Sunday, November 21, 2004

Football Fanatics

George Will's column in the Washington Post today is a funny and interesting look at the fanaticism of 'Bama fans. (Will's first love is baseball, at least among sports, and I'd recommend reading any of the many things he's written on the subject.)

One of the things I miss because of living in Europe is American football, particularly the NFL. You have to say "American football" over here because "football" in Europe and almost all the rest of the world means "soccer" in American parlance.

I've tried to learn about football (or soccer, if you insist), and I've watched it often. But I just don't get it. Maybe I'm missing some cultural gene. I see a lot of obviously athletic guys running first to the left, then to the right, kicking the ball as they go. I don't see the strategy, although my friends assure me it's there. Ninety minutes, and maybe a couple of goals get scored. The goals seem to happen by surprise, and everybody goes nuts. Sometimes, the ball gets kicked by the wrong guy, and he scores a goal for the other team. Go figure.

I guess it's a lot like basketball, which Europeans are good at, except in basketball there's more scoring and it's a lot harder to accidentally score for the opposing team. And European football and American basketball seem to have more than that in common these days, given the level of violence during and after games.

At least I get to see NFL football once in a rare while on TV. You don't have to speak the announcers' language if you know the rules.


Blogger Kingfish said...

Awesome post. Enjoyed it very much but the bama fans can't hold a candle to lsu(geaux tigers)

1:05 PM, November 21, 2004  

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