Tuesday, October 6, 2015

That's Right...Football, American Style!

They are the NFL, and the NFL is one of the most watched sports in this country.  Sure, around the world they call soccer football, but even in England, that's changing a bit.  Why would I bring up such a thing?  Simple.  I grew up on football, and as anyone who knows me, I am a die hard Green Bay Packers fan.  But, let's not just talk Packers, because I could do that for a week.  Let's talk about why you should take the time and the money to go and see a real live NFL game.

Here's the thing.  Now, I haven't been to a football game lately, but this last summer, I took my son to see the Indians play baseball in Cleveland.  It was a great night.  So, here's something that I remember from my youth.  Going to see a professional sport with your family is something that everyone should do.  My son has been to NASCAR races and baseball games.  I'm hoping to go out to see hockey and football before he finishes school.  Sometimes I think that we all get so caught up in our daily lives and doing whatever else it is we do, and we forget some of the things that made this country great.  So, put down the Fantasy Football.  Our sports, whether it be basketball, snowboarding, baha racing, boxing, or whatever is something that people from other countries come here to see.  It's a shame to think that anyone would go a lifetime without seeing at least one game, and our biggest this time of year is football.  We have 32 professional teams full of exceptional athletes and every single stadium comes complete with crazed die hard fans that make going there an unforgettable experience.

Football has been around since the 1920's in this country, and it's finally starting to make it's mark in other places.  Every year the NFL now holds a game in London.  It's part of the world of football now and it is a regular season game.  50 years ago the league got together and created the Super Bowl which is now one of the most watched sporting events anywhere.  I do have to step in here and tell you that as a proud Packers fan we never stop mentioning the fact the Green Bay won the very first Super Bowl and the trophy is called the Lombardi Trophy after Green Bay's most legendary coach.  But, all that aside, football is an amazing phenomenon.

Super Bowl Rings are some of the most expensive jewelry in the world.  Every player on the team gets one when they win a Super Bowl, including the coaching staff.  That's a lot of gems and a lot of gold.  But the Super Bowl also brings some of the world's top performers for half time, and some of the year's most expensive advertising space and expensive commercials.  The advertising spots on the Super Bowl are some of the most sought after spots of the year, and advertisers pull out all the stops and put their very best out there in order to get a spot.  More people watch the Super Bowl on television than watch almost anything else in the world.

The NFL has created its own network to show games, shows, special programming, biographies and whatever.  The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are some of the most famous cheerleaders the world has ever known.  They make special appearances and all kinds of things.  It's amazing the money that the NFL handles and all of the projects, charities and other things that they support and sponsor.

But, most kids have a hero.  My current one is Clay Matthews, but you can choose your own.  The thing is that even if everyone in the house cheers for a different team as my household does, it makes for great family time every week at home.  Now, here's what I have to say about going to a game.  Most of us live within a reasonable distance from some stadium or another.  The experience of being part of that crowd with your family.  Being there with the excitement and the crazy merchandise, and the tailgating, and the crowds.  That feeling that you get when you're not just hearing a couple of talking heads discuss every little thing about each team, but you're seeing it all for yourself.  That moment when your kids put down the smart phones.  The yelling and screaming and cheering and doing the wave and whatever.  Go out and do that with your family, even if it's just once.  Stand proud for the singing of the national anthem.  It will be a day you won't forget.

The guys that we see on the field playing football are celebrities.  They become spokesmen for all kinds of things.  But, let's not forget all the charity work they do as well.  The NFL is deep in Play 60, The United Way, Breast Cancer Awareness and so much more.  A lot of players and a lot of teams have foundations that support numerous causes.  If you're looking for someone that your kids can look up to in addition to yourself, football produces a lot of good heroes.

So, you may not get to go to the Super Bowl.  But I highly recommend going to see an NFL game live.  It can cost as little as $27 a ticket.  Now, that does depend on where you go, where you wish to sit, which teams are playing, and many other factors.  There are many sites that you can visit to get tickets that are legitimate.  I recommend the NFL exchange, but there are others.  What can I say?  Sports is a great way to get the family together and have a really great time at an exciting event.  It's easier than taking your kids to a concert, because football is timeless unlike music.  A lot of teams have event weekends where they do things with the fans.  That can be a lot of fun.  A lot of teams have a hall of fame to go through as well.  There are so many things to do, that everyone will have fun.  The crowds at any sporting event are great to watch, even if you don't really like sports.  And for those of you out there who say that you don't like sports and wouldn't want to pay to watch it in person; just wait and see how wrapped up in it you get.  When I was young and had to go to my first Bengals game, I didn't really even understand football.  I knew that my grandma loved the Packers, so I said I was a Packers fan, but I didn't pay attention to or understand the game.  After I left that game, I was hooked.  I've been watching football ever since.  Take the time and take the family to a game.  It's the experience of a lifetime.

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