I never expected to like American Football

I am a Brit and have never had any time for American Football. I have considered it a manufactured sport, designed for the benefit of television networks, who can add the maximum number of adverts against the minimum amount of sport, I don’t understand why the players need helmets and pads, and for a nation that laughs at cricket, the terminology is obscure and hard to understand. A touchdown does not require touching the ball down. A quarterback can be anywhere on the pitch, not a quarter back. It is a good thing to go out of play so long as you have gone forward a few yards. Worst of all it is called “football” but the ball is rarely touched by a foot.

Tom Brady (C) Jeff Hamisch USA Today

So I find myself quite shocked that I have been getting excited about this year’s playoff games and I may even stay up to see the Super Bowl live in a week’s time. I have been learning the back stories behind the people. Tom Brady has proved he can be a star in any team, not just the Patriots. Andy Reid has shown that old school methods can take a team to successive Super Bowls. I have learnt that MVP stands for “Most Valuable Player” (man of the match) not “Minimum Viable Product”.

I confess that I still believe it would be better without al the breaks, and I guess I still prefer to watch Rugby. But it is a good lesson for me that this is an excellent time for me to throw away preconceptions and to be open to learning new things.

Do you have any preconceived biases? Perhaps you hate test cricket as a game where a match lasting five full days can end in a draw. Perhaps you hate Bollywood films where aged male stars pretend to play twenty year old romantic heroes. Perhaps you think people who live on a narrowboat must have a screw loose. But every bias like this closes us off to new ideas and new opportunities.

I still think it should be called “Throwball”.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “I never expected to like American Football

  1. My second favourite sport.
    When describing to others I summarise as ‘Chess with Violence’
    I agree football is not a good description but it’s far from throwball. If you have an interest then study the other 10 players apart from the QB. Without them he’d never get a throw off or find a free man. Every play involves a specific activity for every player.
    Also maybe look at stats which show the number of passing plays vs running plays.
    Lastly if you do watch the Super Bowl then spot the key differences in the QBs, one is a ‘pocket’ passer (likes a steady base), the other is happy to move around and even run himself. both effective but the whole team are prepared to support that differing requirement.
    Or just enjoy the spectacle 😁.

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