Do you find yourself struggling to get invested in American football? If so, here are some of the best tips you can use that should get you started with enjoying it.
Ryan at ATS.io said my very first introduction to American football was unforgettable. It was Superbowl XLV. A matchup between the Packers and the Steelers. Until this very moment, American football didn’t interest me. While I did enjoy my share of Ace Ventura, Dan Marino wasn’t the highlight of my movie watching endeavors.
While it may not have been the best idea to choose the final game of the football season to be my introduction to the sport, it was hard not to watch considering the hype it was generating. Unfortunately, it ended up boring me to the point where I fell asleep.
The play was extremely broken up with long commercial breaks. However, it’s important to note that the commercials themselves were very entertaining compared to the sport itself. Unfortunately, this didn’t necessarily make me thrilled to get back into it. Even the halftime show itself wasn’t entertaining and it was one of the things I went into with high expectations.
However, fast-forward three years and my mindset and interest in the game have taken a 180. It started when I visited my friends in Chicago in 2012. It was then when I ingrained myself into the Chicago culture. I was specifically focusing on engrossing myself in the city’s historic sporting teams, achievements, and venues. It was the year 2014 when I moved out of my parent’s house for the very first time. I had the Sky sports package at the time. It was then when I started watching football on Sunday nights because I didn’t find anything better to watch.
That’s when I made the concerted effort to get into the sport and here are some suggestions I have come up with based on my experience.
1. Choose a Team
First and foremost, you need to choose a team. While individual sports can be easier to watch when you are considered neutral, that’s not the same with team sports. With team sports, it’s impossible to get truly invested as a neutral. You need to choose a team if you want to get into it because of the hysteria created by each team, the team’s history, and the merchandising.
You want to ensure that you are choosing a team that is fully aligned with your level of sentimentality. You are going to be much more likely to stick with the right team through the bad times rather than opting for the best teams. However, if you do choose the best team, be prepared to be referred to as a ‘bandwagon fan.’
For me, it was easy. I decided to go with the Bears due to my connection with Chicago.
2. Pick a Player
You want to go into the season having a player that you are rooting for. A lot of people often criticize people for rooting for a player rather than a team. This is especially true in England where the girls at school rooted for David Beckham.
Think about a player that you admire or one that you have a connection to. Or think about what player has the talents you truly admire. Doing this will help you find a team that you can root for.
3. Fantasy Football
While this isn’t something that I have participated in myself yet, it is something that can get you invested in the game. You want to dip your toes into fantasy football if you are looking to enjoy yourself. There are plenty of different leagues you can join and you can find yourself having a great time if you get yourself invested in it. This also ties in with the next tip.
4. Watch Redzone
Redzone can be a game-changing moment for those who are looking to get into football. It takes all of the live-action from the games. That way, you don’t have to experience the dullness that comes in between plays during huddles and commercials. It can keep you in the action of some of the biggest plays being made at the time.
5. Watch a Game
You want to do this first. However, go into it knowing how long the games are. You will find the games to be pretty long in terms of duration. Therefore, you can expect to sit around for a while. However, the game is split into 4 quarters totaling 15 minutes each. Touchdowns are worth a total of 6 points and an extra point conversion is worth 1 for a total of 7. The ball can be tossed forward once per play but it can be tossed backward multiple times.