American football is not boring. Here’s why.
If you’re brave enough or bored enough, one day you might just google “American football isn’t boring.”
On that day, you will find that even Google’s algorithm disagrees with you at all. Because to do what – as Quora’s submission and first search result ostensibly query – Americans think football is boring but find football, a game with only an average of 11 minutes played over three hours, interesting?
Well. It hardly has the quality of a convincing elevator pitch. Have your say on which sport reigns supreme and which one deserves the trash treatment in the survey below – but beware of putting American football at the bottom of this list.
American football will always be the stick with which his more worldly sports peers regularly beat him. The NFL is not doing itself any favors. At its best, the cover is cheerfully garish and over the top. He adores himself. With all its flashing lights and zippy graphics, loud commentary and sparkling fireworks. Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre stood somewhere in the middle.
The NFL, at its core, is a spectacle. A good one more. And if that ruffles your goose, then you’ve found yourself the least annoying spot of all. There are very few things more satisfying in life than a knuckle-gnawing tackle from Aaron Donald on Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” soundtrack.
But I’m talking about sport opponents will be naysay. Get rid of all the pizzazz, cheerleaders and Eminem. What’s left?
A good question. At first glance ? Big big tackles! A 44-year-old Tom Brady with the arm of a lively catapult! The icy veins of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow! And, of course, a certain irony.
Do you think the NFL is ‘boring’? Let us know in the comments section below.
Considered the pinnacle of American masculinity, he is also covered in epaulettes and helmets. Rugby fans bemoan tackling techniques. They laugh at their pads and constant substitutions and game breaks. Even American football’s padded cousins in hockey arenas can’t help but laugh. At least in hockey, punches are thrown without a helmet. There are no commercial breaks.
So, well, yes. If you’re looking for that kind of constant uproar, you’ve come to the wrong sport.
But – and there’s a but – American football isn’t boring.
Like any sport, American football requires understanding. Despite being marketed as a Brutal Brother hobby, the matches play out much more like tactical chess matches. Each play accumulates a counter play by the manager’s opposite number. Teams study the tape, they analyze the opponents, they forge game plans specifically to undermine the opposition’s forged game plan. Each move has a counter, and each counter, if properly countered, can land a killing blow.
Then there are the splashes of moments when game plans come to life. Gravity-defying pliers. Finger grips. Dare-devil Hercules throws 60 yards down a pitch with a cavalcade of heel-biting defenders. There are blows that crack the ribs. The five-foot moon pounced on a rushing defender from a running back who momentarily transformed into Hot Wheels with trampoline feet. Really, look at all that a good running back does – all the silky dancing feet frolicking through a battlefield of slice-hard defenders.
And everything is celebrated. All. Sacks, fourth conversions, an eight-yard run that left a defender clutching at him looking thin and empty. Any moment of individual brilliance and there they are: thumping, robot dancing, jigging, strutting, mocking and roaring, dripping with venom and verve. The grill? Thanks to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for that, Tik Tokkers.
Fashion alone is worthy of praise. Burrow has repeatedly broken the internet with his ridiculously cool drip. Those diamonds? Real. Make a black turtleneck and chain even more iconic? A day job.
And what other sport can claim the honor of being the birthplace of The Butt Fumble? The most magnificent sports blunder to ever hit screens was when 26-year-old Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into the magnanimous back of linebacker Brandon Moore only for the New England Patriots to pick up the loose ball and throw it back for the plus. heartbreak of touchdown concessions.
It was the biggest pig’s ear of them all, a 2012 non-masterclass masterclass that still throws out rude memes and punchlines today and had to be removed from SportsCenter. Not top 10 after 40 weeks because it is simply. Kept. On. Winner.
American football is, quite simply, pure fun entertainment. In the UK, NFL fans aren’t bothered by adverts during long breaks from play. Instead, they benefit from in-depth conversational analysis from experts and former players. And the more one realizes how difficult it is to separate a cutting-edge defense with the offensive line from a sieve (see: Joe Burrow and the Bengals 2020-21), the more one rises and applauds the whole entertaining spectacle.
There are those who still point to the time element. A game regularly lasts more than three hours. Well, cricket can last up to five days. Days. Don’t even get into golf.
If anything, the three-hour period is an excuse to really milk the sport for all it’s worth. Take out the cans. Take a foot long. Take two. And then, when Tom Brady throws his 650th career touchdown pass this coming season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he hit the grid.