5 Reasons to Watch American Football (NFL)

Raghuram Sukumar Lifestyle 10 Comments

Why am I writing a blog post in higher education blog about American Football? When you read rest of this article and watch the video (my favorite quarterback), you will understand (maybe you will) why  I decided to write about watching American football for foreigners in USA.

Knowing American Football will help you in several ways and keeps your passion, adrenalin going.  Majority of the readers of the blog follow Cricket and Soccer. When I asked “Would you watch NFL starting today (new season)?” one of  the answer is expected.

English premier league always !! – Sai

I was just like Sai when my roommate were watching NFL.

Why should I watch NFL, when I have been watching and playing Cricket and Soccer all my life?

I realized, I had to learn the American football.  I kinda felt left out and ignorant when co-workers and other friends were talking about football.

I grew-up as a sports person and I had natural interest to watch any sports where men/women compete to win.  I have ZERO idea about the rules of the game.

New England Patriots were playing, when I started watching my first ever NFL game on a Sunday afternoon.

I watched the game for 15 minutes.  This is was initial understanding about the rules

  • Offense had to move to ball to one end by throwing or running to score points.
  • Defense had to stop the offense from moving the ball forward.
  • Offense had 4 chances to move the ball by 10 yards. If not there will be change of ball possession.

I watched 2 more games the following weekends and learned about the scoring (6 points for touch down, 1 or 3 points for kicking the ball between the goal posts). My roommate was a New England Patriots fan and I started following the Patriots.

Love for the Game

I fell in love for the game, strategies, special breed of players, excitement and adrenalin rush.

For new comers to USA, you may view the American Football from a different point of view. But, sooner or later you WILL adopt a team (college and professional) and start following the game.

Why you should follow NFL

  1. Easy way to start a conversation with a stranger
  2. Common topic other than “how is the weather” type of question.
  3. Learn about American Culture.
  4. Adrenalin rush is guaranteed.
  5. Above all American Foot ball is an interesting.

You may or may not agree with me, but I will repeat it again. Sooner or later, you will start watching/following the game.

If you decide to watch the games this season (on Sunday and Monday night), watch the game with someone who knows the game and the rules. Ask questions and learn from them. There are several videos available to understand the game better.

Why not Cricket?

After coming to USA, I have watched most of World Cup Cricket when India played. But, I have watched more NFL games over cricket. One other reason is access to games on TV and time.

It’s hard to find time to watch 8 hours of cricket whereas a typical NFL game lasts only for 3 hours.  There is excitement pretty much in each and every play.

Quick Overview of America Football Game

  • Total Game Time – 60 minutes (4 quarters each 15 mins)
  • Total Playing time – About 3 hours with stopage, penalties, half time, breaks.
  • At any given time there will be 22 players on the field (11 on offense and 11 on defense)
  • Total Players per Team (53 includes Offense, Defense, Special Teams, Kicker, Punter)

If there is one name you want to remember, be it Tom Brady (maybe Peyton Manning). Like Sachin Tendulkar for Cricket, Michale Jordan for Basketball, it’s Tom Brady for American Football.  Brady haters are gonna be mad at me, but that’s the way the game is played.

If you have some time, watch this ESPN’s documentary about Tom Brady (New England Patriots Quarterback).  It will inspire and give you goosebumps. Best ever!

If you don’t have time to watch 47 minutes, start from 44 minutes for the core message.




  1. how can an international student pay for college without financial aid,scholarships,loans and grants.

  2. In US, lot of pride is associated with Sports Teams of their alma mater. People follow their Sports Teams vigorously. But unlike Europe or Asia, you will rarely see people misbehaving or throwing stones or making stadium dirty. I was watching once a College Football game in Texas in Stadium and I saw old people in their 80s on wheelchair and oxygen tube on their nose also coming to stadium wearing College Sports T-shirts. For Universities its a big business. They negotiate TV deals and they earn lot of money in ticket sales. Local economy-hotels, restaurants get a boost as lot of old graduates return back to town to watch games and support their teams. For students, Sports is a big thing as many students are able to get Sports scholarships. As Undergrad studies are very expensive, for many poor students who get Sports scholarships, it is a very important and only way to pursue their careers.

  3. Haha, you’re a Pats fan! Me too.

    And I agree with you on the watching football question. The US is very sports-centric, far more so than India. It starts early, with parents ferrying kids to all sorts of sports, and continues into college.

    People are even more passionate about college football! If you don’t believe me, just go to a sports bar that has a college game on. You’ll find that there are bars that are FULL of fans from one college. They’ll have the jerseys, the hats, and all the paraphernalia. And the age range is from 18-70..You’ll find people who graduated in 1960 still cheering on their team.

    If you go to a college that has a big football program, do yourself a favor and learn the game. Tailgate, go to the stadium, immerse yourself. It pays dividends. If you’re really lucky, you’ll go to a school where a future superstar is playing. Tom Brady is from Michigan, for example, so all those guys who watched him play have something in common. Peyton Manning went to Tennessee. 10 years from now, you’ll be having a conversation with someone at work, and you can say, “Yeah, I went to school with RGIII”, and trust me, you’ll be remembered.

    Besides, football is fun! Don’t be a snob and act like it’s some sort of silly sport. And yeah, it’s called football. Deal with it. Just enjoy the game and once you learn about it, you’ll enjoy it.

  4. Yes, Undertaker is still there in WWE and is a legend and unbeatable by anyone. And, yes the WWE show may be made up but still the variety of people and personalities there make an interesting watch.

    Next only to cricket, most people I know here watch WWE. Even though they have not studied English, they know every superstars in WWE by name!

    1. You like it or not that’s what it is called and we have no other choice.

    1. I used to watch during undertaker days (not sure if he’s still around). Stunts are amazing, but it is made up show right?

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