If you follow my Twitter account it’s no surprise to you that football is my favorite sport. I like sports in general (both playing and watching) and I could also write about curling, pro wrestling, or rugby. I couldn’t write about any sport as easily or with as much passion as football, though.
This entire post is not just about the privilege of being a Green Bay Packers fan, either. Another day I’ll expound on our felicitous fraternity – not the day after we lose in the divisional playoffs.
What is so great about football? It’s a bunch of overpaid meatheads beating each other up over a ball for 60 minutes.
Yes, that’s partly true. I like football for the physicality – I love watching our defense sack the opposing quarterback. I also love interceptions, especially by guys like BJ Raji (Nose Tackle the size of a Mack truck) and Charles Woodson (our relatively old chief ninja). I love watching running backs break tackles and our fullback plowing through a cluster of defenders for precious yardage. Being able to accomplish these feats is a testament to strength, conditioning, talent, and practice.
Football is not a braindead sport, either. Some coaches and players can’t tell their foot from a hole in the ground and some coaches over-complicate the sport. Football boils down to knowing your own team’s best option and being able to read your opponent. I’m no genius and I’ll never be Madden but my limited knowledge always asks “what’s our best possible play?”, “where are we weak?”, “what will the other team expect?”, “how do we get past them?”
Football is not rocket science and it never will be. However, great players and coaches are always studying and learning.
I also love football for the fans. As a Packers fan I have a slightly different standard of fandom. You don’t have to be born into your legacy but you must support it with your whole heart. Fans don’t cheer injuries or attack players (especially Twitter) for having a bad play or a bad game.
Fans cheer achievements, even when it’s the opponent. When Adrian Peterson racked up 199 yards against us to launch the Vikings (a team I loathe) into the playoffs I still recognized what an accomplishment he had this year, rushing over 2,000 yards. Fans stick by their teams even when they can’t win for losing. Fans get dressed up and cheer game after game, year after year, loss after loss.
Sure, other sports are cerebral and physical, but you can’t find a better experience than watching 106 guys find a way to outsmart and outmaneuver each other over a scrap of leather in the cold. No guts, no heart, no glory.