My Feelings About Football

Ah, football. The wonderful sport where sweaty guys tackle other sweaty guys and throw a ball over some lines. The descendent of the more brutal sport of rugby, football is arguably the most popular sport in America. The saying ‘America’s favorite pastime’ goes to baseball, but really, do baseball fans paint their entire bodies to support their team? Not usually. In this essay, I will describe my feelings on the sport of football, based upon research and my own experience watching the Super Bowl XLV.

There are so many rules, plays, positions, and other terms in football that I can’t help but wonder about the accuracy of the stereotypical “dumb jock”. One of these terms is the blitz. This fast maneuver actually has it’s roots in the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war” in German. It was one of Hitler’s most famous maneuvers, where the army would suddenly attack and conquer some other nation. As for the many other terms, try as I might I just can’t remember them all. There’s the end zone, the line of scrimmage, interceptions, fumbles, yardage, touchdowns, field goals, safeties, and tons of other words. I have been around people talking about football, and all of the jargon used just makes me extremely confused. It also amazes me how real diehard football fans can recognize the rule violations from what the referee does. I know that is how he communicates the violations to the fans, but how do people remember all of those rules? Before I even read about football, I always wondered sarcastically if there was some kind of rule that football players had to be giants. Well apparently there is, albeit an unofficial one. Also, now that I have watched football, I can see why. Any guy that’s under six feet tall and 180 lbs. has a fairly good chance of being squashed. I can’t even imagine how much these big guys have to eat. There apparently isn’t a rule about manufacturers not being able to jump on the football bandwagon, considering the way they plaster everything they can with the logos or colors of famous teams.

Manufacturers give people so many ways to support their favorite team, fueling the preverbal bonfire like Gatorade to a jock. There are T-shirts, jackets, hats, mouse pads, checks, jewelry, bobble-heads, and even Snuggies that are plastered with the logos of the many different football teams. Many people love football so much it’s says so on their license plates. Especially before one of the major games, everything is team-themed. Chip, soda, cakes, decorations, everything is covered with the colors of the different teams. Some fans that have an almost familial love for a certain team won’t even associate with people of a rival team. Even in college football the rivalries are considered very serious. As for major games, there’s the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Salsa Bowl. But none surpasses the all-powerful event to be worshiped; the Super Bowl. As if the name wasn’t enough, the event itself is like the Triwizard Tournament of football. With hilarious commercials and an awe-inspiring halftime show, even people who don’t watch football watch it on this day of all days.

On February 6, 2011 was Super Bowl XLV; my first time watching football and having an idea of what was going on. It was the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Stealers, and fans of both packed the Cowboys Stadium and crowded around their TVs.
It was very interesting to see everything I had read about put into practice, and actually understanding enough so that the commentators weren’t speaking Greek. I saw a blitz, interceptions, and field goals all happen on the huge field. When they mentioned a specific player’s position, I knew where to look, and tried to identify each player’s role while bodies fell and the pigskin flew. I didn’t support a specific team, so I didn’t feel the roller coaster of emotions that I’m sure the real fans felt as they watched. The Packers took the game over, though for awhile there I thought maybe the Stealers would be able to turn the tide. Alas, it was not to be. The commercials were as funny as ever, and the halftime show was amazing. The Black Eyed Peas had a great concert and the light show was simply awe-inspiring. With Usher and Slash thrown in there, it took the show to new heights. As the game resumed, though, the hopes of the Stealers fans were dashed violently against the wall, as their team lost 31-25. All over the world, there was a collective cry of outrage from the Stealers fans, and screams of pure elation from Packers fans.

I have learned a lot about football in this class, and I suppose it is nice to be able to understand a bit of this popular sport. For the first time I actually had an idea of what was going on in a football game, which made it all the more interesting. Still, I don’t feel the passion of the thousands of fans, and while I honestly don’t understand why giant, sweaty guys throwing a ball and hitting each other is exciting, I’ll still watch games with football-loving friends. Although I haven’t quite got the hang of this whole football thing, knowing something is better than knowing nothing.





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