"America's Team": ESPN's Use of the Term Is Pointless and Stupid

Ian MaloneCorrespondent IIIFebruary 1, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  The color guard presents a full field flag for the national anthem before the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

ESPN has been having frequent debates between its commentators regarding which NFL team should be referred to as "America's Team."

The Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are amongst the teams being awarded the moniker.

But there's a bigger question at hand.

Why is the question even being asked? 

Seriously. Football is a sport played almost exclusively by America. It's probably more popular in America than it is in every other country combined. So why would there be America's team?

What do the other 31 teams do when one single team is announced as America's team? Are we supposed to instantly root for this team supported by America, even if they are playing a team that we also support?

Football is a regional sport. Therefore fans are most likely people who live in the area. The concept of "America's team" just doesn't apply in this instance. There's not even a team in Canada.

If football was a worldwide sport like soccer, this idea might make sense. But even then, how many soccer teams are called "England's team" or "Spain's team?"

It's a term manufactured by ESPN to fill the company's airtime, especially in a week like this, where the Super Bowl is a week away but we've already had a week's worth of downtime. It may seem like a good idea to some, but to me it's just pointless. A sport only popular in one country should not have a national team.

Fortunately, this isn't really a problem. Even if the Cowboys or the Steelers were given this title, I still wouldn't root for them. I doubt many people would accept it, which is why it just doesn't work.