American football and football, differences and similarities.
It is a period of great effervescence in United States of America as the National Football League (NFL) The playoffs come to a conclusion on February 14 with Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Across Europe and the United States, millions of people are captivated by two sports that share the same name, but refer to two totally different games. In fact, Americans refer to European sport as a completely different name: football. A term that, if used here in Rome, is sure to draw some stern looks from the locals. European football is by far the most popular sport in the world, with a cumulative audience of over 5.2 billion viewers watching the 2020 UEFA tournament two years ago. On the other side of the Atlantic, Football is the king of all other sports, at least in terms of viewership. In 2021, the NFL accounted for 41 of the 50 most-watched shows in the United States, which is why its media partners are willing to pay over $100 billion to broadcast games over the next decade and a half. According to a 2021 Axios-Ipsos study, 51% of Americans are professional football fans. No other sport even came close to the 40% mark. Although both sports share the same name and require teams/clubs to field teams of 11 on the field at a time, the the similarities begin and end there. European football is a game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their body except their hands and arms, attempt to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball and can only do so in the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores the most goals wins. American football, on the other hand, is a game of intense physical aggression with players who have speed, power, and explosiveness that require wearing helmets and padding. Teams score points by carrying the ball beyond the opponent’s end zone with a series of running and passing plays. This is called a touchdown (six points). The hit between the goal post is called a Field Goal (three points) or a one-point conversion (PAT or Point After Touchdown) just after a touchdown. Across Europe, the experience of football club matches on matchdays is much more intimate than all NFL teams. In a country the size of the US state of Oregon with a population of 53 million, England is home to hundreds of football clubs. This means that almost anyone can usually find a club within a short cycling distance of their home that they can identify with as a member of their community. Their language, history, religion, political leanings, economic status, and profession are all represented by the club (working-class people supporting one club versus upper-class people supporting another). This is true not only in England, but throughout Europe. Take one of Rome’s most famous clubs, AS Roma, for example, before the start of the Feb. 5 match between Genoa and AS Roma, a crowd estimated at 36,000 fans erupted in an impassioned performance of “Voglio solo star con te” or in English “I just want to be with you”. This song is composed to the tune of Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus and was modified from the popular catchphrase “Please don’t take me home” sung by fans of the UK national teams during Roma’s trip to the semi-finals of the 2017-18 Champions League. It’s a simple song that includes phrases like “Forza” and “Alé”. They don’t have clear English translations in this context, but they’re used the same way an English fan might say “Go” or “Carry on” – usually as supporting exclamations at the end of sentences. When it comes to the NFL, compared to American college sports (football, basketball, and hockey) or European football, there aren’t as many unique chants or songs that the crowd sings. People scream and roar when it feels right. There doesn’t seem to be fans taking responsibility for promoting their section or leading specific chants as seen on Olympic Stadium the day of the game. The answer to this question is quite simple. NFL teams are just generic entities that come and go. The majority of NFL teams have moved, many of them brand new. No team would ever identify with any religion, social class, career or political ideology. They are all fairly neutral. As a result, NFL fans do not have the same emotional attachment to their teams as European football fans do to their favorite clubs. A good example of my argument lies in Francois Francothe former dictator of the Spain team real Madrid. The man tried to erase Catalan culture from the face of the planet. When Barcelona play against Madrid, it is no longer just a chance for their team to beat Franco’s team; it is also an opportunity for them to sing songs with their fellow Spaniards in a language forbidden by the most powerful fan of the opposing team. They wave their flags because their grandparents couldn’t. When AS Roma face Sassuolo this Sunday at 6:00 p.m., take a moment to appreciate the pride displayed by the home fans who passionately cheer on their team with all their hearts. Compare that to what will almost certainly be another soulless American football audience when Super Bowl XLVI kicks off February 14 at 12:30 a.m. and you’ll find that the game-day experience just doesn’t weigh up to the article. authentic.