Why are we so enamored with the National Football League? I mean we have an insatiable appetite for pigskin.
Television ratings are skyrocketing and the fan base seems more rabid than ever before. Not to mention, the media dissect professional football from every angle possible. Before the game, during the game, after the game, football coverage is everywhere, and we eat it up. It's streaming online, on our phones, on TV, the radio, newspaper, all kinds of magazines and social media is abuzz as we follow our favorite players on Twitter.
I'm not even going to delve into fantasy football or gambling of any nature, because that's been going on for a long time and those who engage have been watching the NFL for decades. But, obviously there are more than just the fanatics who enjoy Sundays and Monday evenings.
I think we can safely say that the average person is an NFL fan. The average person didn't even play football competitively at any point of their life. Nonetheless, we need it in our lives.
Why? There's the social element. For many, nothing beats saddling up on the couch with a bunch of friends for a Sunday salute to the TV set. Or, going to the sports bar where nearly 100 screens are beaming the best HD action you can find.
You also have to consider the raw talent and awe-inspiring size of professional football players. Seeing them crush each other with incredible force only to get up and walk back to the line of scrimmage is incredible.
Are they role models? Some. Most probably are not. I wouldn't say we love football because of the quality of individuals playing the game, although some do great things for their communities.
The League certainly is a big reason why we love the game. It is marketed beautifully. They market that thing to perfection. And, one game a week;if baseball, hockey and basketball cut their schedules every game would have so much more meaning.
I can't put my finger on any one reason why I love football. I never played it competitively, I don't put big money on the games, and I haven't even watched more than one complete game in a season since 2005. But, I crave the coverage all week. I want a steady dose of NFL news morning, noon and night. I can't wait for Sundays to come. The analysis, debates and statistics; I love all discussion about the League.
Maybe most of all we love it because it's a wonderful escape. Seeing these super-freakish athletes twist, turn and contort their bodies at fascinating speeds is a marvel.
Thank goodness the NFL ended its lockout quickly, I can't imagine what sports news I'd consume. Soccer anyone?