OPINION: Playing football is an exercise of strength. Watching it is an exercise in patience.

by Alexandra McPhee, STAFF WRITER
7 December 2018


You can say I don’t understand sports.

But can someone please explain why football is the most popular sport in America.

Is it the way grown men shove each other into the ground and watch them eat grass? Or does all that time they stop give you an opportunity to refill your snacks and grab yourself another drink make it more enjoyable to watch?

A game lasts for around three hours and 15 minutes, and out of that time, only about 11 minutes of it is actual play. The other time is filled with commercial breaks, team huddles, looking at fans, half time, quarter breaks, and watching refs and coaches celebrating a run or yelling at a player to do something different. Most of the game is not actual game.

How does one sit or stand that long to watch 11 minutes of football. I might understand if there was actual action, but there isn’t. Most of the game is just standing.

Every other sport, yes, has breaks, but definitely not that long. For example, soccer is played for a straight 45 minutes and then a half time, back to another 45 minutes of play. There is no stopping except for when a player gets hurt.

Football has four quarters which means that the players get three different breaks. There isn’t much more that needs to be said during those three breaks, since the team already enjoys a ton of huddles, and no one can entirely be sure what they’re talking about at that time either. Based on the final score of the Bears against the Bills on Sunday, November 4th, it’s pretty certain that the Bills weren’t discussing their next successful play. Perhaps they were trying to figure out how to leave the field without alerting the entire stadium that they had retreated. Maybe they’re comparing muscle mass or discussing Newtonian physics. Another possibility is maybe they, too, are simply keeping up with the Kardashians.

They are also one of the very few sports that get time outs. Out of all the sports they should not be allowed time outs. They do one play and get a break after every single one. In almost every game a player fumbles. Perhaps in the time outs they are trying to figure out how to put glue on the players hands so that he can’t fumble anymore.

In football all you ever see is a guy getting shoved down nothing new ever comes. They have most of the team on a line just shoving each other so the rest get to run around. It is always the same. Many times a group hug on the field ends up happening. Maybe they didn’t get enough hugs as a kid from their mom so they cause dog piles so that they can hug the other team without being judged.

Every other sport you play the teams have to think on the spot. In basketball you get the ball and they might have a formation they want to run but the other team is going to put on pressure and make it hard. The point guard can’t say, “Hold up, I need a quick huddle with my team I need to find out our plan,” after every switch of possession. Which is basically what football players can do.

Also, when a player scores in football it is worth 6 points. It doesn’t make sense. Almost every other sport increases their point value by one each time. This would make the game less confusing. Perhaps they trying to pretend they are doing more on the field, then just standing for more than 90% of the game.

Football does have cool plays that the make top ten, such as Odell Beckham Jr’s one handed catch. Hard part is those plays are so rare. They almost never happen. Yes, players make catches that are hard to do and no average person could complete, but every sport has those difficult plays. Watching that long of a game to only get hyped over a few plays is a waste of your time.

Touchdowns are very entertaining however that is only about two minutes of the three-hour-long game. On November 18th, the Buccaneers played against the Giants. The game was close, ending in a final score of 38-35. Based on the score of the game, you would think a lot happened but in reality, that’s not true. The Giants scored five touchdowns and one field goal. The Buccaneers almost came close to winning but they had five touchdowns and no field goals so they came up short.

Most football game scores are in the range of 15-30 points. Sounds high compared to other sports like soccer or hockey. But in reality the same scoring occurs in both. The only reason football scores seem higher is because their points are worth more.

I understand a lot of people like football. The Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event of the year, but I think people aren’t actually watching the sport. On Monday morning, social media is more alive with discussions of the commercials that aired throughout the evening than the game itself. Perhaps people only watch football in search of those breaks in the game so that they head to the crock pot and get some more cheese dip or tiny wieners.



Alexandra McPhee is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl.

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