Baseball may be America's pastime, but football has become America's sport.
It is the most popular sport in the country and continues to grow each year. The NFL dominates Sunday television like no other event. It is one of the few sports where a mass majority of the fans are willing to watch any game, not just the game involving their favorite team.
The rules have changed over the years, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. However, football has never lost that magic that has made it the king of sports in the United States.
Why is football so great?
Here are five simple reasons.
The NFL is home to some of the best athletes in the world.
What is even more amazing is that their skill sets vary so much from player to player and position to position.
You have wide receivers that can run 40 yards in a little over four seconds, and then you have linemen that can bench 250 pounds 30-plus times. You have quarterbacks that can sling a football 70 or 80 yards down the field right into the hands of a waiting receiver, and running backs that can carry defenders on their back as if they were small children. There are linebackers that can hit you hard enough to rattle your insides around, and kickers that can boot a ball through two posts from 50-plus yards away on a windy day.
The magic is that all of these athletes are on the same field at the same time.
At any point during a football game, you could see an athletic feat that you never expected. Who would have ever thought they'd see a wide receiver front flip over a defender into the end zone?
Other sports have great athletes as well, but none of them can match the variety that football brings to the table.
Every Sunday is like a holiday during the NFL season.
Fans across the country sit down to watch the nationally broadcast game whether or not it includes their own team. Of course, they will always take their home team over any other game, but the interest in the sport overall is what makes it so powerful today.
Often times, NFL fans will sit down to watch pre-game coverage starting as early as 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning and not stop watching football until 10:00 or 11:00 at night. Then you have Monday Night Football as well as the games broadcast on Thursdays and occasionally Saturdays.
We also can't forget the massive event that the Thanksgiving Day games are and how many fans tune in on that holiday to watch football. Any day a game is on, you can expect that fans will be watching.
It works because every game matters.
Each team only has 16 games every season and one loss could crush their hopes of making the playoffs. You don't have a 162 games in football to figure out your team. Each week is just as important as the next, which is what brings the interest and importance to every week of football.
Football is a game of ultimate strategy.
A full week of game-planning goes in to each and every opponent during the NFL season. This involves breaking down game film to find trends and weaknesses in the opposing team. Then a week's work of practice drilling the players on what to expect and how to beat their rival.
No matter how much you prepare, it all comes down to execution on game day.
There is nothing more beautiful than to see an offense clicking and driving the ball downfield. Every one of the 11 players on the offense is doing their job and it appears almost surgical at times how they move the ball. Some quarterbacks are so good at this that it appears too easy for them at times.
Then other times you have a vicious defense that uses physicality to win a game. Huge defenders are flying in to the backfield, laying bone-crushing hits on opposing running backs or quarterbacks. Wide receivers attempting to catch balls over the middle often hear the footsteps of defenders closing in for a big hit.
A game can progress and end in so many different ways, but what you can count on is that it will always be entertaining.
There is no bigger sporting event in the world.
This year's Super Bowl broke viewer records with 111.3 million viewers. Not to mention the records they broke involving social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. NFL fan or not, there is a good chance that you were sitting down to watch the Super Bowl.
It is a fantastic spectacle.
We have two weeks of preparation that involves many pointless interviews and breaking down the game in every way possible. Every analyst on every station makes their prediction along with a variety of other celebrities and guests. The two weeks before the Super Bowl can be brutal to some, but it is all part of the buildup to the big game.
We have been fortunate to see some amazing contests in the Super Bowl in recent years. Every player is laying it all on the line for one game. Every player knows that this is the last game of the year and everything they have been working for rides on this one game.
The drama and magic of the game is unmatched. Players can instantly become legends that go down in NFL history or scapegoats that will never be forgiven by their home fans.
After the buildup of an amazing season, there is no better way to end it than one game for all the marbles.
The NFL has done an incredible job of creating parity in their league.
There are dominant teams and superstar players, but anyone can beat anyone in this league. The worst teams in the league can put together a performance that can trump the league's most elite any given week. You can predict all you want, but you never know what will happen until two teams take the field.
The drama that one game can bring is really what makes the sport unmatched.
You could have a high-scoring affair where two teams are going back and forth, making it appear as if the last team with the ball will win. Then there could be a defensive matchup that comes down to one big mistake by either team.
Is there anything more exciting then watching one of the league's best quarterbacks drive his team down the field with only seconds remaining on the clock? How many millions of fans hold their breath each week as the ball is snapped and the kicker approaches it for the game-winning filed goal? How many times have fans slowly stood up as the Hail Mary pass to win the game comes tumbling down in to a crowd of players in the end zone?
All of this is happening as these players carry the pressure of knowing that every game counts. That this is the win that could get them in to the playoffs. This is the win that could take them to the Super Bowl. This is the win that could make them champions.
Football may not be perfect, but it is still the greatest sport we have.