I hate the NFL. Truly.
Do I watch every Sunday from noon to midnight? Yes. Do I know every team’s record and the college that their backup quarterback went to? Sure. But that has more to do with what I like to refer to as my risk/reward and probability/statistics hobby that loses me less money than you’d think.
All this being said, the NFL sucks.
The sport itself, American football, is terrible to begin with. It is 90% commercials, 7% getting into formation, and 3% action. Fans are forced to sit around watching a bunch of athletes who only play on one side of the ball stand around and wait for the ball to be snapped into action. Most plays end as a mere two-yard rush between the tackles, and then the process of calling a play, getting into formation and making little to no progress begins all over again.
Here and there, teams will bust open plays for big chunk gains that, I’ll admit, can be exciting. These plays are often called back thanks to such classic penalties as: “Holding,” “illegal hands to the face,” “tackling the quarterback,” and my favorite, “being too happy that you did something good.”
Nothing like waiting 30 minutes for a big play, only to have it called back because a player on the opposite side of the field got a handful of some 420-pound monster’s jersey.
Every NFL game must have NO LESS than 20 television timeouts. That is 20 times per game that action is stopped to show us advertisements. So, instead of watching Tom Brady get his head ripped off by an unmarked defensive end, I get to watch Tom Brady tell me all about a new sandwich I can get at Subway.
Fantasy football is something that I begrudgingly participate in. My buddies and I have managed to keep the same league alive since 2005, and it survives now purely on tradition. I do enjoy watching my players outperform the players of a guy I haven’t seen since we graduated in 2008, and this device will likely keep me watching the NFL for the rest of my days. The fantasy aspect is considerably less fun than just actually gambling on the games, but unfortunately, this is the only way that 12 straight guys can stay in touch without getting uncomfortable.
While leg injuries seem to be the most common, every part of the human body is liable to get absolutely destroyed at any given moment for any given player for no reason whatsoever. In essence, the NFL is a never-ending carousel of the most exciting players taking turns being injured
How a sport survives with a third of its superstars dealing with months-long injuries has always baffled me. Watching a bunch of backups play against a bunch of backups. Cool.
The NFL isn’t even fun to participate in water cooler small talk about, because the average NFL fan knows only about eight players on the 53-man roster of the team that they are “die-hard” supporters of. NFL fans generally don’t know more than a handful of rules to the game, zero history, nothing about playoff implications or structure, or even the most basic strategic elements to the game.
Talking about last night’s game with the average fan of the NFL can be infuriatingly dull and shallow. Most fans boil their takes down to a player they like and a player they don’t like, which is infuriating for a self-proclaimed gamer like myself (gamer as in somebody who loves games in all forms).
In contrast, the NBA has highly intelligent and knowledgeable fans who are absolutely delightful to discuss the sport with. I love the NBA.
Lastly, and I do not say this lightly, the NFL is racist as hell.
From my experience living in Vermont, Milwaukee, and Chicago; NFL viewers over the age of 50 tend to be nominal football fans who watch the NFL because it’s a good old boys club, and it is only expected that they at the very least follow one team.
Outside of that obligation, they know little to nothing about the sport and spend more time complaining about a Black guy celebrating an interception than they do about a white guy deflating footballs to gain an illegal competitive edge over his opponents.
The NFL is a league that is made up of 70% Black players but refuses to listen to any Black issue out of fear that they’d lose their Jan. 6 apologist fan base.
Frankly speaking, why wouldn’t the NFL attract a fan base that embodies the most problematic traits of conservative culture in America? Most people know the early chapters of the Colin Kaepernick story but don’t know that the NFL settled a massive lawsuit with him to end what would likely have turned into a full-blown investigation into the correspondence of any number of associates affiliated with the league. If you want to speculate what the league was afraid might be uncovered, just type “Jon Gruden” into Google.