Score One To The Beautiful Game
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first NFL game, and being the incredibly passionate sports fan I am, it’s quite surprising that it took me 20 years to find my way into the stadium of a professional football team on a Sunday afternoon.
With that said, I went to an Eagles-Ravens game in Philadelphia. Before any Giant fans jump to conclusions, I’m not an Eagle fan; I was there for one of my best friend’s birthday.
I was merely a mercenary fan.
Just for some context, I’m a die-hard Viking fan that takes pride in the fact that my “Purple People Eaters” will break my heart at least once every year.
But to the Giants fans I referenced earlier, I hate your team with a burning passion. Remember 41-0 at the Meadowlands 12 years ago in the NFC Championship game? I do. I was seven. And I cried. A lot. But, I digress.
What interested me most three Sundays ago at Lincoln Financial Field was how I couldn’t focus on the game that was happening directly in front of my eyes. It’s not like it wasn’t an exciting game, because it truly was.
The fact of the matter is that the whole experience was an absolute spectacle. There were cheerleaders at every corner of the field, advertisements on the jumbo-tron, reporters walking the sidelines as if they were members of the team and after every timeout, it seemed like each of the 53 players from both squads would make their way onto the field.
There was too much going on to focus on the actual game.
Don’t get me wrong; I love watching football, but watching an NFL game live was a totally different experience than what I initially expected it to be.
So, taking into consideration my observations, I began to compare the experiences of watching a live football game with a live soccer game; because we all know that I can’t go a week without mentioning the beautiful game.
Obviously, I was a bit biased going into my experiment since I’m obsessed with soccer, but I put on my freshest objective-journalist face and got to thinking.
By the time I was finished pondering my thoughts, the Eagles had won, Ray Lewis was eyeing down one of the replacement refs with a menacing look and I realized that a live football game doesn’t at all compare to a live soccer game when searching for a plentiful sporting experience.
If you think I’m crazy, bear with me for a second.
Football is entertaining, I understand that. But how entertaining would it be without the pre-game spectacles, music in between plays, cheerleaders and tailgating?
It’d still be amusing, but not nearly to the same extent.
Also, take into consideration that there are 60 minutes of actual game time, yet you’re forced to squeeze into a 15-inch plastic seat for three hours to watch roughly 130 plays that last about ten seconds each.
Until the fourth quarter of the Eagle game, I wasn’t about that life. There’s only so much I can handle of Andy Reid jogging up and down the sidelines, relaying messages to his offense in between downs.
Soccer, on the other hand; it’s poetry in motion. It’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted speed and grace combined with a sprinkle of the aforementioned spectacle. Only in this case, the spectacle is gamesmanship rather than fireworks (I still have your back, CR7).
All in all, soccer could live on without any supplementary activities surrounding it.
I’m not saying that football (this is not a typo) is better than American football, I’m just stating my firm belief that the sport that asks its players to kick rather than throw is a better live experience than the one whose ball is the cause of this supposed bacon shortage.
Maybe there’s a reason behind St. John’s’ lack of a football team. I bet the administration is a genuine supporter of the beautiful game and its utter sporting pureness. Considering this University’s global outreach, its only fitting that it chooses to embrace a global game rather than one whose foundation is based on spectacle.
Probably not, though.