What Makes American Football Great?

Alexander Muralles, Reporter

American football, is a beloved sport to the country where it’s name originated, as well as countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and South Korea, according to American Football International’s page “Top 10 Countries With the Most NFL Fans Out Of State”. There are a ton of reasons why football fans love the sport, a whole bunch for why the players love it, and a ton of reasons why it is such an amazing working industry.  They brought in $12 billion dollars last year, “up about 16% from the 2013-14 season,” as calculated by CNN. Americans obviously love their home-grown sport, as its profit margins are increasing by the year, Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, has even stated that his goal is for the NFL to be making $25 billion a year, by the year 2027! A pretty ambitious goal, but the only question posed is this: Why does America love this sport so much? We spend so much money on it; we have to be able to pinpoint a few reasons!

One of the reasons the fans love it so much delves into our brain. We are seeing athletes performing amazing feats, pushing their bodies to the limits, getting beaten and battered on the field, all to get that ball to the end zone. We can feel the determination in them, quite literally actually. In Discovery News’ article “Why Do We Love Football at Any Cost?” they quoted Eric Simmons, an author who wrote a book on the science behind the love of sports, as saying “Your hormones are doing what the players hormones are doing, you can look at the testosterone of male fans, and it’s not just adrenaline, but your testosterone goes up when your team wins and down when they lose”. What this means, is that when you watch football, you are tricking your brain into thinking it’s there. It’s the same principle, as when we get scared during a horror film, and why action movies always leave us feeling like Vin Diesel. Our brain puts us in there with the players, when they score, your brain feels like you scored.  When they are working, you get that same juice going in your brain. It’s neuroscience, along with a little psychology. Seeing these players tackle each other, allows us to release that same tension in ourselves, and our brain follows suit.

There’s more to football for the players than a million dollar paycheck. They love this sport for a lot of the same reasons football fans do, but there is definitely a lot more at stake for them. It’s a well known fact by now, that football along with any time you are getting your brain shaken around, that brain damage can arise. Let alone the constant injuries: broken bones, ligament tears. There are a lot of reasons why football should be terrifying for the players, but it isn’t. They continue to persevere, because that’s the type of person that becomes a professional sports player. People who are determine to work their body until they are as strong as steel.They set goals for themselves, and they do whatever it takes to succeed at achieving those goals. That’s why they are making the big bucks playing a game where a bunch of big men tackle each other for a ball, the determination! It’s all about playing for your team, and striving to be as best as you can be, so they go until they get their glory. Players spend lives, from high school to retirement, like Peyton Manning, because they love the rush, and they have the drive. It’s all about the game to them, as it should be when you have a $28 million dollar salary, like Eli Manning, as CBS so graciously charts, in their article about the highest paid football players.

Whether or not you enjoy football, you have to commend the players. They go day in day out, work hard, push harder, and achieve as much greatness as they can in a single day. That’s what football is about.