Football crazy, football mad: why the NFL is taking over

Calvin Johnson makes a catch over Cary Williams at the game dubbed the 'Snow Bowl' in 2013. Credit: Philadelphia Daily News

When it comes to American football, people who aren’t fans usually think along the lines of “it doesn’t make sense. It’s too slow, there’s too many breaks in play”.

To me, this seemed like a narrow-minded approach to a game that just involved so much. I decided to watch a few games towards the latter end of the season before last. I got to learn the rules fairly quickly, the basics are pretty straight forward once you pay any bit of attention.

The game grew on me, and as the next season approached, I decided to follow a team for the season. I chose the Indianapolis Colts, mainly because I was a big fan of their quarterback, Andrew Luck.

He got injured, a lot. The team struggled and didn’t make the playoffs, just my Luck (I’m sorry). However, it did not change my new-found love for the game at all.

I watched Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football every week to see all the prime time games. As Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback would say “No time to sleep”. Worth it.

I watched Redzone every Sunday on Sky Sports, a show that basically shows you all the action from all the games as they happen. I never missed a thing. Think of it as Gillette Soccer Saturday, but with actual live footage as opposed to relying on the description of pundits. It’s the perfect way to get into the game. You get to see every team and all the highlights.

Literally every week I was amazed by something. Whether it was the athleticism, skill and determination of some of the players, or the level of organisation going on the side-line. Literally every week someone did something that amazed me. It could be a huge run, a ridiculous catch, or something incredibly bad like a stupid play call. See for yourself.

Despite all the catches that defied physics and the runs that defied logic, something that amazed me to no end and always will is the skill of the quarterbacks. They run and read the game. They call and change the plays. They are deadly accurate and can throw the ball so far even when under pressure it’s mesmerising.

Watch this video of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The clock is on zero. He’s about 80 yards from the opposition end zone. He’s scrambling. It’s because of reasons like this that I now love the game.

So, I recommend that anyone who is a sports fan gives it a chance. It’s pure entertainment. From the mind-boggling skills to the players being mic’d up on the field, it is probably the best viewing experience in sports broadcasting. And guess what, as of next season you can even watch the games live on twitter!
This was confirmed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on twitter in a tweet containing a video of the 2015 season highlights. It gave me goosebumps, watch it and give the game a chance, I bet you’ll love it.

Conor Hawkins

Image credit: Philadelphia Daily News

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