A Briton Converts to American Football

Gerard Baker, a native of the UK, grew up playing and watching two different sports called football, or what Americans refer to as soccer and rugby. But since that time, his passion for the sports of his homeland has petered out in favor of the American game. Why? Baker explains:

It's none of the usual explanations: lots of scoring being better than endless nil-nil draws—I've been to cricket matches in which 1,000 runs were scored and you could hardly call them riveting. It's not the hoopla or the sport-as-family-entertainment thing either which soccer fans accustomed to English hooliganism are supposed to appreciate. (Have you ever been to an Eagles game?)

Baseball fans will have to forgive me here, but the answer, I think, is that football is the quintessential American sport. It's no accident it hasn't really caught on elsewhere (the annual NFL game in London notwithstanding) whereas baseball and basketball have at least a claim to a global following and participation.

In its energy and complexity, football captures the spirit of America better than any other cultural creation on this continent, and I don't mean because it features long breaks in which advertisers get to sell beer and treatments for erectile dysfunction. It sits at the intersection of pioneering aggression and impossibly complex strategic planning. It is a collision of Hobbes and Locke; violent, primal force tempered by the most complex set of rules, regulations, procedures and systems ever conceived in an athletic framework.

Soccer is called the beautiful game. But football is chess, played with real pieces that try to knock each other's brains out. It doesn't get any more beautiful than that.


Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: AP

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@ojimbob You should check out some of the games on ONE HD mostly monday mornings from around 4:30am, you'll pick up what you don't understand and can pretty much google the rest! I, myself am an Australian that has been interested in American Football for 3 or so years and notice that the popularity of the NFL here is increasing all the time.
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"Why's the American football player carrying the flag upsidedown"

cause some brit handed it to him that way... /or do you think he actually strung it up on that pole?
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