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NFL vs. MLB vs. NBA (NFL’s case)

In Sports on December 8, 2011 at 10:53 am

by:  Eric Buenning (featuring Randy Dahl)

Allow me to explain.  I had three different writers make their best pitch as to why their favorite sport is the America’s best.  We choose the MLB, NFL, and NBA because those are arguably the three most popular ones (that, and they’re the only three that volunteered…).  Anyways, how this will work is I will release the NFL pitch right now, then the MLB one this afternoon, capped off by the NBA one this evening.

At the end of the NBA article, I will throw a poll on there encouraging you, the reader, to vote on which sport you think is the best.  Let’s waste no more time.  Here is Randy Dahl, making his case for the NFL.

Forget America’s pastime, or the hardwood of the Staples Center.  In this country, only one sport is king:  football.  Sure, others may tell you differently, and try to argue why another sport is superior, so I’m going to highlight just a few of the reasons why nothing else can compare to the glory of the gridiron.

For starters, the NFL is one of the only professional sports in which every single game actually matters.  One poor performance on any given Sunday could be the difference between making the playoffs, or packing up and hoping for better things next year.  If Alex Rodriguez sat out for a few games in the middle of June, how would that affect the Yankees probability of making the postseason?  Chances are it wouldn’t.  Now imagine if Aaron Rodgers decided he needed a couple of Sundays off.  Aside from possibly alienating his entire fan base, he would be greatly altering the Packers season;  whether it’s their division standing, wild-card slot, or the chance at securing home-field advantage in the playoffs.  The point is that no team can afford to take a game, a quarter, a series, or even a single play off.

The fact that every week is no guts, no glory in football leads to another selling point for the sport: rivalries.  Sure the Yankees/Sox, or Lakers/Celtics may have more storied rivalries historically speaking, but the NFL is the only sport in which two teams that literally hate each other get to go toe-to-toe and try to bury their opponent in the turf.  The Steelers and Ravens actually get to take their aggression out physically on one another, rather than simply making a 3-pointer, or hitting a homerun.  When Ray Lewis is on the field, his only goal is to put a hurting on Big Ben, which leads to a thrilling viewing experience for the fans.

Speaking of fans, the NFL has some of the best in the business.  Sure, other sports fans do what’s expected of them, like cheering after big plays, and booing opponents, but in no other sport do the fans play such a pivotal role in the game.  Picture this:  the Packers are playing at Lambeau.  The Bears have the ball at Green Bay’s 40-yard line, it’s 4th and 1 and Chicago is going for it.  The fans are roaring, their shouts thundering throughout the stadium.  It’s so loud you can’t even think.  Cutler is getting ready for the snap, when….false start.  Now they’re forced to punt because one of the lineman couldn’t hear the snap-count.  And this was all made possible by the wonderful fans who braved the chilling winds of the frozen tundra to cheer on their favorite team in this nation’s greatest sport.

And finally, I saved my personal favorite for last.  Quite possibly the single greatest day of the year (especially if it involves Green Bay):  Super Bowl Sunday.  There’s no best-of-seven series to be had here.  No, no, no.  In football it’s do- or- die.  You bring your best for 60 minutes, or kiss that Lombardi trophy goodbye.  Not to mention the Super Bowl continues to break its own record year after year for being the most watched program in U.S. television history.  If that isn’t saying something about the popularity of the sport, I don’t know what does.  And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Americans consume more food on this day than Thanksgiving.

So there you have it.  All of the things I’ve noted above offer just a glimpse into what makes this our nation’s greatest sport.  So when the weekend rolls around go ahead, skip church, call your friends, order the pizza, and enjoy the thrilling smash-mouth intensity that is football.

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