I fucking LOVE football.
Varsity football, college football, NFL - You name it.
(NOT that sissy ass British football where the players are too afraid of hurting themselves - or worse, scratching their pretty faces - to get in there and play the damn game.)
Some of my favourite memories of high school are sitting on the cold metal bleachers, listening to the cheerleaders, clutching a steaming cup of hot chocolate, laughing with friends, while our team sucked it up on the field. Yeah, our high school team, The Greyhounds, were TERRIBLE. But that didn't matter because we always had fun.
(It helped that our marching band ROCKED.)
(Eaton Rapids v. Mason, 2011)
Friday night football games in small town America aren't just about the game, they're about community. It's a time to chat and catch up and show your pride in your home town. It was about belonging.
I got to see my first NFL game back in 2010. It was my birthday and we went to watch the Washington Redskins v. the Detroit Lions. The crowd was AMAZING.
(Lions v. Redskins, 2010)
Here, in Britain, football fans have to be seperated to stop violence. The fans aren't even allowed to drive to the stadium together! One team's fans get directed to follow one path while the other team's fans have to drive in another way. How sad is that?
What were the fans like at the NFL game?
I'll use the fans who were sitting in front of us as an example. One was a Lions fan and the other was a Redskins fan. (That's right, the crowd was MIXED - Britain would never imagine something like that!) They were laughing, and joking, and drinking beers together the whole time and never ONCE was there any threat of violence between them. In fact, they had me laughing so hard that I was spending just as much time watching them as I was watching the game.
Community, friendship, fun, pride... Just a few reasons I love football.
Oh. Did I mention the voilence? On the field, obviously. You know that CRUNCH you get when two players collide on the field? Oh, boy, do I love that noise! :)
So... If you didn't know before, you do now. I love football. And, like anything I love, there's a pinterest board for it: