It is that time of the year again, and we are buzzing with excitement! Come autumn and winter, the New Yorker is not as pally with his Seattle cubicle mate as he is at other times of the year. The dolphins of Miami are no longer those cute snub-nosed friendly creatures from the sea; we are instead talking about brawny men in helmets breathing fire as they sprint across the field and ram against their enemies. It is the NFL season when it is perfectly legit to go crazy. Of course, we all have different reasons to love the football season.
- We take away memories that we can talk about till the next season.
Janet Jackson too has a spot in NFL history. Image courtesy lonutzmovie on Wikimedia Commons via CC BY-SA 2.0
Dan Marino’s touchdown passes and that clincher of a snap in the dying minutes of play when the Dolphins were trailing the Jets 24-6.
Moves like when the New Orleans Saints executed an onsides kick to completely befuddle the Indianapolis Colts and win the game after trailing 10-6 at half-time.
Adam Vinatieri’s 45-yard field goal on a snow- and ice-covered ground that eventually saw the Patriots triumph over the Oakland Raiders.
We carry around some game memories for years. But the NFL season also creates memories that even those who are not fans of the game talk about. For instance, those who don’t know a fumble from an incomplete pass remember Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” incident that Justin Timberlake had a hand in (We couldn’t resist the pun).
The game rivalries may spill on to the streets, offices, and bars, but the spirit of camaraderie is unmistakable. It comes from sharing a love of the game. The NFL season is festival time. The food, fun, and the music are celebrations of the American way of life while the on-field displays of strength, agility, and endurance, the comebacks, and the never-say-die attitude embody the American spirit. We love the football season because we love to identify ourselves with all that NFL stands for.
- The SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!
A Super Bowl Half-Time Show. Image courtesy IndianBio on Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 2.0
The half-time performances. From Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, and The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé and U2, the gods and goddesses (However, we reserve our comments for Katy Perry.) of rock and pop have all wooed billions of football fans through the years.
Pizzas, chicken wings, chips, and nuts. An unending flow of beer. A time to celebrate with friends and families.
Super Bowl Sunday is the unofficial holiday in the U.S.A. On this day, you are either at home and in front of the television or at the game.
- We love the traditions and want to cling to them.
The Seattle 12th Man Flag Raised High and Proud. Image courtesy SeahawkScreamer on Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 3.0
We are a sentimental lot, and we LOVE to hold on to traditions. We love it that some things remain same through the years.
If you are a Patriots’ fan, the sound of the muskets firing off every time your team scores is music to your ears. Or for that matter, the ear-splitting cannon fires that celebrate a Buccaneers touchdown. Familiarity is comforting unless of course, your team plays against the Broncos and goofs up on a pass. The Denver fans never miss a chance to scream IN-COMPLETE; they really know how to taunt.
Some other traditions are quieter but equally inspire the home teams. Like the Seahawks fanbase tradition of raising the 12th Man flag.
- It is the time to connect and share passions.
Bonding over food and drinks. Image courtesy Gnomedude on Flickr via CC BY-2.0
Yes, with perfect strangers as well, over beer and sausages and corn.
We live in times when connections are no deeper than liking a post on FB and sharing oneself is uploading a selfie on Instagram. We can socialize without meeting a real person for days on end. Then suddenly, the NFL season kicks in and we find ourselves in the midst of people, the flesh-and-blood kind. Not only are they vibrantly alive but also share our deepest passions. The bonding between like-minded souls feels electric.
- We love the par-tay.
A United States Air Force Super Bowl Party. Image courtesy Qrsdogg on Wikipedia via Public Domain license
NFL season is the unofficial party season-whether Monday night, Thursday or an all day Sunday funday! Nobody frowns if we drink beer and dance all day. We can dress in hideous costumes and paint our bodies in garish colors and still pass off as being “cool.”
- The beer.
Everyone knows NFL and beer go together. Image courtesy Tom Thai on Flickr via CC BY-2.0
This is that time of the year when we can down barrels of beer without worrying if it is going to our bellies. Bud Light. Bud Weiser. PBR. There are plenty of choices, and we want to try out everything.
A tailgate party.Image courtesy Ben Vardi on Wikimedia Commons via Public Domain license.
They say food is an integral part of a culture. We agree. The NFL is as much about the game as it is about the food. You may watch your weight and count calories for the rest of the year, but when you are at the game, you HAVE to bite into a pulled pork sandwich, try a cupcake, and gorge on hamburgers and hot dogs.
You know the tailgating season is underway when the smell of barbecue wafts through the air on a September Saturday!
- We love the adrenaline rush that every game brings on.
Cliffhanger moments make up every game. Image courtesy skeeze on Pixabay via CC0 Public Domain license
That’s because, the NFL rules are created to keep all the teams on their toes. Every team plays only 16 games, and you are in deep trouble if you lose two in a row. Every moment in every game is packed with excitement and no one can take it easy. The adrenaline rush in football is nothing like it is in baseball where there are 162 regular-season games or in basketball and hockey, where it is 82. It is a mad scramble to the Super Bowl Sunday.
- The GAME, of course!
What’s not to love?
We LOVE the on-field action. Image courtesy Ytoyoda on Wikimedia via CC BY-2.0
The hard hits. The synchrony of a series of perfect passes. A linebacker in hot pursuit and willing to give it his all to keep the quarterback from touching the ball. The violent tackles of a free safety. NFL is not just a bunch of beefy guys pushing and shoving one another to possess a ball and make off with it to the end of the field. The game is a blend of beauty, brute strength, (sometimes) violence, and raw athleticism. There are strategies (We admire them.) behind the moves but improvisations (These get the loudest cheers.) are also common.
But most importantly, we cannot help but be swayed by the passion that is palpable in the air.
Go! Fight! Win!