The NFL is the best spectator sport

Yes, highly highly biased. I love football. I played football as a kid, I’ve been watching it for most of my life, and I used to play the video games. My life during the Fall is very much immersed in the NFL. It’s one of the best products on television. Two teams, both with their own colours and interesting players with unique storylines, going at it gladiator style. On a field, watch by thousands in person and millions on television for the amusement of the crowd. They wear armor that looks badass, run around in tight pants, and make violence and display acts of sheer athleticism. The way that the NFL is packaged as a product, is so incredibly polished. It is the best spectator sport in my subjective opinion and here’s why.

Instead of 82 or 160 games or whatever that is played in the NHL, NBA, and MLB – the NFL is centered around a 17 game regular season, with one game a week until playoffs. This makes it so that you as a fan, look forward to the one day in the entire week where you get to watch your favourite team play. And that tension is just festering and boiling up until they win or lose (or tie, which is rare). This growing tension for the game makes that win or loss all the more elevating or infuriating. The emotions I feel after a Vikings win vs a Vikings loss will literally make or break my week. I am at my most emotionally unstable during football season because of the damn Minnesota Vikings.

I almost don’t even look at the NFL or even D1 college football as a sport, I look at it as a spectacle. We got flashy jerseys, armor that is designed to look cool or badass, we have flyby’s, fireworks, halftime shows, cheerleaders, musical guests, and commercials up the wazoo. The NFL has turned this sport into a spectacle, almost to a point where it doesn’t feel like I’m watching a sport, like when I’m watching basketball or soccer. It’s just an incredibly polished product. And as someone who used to work in advertising in America, let me tell you, those commercial spots are so pricey. But they’re ultimately worth it just because of how many eyes are on the game and how protected and safe the NFL brand is.

Lastly, NFL Films is a production crew that follows the NFL regularly, since its inception in 1962. They’ve documented some amazing moments in the game, that make you realize just how beautiful the sport is. They do this documentary series called America’s Game which chronicles every Superbowl team and you get a chance to see what some of these teams, players, and fanbases go through. You feel like the NFL is a movie because the stories are that good. I have vivid memories of crying watching some of these docs, just imaging what it would be like to win the championship at the high school level. And when we won it, I felt like I understood what the NFL was about. I can always remember that small clip of Eli Manning after winning Super Bowl 42, where he’s all emotional and he looks into the NFL Films camera. It sends shivers down my spine. From the story of Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers, to Kurt Warner the underdog, to the Patriots dynasty – it just feels like it matters more.

If you don’t like football, that’s cool. Football is a sprint sport, not a marathon sport. I get that it’s stop and go but those hightlights are some of the best highlights ever. When someone catches the ball jumping over someone else, or when someone gets rocked with the ball, or some of the somersaults that you see. You forget that everyone on the field is more than 200lbs and just doing things that most athletes half their size couldn’t do. It’s truly mesmirizing. Those players are putting their lives on the line to play that game and make a living. And if you’re a football hater, I’m not trying to make you a fan but it’s just magical when those flashes come up, I want you to understand a little why I love it. For me, I cherish the NFL and I wait all year for it.

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