football, as well. College football has the added excitement of some great rivalries, such as Michigan-Ohio State and Alabama- Auburn. The NFL has its share of rivalries as well, but the student bodies of colleges seem to bring special, amazing energy to each contest.
Americans love to eat. And though I have trouble admitting it, to me there’s nothing better than watching football while enjoying my favorite snacks. There are many delicious foods to be consumed during your average game. First, there’s a football staple that about 94 percent of Americans love: pizza. Although it isn’t as popular, seven layer dip (beans, sour cream, cheese, salsa, guacamole, beef and jalepenos) is delicious as a second option. Third, burgers, hot dogs and other grill fare are also excellent choices for those looking to fire up the barbeque on Sundays.
Football also seems to be a sport designed to combine individual talents and teamwork, much more so than other sports. There are individual stars, such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson. These individuals are a large part of what Americans love about football. We love to watch a hero do the near impossible, and that is exactly what these playmakers bring to the game each week. They are exciting athletes that can make unbelievably great plays, amp up the crowd and lead their respective teams to victory.
But it is also a team sport, especially on offense and special teams. Offensive plays that end in positive yardage usually involve blocking, passing, handing off or rushing. When a player blocks for his teammate, it is one of the most impressive displays of teamwork in sports because it shows that the lineman is willing to put himself in danger to help clear a path for the runner (for millions of dollars, of course).
The NFL lockout had people extremely worried for the fate of their favorite game. “Do this research if we don’t have a season – watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game,” linebacker Ray Lewis said in an ESPN interview. I agree with Lewis to a certain extent. People would find other ways to occupy their time, and I think crime could potentially rise because of that. The reality of the situation is that we have football to watch this season and shouldn’t be worried about any of what Lewis said. All we have to do now is sit back and enjoy the season.
As a New York Giants fan, I’m very excited for the season to begin. Go G-Men!
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