10 Reasons Why American Football Is the Best Sport in the World

David Webber@@davidpwebber21Analyst ISeptember 15, 2011

10 Reasons Why American Football Is the Best Sport in the World

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    It's been 92 glorious years since the NFL's inception in 1920.  The league started as a fledgling endeavor and has gone through many trials and tribulations but is now firmly entrenched as the No. 1 sport in North America.

    While football has yet to make its name on the world stage (imagine a U.S. vs Britain football game. Blowout, anyone?), it is the opinion of many Americans that it is not only the best sport in the country but also in the world.

    Need proof?  Read on to learn the 10 best reasons why football is the most exciting sport in the world.

10. Tailgating

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    Rain or shine, day or night, hail or sleet.  Does it matter what the weather is?  Of course not, because tailgating is all about having fun no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

    A great stadium tailgate is a sight to behold—any unhealthy, fatty and grilled food you could ever want in all of its amateur goodness, tents with multiple flat screen televisions, recreational vehicles holding dozens of drunk people who have only partying and football on their minds.

    You can even play football with strangers and have your own Tailgating Bowl.

    What's not to like?

9. Cinderella Stories

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    Cinderella stories are seen throughout all sports but football has some really good ones that the fans can truly identify with.

    Take quarterback Kurt Warner, for example.  He was an Arena League flameout bagging groceries at a local store before the St. Louis Rams called him up.  The rest is history: Warner led one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, won the Super Bowl in 2000 and led the laughingstock Arizona Cardinals to a stunning Super Bowl appearance in 2009.

    How about Vince Papale, the Philadelphia Eagles walk-on forever immortalized by the movie "Invincible"? 

    Or even Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, who was a sixth-round pick and only got a chance to play when incumbent starter Drew Bledsoe was injured?

    The NFL is chock full of Cinderella stories that we all know and love.

8. The "Chess Match"

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    Nearly every football fan thinks he or she can coach a team.  But part of the reason that this is illogical (besides the fact that only 32 people in the entire world are qualified) is that coaching requires so much thinking and strategizing, only the truly gifted can do it.

    And honestly, what fan doesn't like seeing the wrinkles that a defense installs after halftime to stop the opposing offense?  Or when an offense executes a play that was drawn up so well, you can only marvel at it?

    Coaching is a game of chess; this metaphor is used because chess is considered THE game of strategy. It's fun to see how coaches strategize to get the upper hand each and every week.  No other sport requires so much thinking.

7. Rivalries

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    Yes, every sport has rivalries.  Baseball has the Yankees and the Red Sox.  There's the Cubs and the Cardinals.  Blackhawks and Red Wings.  Celtics and Lakers.

    But don't tell me that these rivalries are more intense than those in football—rivalries like Packers/Bears, Raiders/Steelers and Redskins/Cowboys (to name only a few).

    Admittedly, other sports may have the more historically appealing rivalries.  But in football, they are at their most intense because, well, the point of the game is to hit the other team in the mouth as hard as you can.  In football, rivalries bring out the best in both teams to the extent that it feels like a playoff atmosphere.  

    Put it this way: if the Yankees and Red Sox cleared their benches and fought amongst one another after a batter was intentionally hit by a pitch, it would be an event.

    In football, every play involves someone getting in a dogfight—and that's more exciting than any other sport can offer up.

6. Defensive Excitement

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    In no sport is defense more intriguing than football.  In basketball there are blocks and in baseball there are diving catches, but no sport can match football for its overall defensive excitement.

    While offense is and always will be king, defense in football can generate just as much of a reaction as a touchdown or long pass can.  Defensive touchdowns are among the most exciting plays in football and there is nothing that jacks up a team's collective adrenaline like a monster hit.

    The fact that defense in football can impact a game in such a strong way is the reason why it makes football so exciting.  

    Also, consider this: in other sports, defense can lead to scoring opportunities.  In football, the defense can simply take the ball and score itself.

5. Weekly Intrigue

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    Basketball and hockey can keep their 82 games.  Baseball can definitely keep its 162.

    Football?  For better or worse, we get only 16 and that means that every game is important.  You can take days off in other sports.  Losing a game in basketball often leads to the saying "it's only one out of 82."  In football, if you said "it's only one out of 16," you'd be cut on the spot.

    No sport can match the week-to-week urgency that is present in football stadiums across the nation on Sunday (and yes, Saturday, as college football ratchets up the weekly intensity as well).  It means that every fan is on the edge of their seat for every minute of the game, and that every play is meaningful to the outcome of the season.

    Football is the only sport that can grab your attention for every waking moment no matter what. 

4. Fantasy Football

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    The fact that every other sports' attempt at creating a successful fantasy game is a direct result of the success of fantasy football should be the only reason you need to know why fantasy football is important.  Football gave birth to an industry of armchair quarterbacks just dying to one-up their friends while following their favorite players at the same time.

    Fantasy football is no longer just a hobby.  It is a multi-million dollar industry that is given life simply because football exists. 

    C'mon.  Are there really any other reasons why football is the world's greatest sport?

3. Thanksgiving Traditions

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    There are many great American traditions, but none as exciting as Thanksgiving football.  Let's be honest: there are no single days of the year where we get our families together to play baseball or basketball simply because its a holiday.

    But on Thanksgiving, families across the nation go out, rain or shine, to play America's favorite sport and it has become a tradition that everyone looks forward to every year.

    Have you played enough football?  Then run into the house, grab some turkey and plop down in front of the TV to watch football for the rest of the day.

    Best day of the year?  I think so.

2. Parity

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    Parity is a beautiful thing.  It's the process in which certain factors combine to ensure that every team will be at least reasonably competitive for random periods of time.

    But in football, parity is alive and present every year.  Football is the ultimate game of inches, meaning that the smallest bounce could be the difference between a win and a loss.  Consider these snippets:

    • The last repeat Super Bowl winner was the New England Patriots in 2004.
    • The NFC has sent a different team to the Super Bowl in each of the last nine years.
    • Nearly every single year, four or five teams that failed to make the playoffs the prior year made it the year after.

    Parity may not be the most incredible thing to most fans, especially ones who like dynasties, but to most fans, parity is a sign that nothing will ever be the same in any year.

    To most fans, that's an enticing prospect.  Football is a sport that is never boring—nothing is ever as it seems.

1. The Super Bowl

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    The NBA Finals is best of seven.

    The Stanley Cup Finals is best of seven.

    The World Series is best of seven.

    The Super Bowl?  It is a game that defines the term "no tomorrow" and has been considered a national holiday for ages.

    Families across the nation watch the Super Bowl.  It needs two weeks of media coverage prior to kickoff in order to get all of the information needed to inform the public.  The commercials are classic.  The halftime show is epic.  More food is consumed on Super Sunday across the nation than on Thanksgiving.

    Oh yeah.  Super Bowl XLV between the Packers and Saints drew in 111 million viewers nationwide.

    It was the most-watched television program in United States history.

    Seriously, can any sport compete with that?