Friday, January 2, 2009

If you have been following along then you know that this year I will be attempting to have more order in my life and this blog. You also know that Fridays will be all about switching things up and that this month is about football. Thus I am interested in what the other side of the street thinks about Football. Rather, I should say the other side of the pond. I personally love football. Specifically I'm a fan of High School and NCAA football. My favorite all time team is the Oklahoma University Sooners. Somehow we got another strange upside down and confusing season full of upsets that led to OU getting a shot at the NCAA Championship again. Of course this is all straight forward, so where is the switch?

Well, over in the rest of the world football is what we call soccer here in America. It actually makes more sense. I never did get why we call a sport that typically focuses on holding and throwing the ball "football." Soccer, henceforth called football, is a huge success in most of the world. Their football superstars rival the stars of any sport here in America. Despite all of that I've never really thought about the game much. I played one season of soccer, fullback if I remember correctly. I think I would have had more fun as a center or forward. I don't think I would really want to be a goalie though. Way too much responsibility there, even if it is the only position that is allows to use hands.

I think the main reason that I prefer American football is the same reason I don't really get into hockey. A great hockey game is usually won 1-0 or 2-1 or whatever other very low score, and the same is true for football. American football, on the other hand, is scored differently. Of course the lowest possible score is 2 points. It is impossible to score only a single point until you get a touchdown. Each touchdown is worth 6 points. This means that the scores get much bigger faster and that makes it seem more exciting to me, even if the final score is 12-7, which probably is only a total of 3 scoring drives and a single extra point.

There is also the hitting factor. In football it is usually frowned upon to have more physical contact than needed. This isn't to say there aren't hard hits and "tackles." Anything excessive, though, can earn you a black card. In American football, however, the harder the hit the better the game. I still remember one of the hardest hits I've ever seen. Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 John Elway got hit hard 2xs at 37 then jumped up and went back for more. Here is a link to an article on the hit, I'm not saying it is the hardest hit, just the hardest I've seen.

Here in the states football is starting to become popular. I'm not sure it will ever surpass American football in the South, but it is definitely growing in popularity. Especially women's football, which is significantly more popular than women's American football. I knew in theory that there had to be a women's American football league, I had just never seen any games. Actually I still haven't seen any games but in looking into it I have found it does exist. Maybe next week that will be my flip, but with a twist based on a conversation that I had with one of my teens earlier this week.

Let me know what your thoughts are on the football/American football debate. What side of the fence are you on? I know several people view this site from outside the US so please convince me why football is better.


Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Nick - thanks for coming by my blog! I swear, I've seen you all over SCL, but for some reason, until today, I couldn't get to your blog from your comment signiture. So it's good to see your blog finally.

I heard about a book recently published called 'How Football Explains America' or something to that effect. It sounded really interesting. Maybe you'd like to check it out.

See you later!

Nick the Geek said...


Sure excuses excuses. Mine is that I don't ave time to visit every blog because I can become obsessive going back and commenting and then checking on those comments and then commenting again ... It can be scary.

I'll look into the book. Can't say I'll ever read it. My "to read" list is growing almost faster than I can read.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Nick the Geek said...

So I looked into it, gotta love the internet, and here is a link to the book if anyone else is interested, How Football Explains America. For those that aren't going to click the link here is the product description:

Here at last is the first book to fully explain how and why the game of football became America's most powerful and financially successful entertainment phenomenon--and how this country's pioneers of sports, games, industry, and politics helped transform a sleepy game inherited from Europe into one that would explain what America wanted to become and who we are as a people.

In How Football Explains America, Sal Paolantonio, ESPN football reporter and a former national political reporter, takes you all the way back to 1876, when the United States was celebrating its 100th birthday, and explains how and why the stodgy and low-scoring games of soccer and rugby were rejected for a game that reflected America's lust to control--Manifest Destiny!--an entire continent.

How Football Explains America takes you through how and why President Teddy Roosevelt saved football, how and why Jim Thorpe and Bill Walsh changed the game, and how and why it was influenced by Hollywood and West Point.

How Football Explains America explains how football was influenced by Davy Crockett, John Coltrane, Jackie Robinson, and Douglas MacArthur.

How Football Explains America shows how at the heart of this country's real pastime is an insatiable need for storytelling and mythmaking, how Johnny Unitas is like John Wayne and Joe Montana is like Luke Skywalker, how the game grew up when pioneers and cowboys set out to write America's story across the West, and how football was a game that perfectly explained that march across the continent.

"Football explains America," says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, "because the game is about teamwork and camaraderie, competition and passion, strategy and energy, strength and emotion. You can look at football and see the heart of America."

How Football Explains America takes you through a fascinating historical and cultural journey, using the intrigue, skullduggery, and drama of the 2007 NFL season--the quest for perfection and triumph of an underdog against all odds--to tell the story of a game and a nation that have been sewn together and explain how we live, work, and play.

I might just read this since I don't really have many non-fiction books on my too read list that aren't faith based.

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