As you forlornly type away, in the darkened depths of the belly of the Billy B(east), for an assignment which is due the next day, you may see a handsome stranger in Team Durham stash swaggering their way to Maiden Castle to train for their chosen sport. You may think to yourself, ‘I wish I could be as cool as them, but I haven’t found the sport for me’. In fact, you may have spent your whole life searching for that one sport you can truly say you love. It may even be that the one item on your bucket list is to find that perfect balance between exercise and enjoyment. It is unlikely that this is the case, but it is possible. So, if you have already travelled the world, and you have already learned a second language, and there is only one small sport-shaped hole in your otherwise perfect life (or even if life is not complete but you still want a sport to play or enjoy at your leisure), then I have good news: your wait is finally over. The answer to your problems is American Football.
But why should you enjoy this sport? Isn’t it just an endless string of concussions, ACL tears, and stoppages? No, in fact, it is a sport you can learn to love in no time, and the following are a few reasons why.
There is plenty of off-field drama
There are many eccentric players in America’s biggest sport, whose mishaps, wardrobes, and tantrums never fail to shock or amuse. There are plenty of comedic moments, too, whether it be Cam Newton’s outfits or Le’Veon Bell’s contract disputes (and the Steelers’ eventual implosion and failure to make the playoffs).
The stoppages between possessions and quarters
Have you ever been at a sporting event, enjoying the spectacle in front of you, when suddenly you feel a rumble in your stomach which feels like you’re standing right above the San Andreas Fault? If you struggle with hunger as a spectator, or even if you are taking part and fancy a quick snack, the consistent stoppages in American Football offer myriad opportunities to indulge your hunger whenever it may strike.
The refereeing controversies (and consequent reactions on social media)
I have never witnessed a sport with as many supposed ‘bad calls’ from game to game capable of changing the outcome of a match. Take, for example, the recent NFC championship game between the Saints and the Rams, in which the saints were not given a pass interference call which could have given them a first down to all but guarantee a touchdown and sent them to the Super Bowl. Instead, the Rams were let off, and went on to win. Refereeing mistakes are not usually a selling point for a sport, but when you consider the multitude of hilarious reactions on social media after every slightly controversial call, you will think it worthwhile to follow the game religiously. There is not a saltier fanbase in the world than that of American Football, and for that I am grateful, and I am sure you will be too.
Why enjoy caring about real people playing sports when you can care more about pretending to manage people playing sports against other pretend teams managed by your friends? If you start following American Football, you can take part into the grand weekly tradition of misguidedly believing you would do a much better job of managing a team than the professionals (unless you lose, in which case this probably is not much of a selling point).
The draft is a yearly event in which all teams in the NFL take turns (from the team with the worst record going first, followed by the second worst, and so on) to pick from a roster of recently graduated college players looking to break into the NFL. This allows for the worst teams from the previous season to get better players on their roster in order to compete more effectively in the league. It is also pretty amusing to watch teams make what clearly are poor decisions.
The fabled one-handed catch
There is nothing more satisfying in this world that watching a receiver catch a pass with one hand. I think this video explains this well enough.
The evergreen Tom Brady
One of the greatest debates in the sport is whether this man is the GOAT (Greatest of all Time). Going to his 9th Super Bowl in his career (and going for his sixth victory), Tom Brady is definitely an incredible player. The only problem is, the majority of American Football fans see him as the antagonist of the game. The Patriots have dominated the AFC with Brady at the helm, and to be quite frank, it pisses everyone off. I think it suffices to say that despite admitting his clear excellence, 90 percent of America will be backing the Rams to win Super Bowl LIII.
As a rookie, he nearly led his team to the Super Bowl, and he is looking like an incredible talent. If this pass fails to get you pleading to both be him and watch more of him, then I do not know what will (and in that case I am clearly pitching to the wrong demographic).
I think it is safe to say that I have thoroughly convinced you to start following, or maybe even take part in, the sport of American Football. I can almost hear you frantically rushing to subscribe to the NFL Game Pass as I type (and if you do not think too much about how time works then that makes sense). These are the reasons why American Football is the sport for you. You are welcome.