Gridiron Vs Football

Originally posted on Goonersphere.

Football is constantly in battle with itself.

Fans of differing generations put forth their strongest hands, claiming it was better in their day.

What is overlooked often though, is that all generations of the sport have their part to play in creating the behemoth we see today.

So, in essence, we are all correct and wrong simultaneously. The ills that blight the game are simply symptoms of the path the game has walked, set on its way by the elders we all look upon with the highest regard.

There are current factors in the game that are pored over thanks to their nefarious nature. Diving, playacting, pleading for set-plays and the booking of the opposition, the obscene amounts of money. All eating away at the soul of the beautiful game.

Well I’m here to tell you that we could have it far worse.

America embrace sports just as passionately as us. The big games across the pond are treated with such gravitas that they are akin to a public holiday – and none are bigger than the Superbowl.

The buildup to this auspicious day is so gargantuan it has now started to bleed into our day over here. Not only this, but American Football is now big business over here. Fan clubs and games played in the UK means gridiron is now standing alongside our very own sports for attention.

I have recently attempted to dip my proverbial toe into the waters of American Football. I follow pretty much all sports, some more avidly than others, but if it is competitive and has points, I’ll watch it. I have watched some games on the TV and recently, I went to Wembley with my brother and dad to catch a game.

It was an absolutely awful experience, and even though our very own football has its wrongs, they pale into comparison alongside gridiron.

We moan about stoppages in football.

We have NOTHING to moan about.

American Football, in the majority of matches I have seen, have three seconds of play, followed by at least three to five minutes of stoppages. It is so staccato, so regularly peppered with nothing, that the entertainment that takes place in these hiatuses in play is fundamental.

Without it, spectators would just be sitting and watching the players stand in a field. The blow is softened somewhat when watching on TV as pundits and replays fill the voids, but four quarters of fifteen minutes drips by thanks to this awful system.

And we thought we had it bad with players moaning at referees and holding the play up.

My experience with American Football has left me thirstier for actual football. If these two sports were movies, then football would be Die Hard and American Football would be Die Hard 4. With less action. And the guns replaced with balloons.

Gridiron fans wax lyrical about the hard hits these hard men take. Granted, occasionally these men covered in padding receive a really vicious tackle, but compare this to Rugby where players are constantly in the thick of it, not allowed to have a breather after three and a half seconds of action.

Stop, stop, stop, start. There is no rhythm to that American sport. It is frustrating to watch, it isn’t fun like sports are meant to be.

Anyone who disagrees with me, watch a game of football alongside a match of gridiron. Watch how time ticks by in a natural manner on the clock during ‘soccer.’

Then look at the gameclock during a game of American ‘Football.’ Gadzooks! Time stands still as if frozen? What is this sorcery?

Physical sport is meant to be frantic, it is meant to tick by. Even goalless draws have those minutes at the end of the game where chances are made and spurned. In Gridiron, there are exceptions, but it is hard to stay pumped for the duration.

The last two Superbowls are great exhibitions that this sport can thrill, but they are the exceptions.

American Football has the capacity for huge excitement. Of course it does, the audience numbers it generates are testament to this. Look at last season’s Superbowl comeback from the Patriots when they defeated the Falcons. That was a true spectacle.

It is also the exception though.

I think I’ll stick to football.

2 thoughts on “Gridiron Vs Football”

  1. Dealing in comparisons can be similar to using statistics in that you can choose the subject to use as a comparison as you can choose the particular set of statistics you wish to make your point. If you wish to enhance your chosen subject then select a comparison that enhances your preferred selection. Of course the opposite applies if you wish to denigrate. Having established that,I agree with your analogy re Gridiron.

    But the point could easily be made that in that Gridiron the wasted time is not down to the opposition hassling the officials to take disciplinary action against a player adjudged to have infringed the rules, or to feign an infringement or the extent of the pain inflicted.

    Likewise, as you so rightly suggest, comparing the football of yesteryear with the current game is counter productive – e.g. “players were men in our day, none of this mamby pamby rolling around on the ground, they got up and got on with it”. Yes that was the case, as was the lack of substitutes and playing with 10 men (or less).

    The issue I take from your comments is the cheating that occurs in virtually every game I watch in the game as played in 2018. It has now got to the point where the commentators and pundits alike are looking to justify absolutely minimal contact as a sound reason for a player throwing themselves to the ground in seemingly absolute agony. “Yes I believe there was contact there, so it’s definitely a penalty”, how many times per season, even per game in some cases, do we hear that comment. Now it would seem technology is to be used to establish whether or not contact has been made, regardless whether it was sufficient to cause a loss of balance.

    The merest touch does not warrant an episode of ‘Holby City’. This disease should be eradicated from the game, it’s false and its dishonest. But it would seem that there is a reluctance to deal with the matter from the authorities, it appears that they shield themselves in many instance by letting the match officials take the flack, only this past week I heard a commentator remark – “I think the referee is aware of ‘X’ players reputation for diving so he dismissed the claim” .

    Many of the perpetrators of this shameful behaviour are well known to everyone involved in the game, from spectators to the respective authority panels. So when are the authorities going to make a genuine effort to remedy the situation, or is this aspect of the game to receive the same apathetic reaction as the dilemma of the outlandish spending?

    Liked by 1 person

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