NFL Football: A Love Affair That Runs Deep

Ray TannockSenior Analyst ISeptember 12, 2009

On Sunday, my undivided attention will be focused on one major sporting event: The NFL and Kickoff Sunday!

The opening day of the football season is the Christmas of all of sporting events. The giddy feeling of hearing—for the first time—the NFL “swan songs” of your favorite pregame shows.

The anticipation of seeing your favorite team make their virgin entrance onto the field, and the indelible roar of the crowd as we climatically watch the opening day kickoff.

Are you ready for some football?

The beauty and mystique of this glorious game is heavily steeped in tradition.

The notion of getting out on the field, week in and week out, giving 110 percent, and literally destroying your body seems intimidating to most of us, but to the various soldiers on that field, it’s all just a day’s work.

It is a game that teaches us the value of teamwork, communication, and never giving up. It’s a game where 1,696 players all chase the same dream every single week; a very powerful message.

You can sense the tension quicker than a cat can sense an earthquake. You can understand the energy between two bitter rivals without even having a clue as to how the game works.

You don’t even have to be fan of the game to know names like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or even legends such as Walter Payton, Joe Montana, or Johnny Unitas; somehow, you just do.

For me, there simply isn’t any other way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

This one day is almost ritualistic. The early venture to the Lord’s house, a quick game of catch with my son—who used to play some football—and a long relegation to the kitchen where my olfactory region is invaded with the pleasantries of whatever party favors I decide to whip up.

This, of course, is quickly followed by the arrival of various friends and family—some of whom who are my arch-rivals—and the early morn rapidly advances to stage two: Game time!

In the background are the echoes of children playing, in the foreground is today’s special feature; best served cold with a side of “your team sucks.”

This game is just different from every other sport.

I feel every hit, I simultaneously yell with the coaches on every bad call—as if my war cry will have any effect on the outcome—I seethe at every fumble, and dropped pass, and I dance around like a little kid after every score.

Football isn’t the kind of sport that reminds us of hot dogs and peanuts, or chewing gum. Football is the kind of sport that reminds us of Band-aids, and the importance of health insurance.

It’s the kind of game that proves you can run through a guy like a Mack truck and still get up to get a drink of Gatorade. It's the kind of sport where trash talking is a whole new language understood by the player AND the fan.

It gets the blood moving faster than the residents of Haddonfield, Ill., on Halloween night, and keeps us satisfied till the very last tick of the clock—unless, of course, you happen to be on the losing end.

We wake up with headaches every Monday morning with our voices raped of all functionality, making most of us sound like Jimmy Durante on a good day.

This is FOOTBALL! There’s not a football fan alive who doesn’t have an undying love for this game.

This is tradition at its finest. It’s the one thing we relish for five months out of the year, and yearn for the other seven.

So, when it comes to deciding where my attention will be Sunday, there is no question. I’ll be one fan in a sea of thousands who will choose NFL Sunday Football!