Un bleuet loin du fjord

Sunday, July 24, 2011

American Football - Le football américain

(Le texte en français suit)

So here's another existential question in the vein of the previous one, except in longer form. Apparently, there was (and still is) the chance of a NFL lock-out (or is it strike?), but it looks like there will be an NFL season this fall/winter. I'm just wondering, what the fuck is the appeal? Of all the team sports, it's the slowest one with the least amount of action. Literally, the clock keeps ticking while the players just stand around doing nothing. There's only 15 minutes of actual movement spread out over 60 minutes of game time, itself spread out over 3 hours of broadcast (not including pre-game and post-game mindless chatter). Why is it the most popular sport in the US? How can a championship where the ads and the half-time show are a big deal be such an obsession of the masses?

As someone raised watching hockey, no other game is exciting. In basketball, the scores are so high that any individual basket is pretty meaningless. You need large amounts of beer to not realize how boring baseball is. Soccer (football to the rest of the world) is all about slow action, low scoring and ties (you bet!). But football defies explanation: it's snail-paced to the point of being static, and they literally spend 75% of game time not doing anything. But it has throngs of fans. Really, is there some sort of rational explanation? It's a complete mystery to me: it defies logic, it defies reason, it even defies emotion since it defies motion.

I just don't get it.

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Question existentielle du jour, version courte même si il y a un certain nombre de fans francophones (zéro dans mon lectorat de un et demi):

Pourquoi le football américain (de la NFL en particulier) est-il si populaire?

Comment un sport où les annonces publicitaires et le spectacle de mi-temps du championnat sont des attraits en eux-mêmes peut-il être l'opium d'un peuple? Pour quelqu'un qui a grandi en écoutant le hockey, le rubgy pour tapettes (d'autant plus que les distances se mesurent en verges...) n'a pas de sens. Il n'y a que 15 minutes d'action éparpillées dans 60 minutes de jeu, réparties dans 3 heures de télé (sans compter les nombreuses heures de discussion interminables et inutiles d'avant et d'après match). Les joueurs passent carrément le trois-quarts du temps à se pogner le cul. C'est un sport qui défie l'entendement, la raison, la logique et même le mouvement. Et c'est le sport le plus populaire aux États.

Je ne comprends tout simplement pas.

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