It’s 3 p.m on a Saturday and you are standing around with friends in the blistering heat, or the bitter cold, watching other people stand around slightly below you.
If this behavior sounds strange, it shouldn’t. Everyone has done it at least once; it’s called attending a football game.
It is also one of the reasons that American football, to its core, is a terrible sport.
The average college or professional football game can last anywhere from two and a half to four hours. According to sportsgrid.com in the average NFL game, there are just 11 minutes of actual game action.
In an NFL broadcast, there is more time devoted to watching replays, 15 minutes, than there is to actually playing the game.
An NFL broadcast of an average game lasting three hours and 12 minutes, consists of 63 minutes of commercials and 67 minutes of footage of players standing around.
The lack of playtime is just one of the multitude of reasons that football is a pretty terrible sport to play or watch.
One of the worst reasons to play football is the incredible amount of head trauma that players are essentially certain to incur.
According to the New York Times, the NFL has admitted in court documents that the organization fully expects a third of its players to acquire long term cognitive problems.
This is not so surprising considering how football players have been conditioned to tackle one another.
The helmets that football players wear are simply an illusion of safety. When watching a football game, most tacklers lead with their heads, arms by their side with no attempt to wrap-up an opponent.
However, in rugby where players rarely wear helmets, no one leads tackles with their foreheads because there is no illusion of safety as to bodily protection.
The concussion rates for rugby are much lower than those of football specifically because they don’t wear helmets.
The issue of helmets goes back to a reason that makes football boring: the amount of padding and protection that football players wear
People like to think of football players as being incredibly tough. But how tough do you need to be when you are wearing a modern day suit of armor to protect your head, chest and even thighs.
Many avid fans also claim that they like the strategy and creativity involved in football plays, the X’s and O’s coming together to make a positive play. But there is very little creativity involved in play making.
The wide receivers always sprint down the sidelines and across the field to catch passes. The running backs always run really fast at preset locations in the hopes that the offensive line will have created a hole.
The rigidity of the positions has stifled creativity to the point that it is almost nonexistent anywhere in the game. Fans will collectively lose their mind if a player does something even slightly outside their skill base, like a flea flicker, because actual creative plays are so rare.
Not to mention that creativity doesn’t come from having a plan and sticking to it no matter what the circumstances are, it comes from being dynamic and adapting in split second decisions.
For these reasons and several others, football is one of the worst sports that the U.S has ever come up with.