We are not a football family. There, I’ve admitted it publically. It’s not that football is prohibited on our television, it’s just that, for the most part, there is usually something else on we’d rather watch. As we are a “racing family” some form of auto racing is invariably on the tube live or streaming from the DVR. As we are God-fearing, flag-waving, apple-pie-eating Americans we do watch the Super Bowl every year. Well, of course we do, that’s when you see the best commercials!
And, hey, if a football game breaks out, all the better.
With my job co-hosting a couple of different sports programs on Internet radio, I try to keep an open mind about all sports, especially football.
I read the sports section of the newspaper (we still get one of those things that has newsprint), watch Sports Center when I get around to it, and try to glean information from water
cooler talk I happen upon, but that is rare as I work from home and don’t have a water cooler nor do I know anyone in my family who watches football or any other sport religiously besides auto racing.
If you are still reading this you are either a non-football fan like we are or you are so curious in a train-wreck sort of way that you are compelled to read to the end. You see, we just don’t get it. My husband and I recently debated why football is seen as such a popular sport in the United States of America and, although I prepared a valid list of reasons, we still don’t really get it. I rattled off things like Monday Night Football (MNF) coming into the mainstream at a time when there was only network television; a captured audience for what was already taking off as a beloved sport.
Breakout stars like Joe Namath on the field, the Dallas Cowboy
Cheerleaders on the sidelines, and Howard Cosell in the broadcast booth, helped put MNF in the
number one spot in the ratings where it stayed, to my knowledge, for its entirety. I relayed to my husband that where we live in northwestern NJ, although hugely populated with football fans,
was not indicative of places like the South and the Mid-West when it came to loyalty and fandom. We talked about the social aspects of the game (tailgating) and the barbaric fighting mentality
as well. But even though my husband relented that I was preparing a strong case, we both still weren’t convinced nor do we understand how the sport of football is a sport that makes people, a huge portion of the population, so impassioned.
I ask you, the lot of you, to tackle this question. If you are a football fan, you bleed your team’s colors, and your wardrobe features nothing but your team’s logo, please enlighten us. We are not unwilling to listen and learn; we’re just baffled. Help.