Forget hockey – football is king

This may surprise you coming from someone who grew up in small-town Canada, learned to skate when he was four and proudly admits to having watched all 26 editions of Don Cherry’s Rock’Em Sock’Em Hockey, but as far as I’m concerned, football is king. It wasn’t always this way. Up until this year I would have definitely toed the country line like a good Canadian and said that hockey is the best sport to watch, but now that we are three weeks into the 2015/16 NFL season I have to say that there is no sport in the world as captivating as football.

Erik Drost/Flickr Commons

Erik Drost/Flickr Commons

It all starts with the length of the season. With only sixteen games on the regular season schedule there is a sense of urgency to each and every game that is lacking in other professional sports. This isn’t baseball, where a ten game losing streak is something that can be bounced back from in the other 152 games. In the NFL every game has the intensity of a playoff game. Another positive that can be found in the way that the NFL’s games are scheduled is the awesomeness that is an NFL Sunday. All but two of the games in a week, one on Thursday and one on Monday, take place on a Sunday. This leads to a jam-packed lineup of games that begins at 10 a.m. and contin­ues up until the last game ends at around 9 p.m. That is almost 12 hours of non-stop football: something that any sports-loving, procrastination-prone university student should be able to appreci­ate. The week-long break between games also allows just the right amount of time for me to forget that weird combination of pride and self-loathing that is felt after spending 12 hours refusing to leave the couch.

Another factor that puts the NFL at the top of my weekly viewing list is the absolute circus that surrounds the game. For a sport that only runs from September to February, the NFL manages to dominate the headlines of the sporting world almost all year long. Whether it is deciphering just exactly what difference .03 psi of air pressure could really make, or getting a weekly update from J.J. Watt’s remote cabin summer escape, this summer is when it finally hit me that football is now just as much about the personal­ities involved and what happens off the field as the actual football season. The sport has become akin to a soap opera, and like any soap opera, it is absolutely necessary to watch each week’s episode so that you can spend the entire week discussing and deciphering what just happened.

So with week four of the season fast approaching, it is important to remember that as long as those Sundays spent watching football may feel, the season itself will be over all too quickly. So take advan­tage of all the lazy Sundays you can get, and enjoy the best league to watch in the world, because all too soon we will be stuck back adrift in the horrible time that most people call spring and summer, but what football fans know as the off-season.