Finally, The NFL Has Come Back!!!!
Yes, it's been 207 days (I actually counted) since we saw the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI (56) last February 13th by a 23-20 count.
That game took place in Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium back in February. Fast-forward 207 days, and we are back in the same stadium to start the 2022 regular season. The World Champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills tonight with an 8::20 pm kickof from SoFi Stadium.
lt is just amazing how football, and especially NFL football has become our National Pastime in the last 30-40 years. Despite the issues it has had in the last 10-15 years (which we've all talked about), the game gets more and more popular. The Super Bowl is the highest-rated television program for the year, every year. NFL Sunday Night Football (on NBC) is the highest-rated TV program every week during its run in the fall and winter. And NFL playoff games have become events that you must watch.
There are lots of reasons why the NFL is now our National Pastime, here are a few:
THE INFREQUENCY OF GAMES
Because teams only play once a week (MLB, NHL, and NBA teams play much more frequently per week), fans look forward to the next game the day after they recap/review/trash talk about. There are only 17 regular season games, not 82 like in the NHL and NBA, or 162 like in MLB. So fans only have so many games to look forward to. Each game is an event.
Ed Sabol founded NFL Films in the early 1960's. And since that time, his brainchild has set the standard for cinematography in America. They have done an incredible job of capturing the essence of the game and romanticizing it. They have won well over 100 Emmy awards for their work. And who could ever forget the voice of John Facenda (The autumn wind is a pirate...)? Both Ed Sabol and son Steve (the longtime president of NFL Films) are properly enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio for their outstanding work.
Top-level NFL players, coaches, and owners (in some cases) have become household names in the last generation or two. More people know who Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Donald are than they do great athletes in other sports like Mike Trout, Alex Ovechkin, Rafael Nadal, and Tyson Fury (just to name a few). The league and it's TV partners have done a tremendous job of promoting the game in America. And the game has especially exploded in popularity among women.
LOTS MORE ACTION IN FOOTBALL, DESPITE THE DOWNTIME
They are at least 25 seconds in between plays (in many cases more). But despite that, fans are enthralled by the action that occurs in the 5-15 seconds that it takes for a play to happen. The buildup to each play is just massive. And then when the play happens, it is just an explosion of effort and emotion in the stadium, on the field and in the stands. You don't get that in other sports.
I could go on and on. But I'll stop there. Baseball lovers have been and are in denial, but football is our National Pastime now. And it's not changing anytime soon.
Football is KING!! Everything else is third.