Sunday, December 19, 2010

But you HAVE to like the NFL!!

Uh, no, I don't.

It probably will surprise regular readers of this blog to hear that I am not a big fan of the National Football League. In fact, unless 4 teams are playing on television, I would prefer to leave it off and do something else. (The NFL Network's Sunday Drive is a happy compromise.)

In case you are wondering, those teams are the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. The Denver Broncos are my favorite team, but that franchise is a shell of what it used to be, and I can't get used to those uniforms. For me, the Broncos will always be decked out in those sky blue helmets with the "D" insignia, orange shirts and white pants.

But I digress.

The NFL, sarcastically dubbed by some as the "No Fun League", lacks the passion of college football, the spontaneity of the NBA, the quick-strike action of the NHL and the day-to-day intrigue of MLB. When I watch the sport, and often this is true when the four teams I listed above are playing, I see an almost clinical, robotic approach to the sport.

Moreover, the NFL has become so corporate that players are fined for the most trivial of offenses -- socks that are too short, shirts that aren't tucked in, tweets that are poorly timed or actions that endanger no one but are designed to show off some kind of personality.

Wonderful.

I also am concerned with local news agencies that devote too much time to their NFL team. Pittsburgh's local stations, for example, offer daily coverage in their "news" sections to the Steelers. Lest you think I am criticizing Pittsburgh, if you live in other television markets in which an NFL team exists, then you, too, have been subjected to the football team in the "news" cast.

I recognize that local news stations shouldn't contribute to my dislike of the NFL, but what the incessant coverage suggests is that these stations are using sports to generate newscast ratings. No other sport -- except during the post-season or when the unusual happens -- engenders reporting during the news portion of a newscast.

Many of my friends chuckle because of my affinity for the Canadian Football League. "Fake football" was how one person once described the CFL to me. Not for me. The CFL has the passion, spontaneity and quick-strike action I mentioned above. The longer field, 3 downs and deeper end zones ensure a wide-open game that I believe you would like if you gave it a chance.

The NFL is a behemoth, and neither the NBA, NHL nor MLB can match it. But I do what I can to avoid it. Nope, not much of a fan.

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