Wednesday, October 21, 2015

megaVOICE: American Football Explained

By Meghavaty Suresh
Contributing Writer

The idea of football is deeply-rooted for many people who hail from outside the U.S. It’s a fast-paced game with 45 minutes to each half, a short break in-between, and commercials limited to that break. It is beautiful. 

Then, I came to America and was introduced to the American version of football. It’s a game that consumes the country and involves skill, stamina, and an insane amount of commercials. So, here is what I reckon American football is all about.

The Objective
Get the ball from one end of the field to the other end of the field. Keep moving until you get the ball across the end line. Touchdown!

The Process
Throw the ball as far as you can to somebody on the other end of the field. They catch the ball and hold on to it for dear life as they run irrespective of who or what comes crashing into them. Run for your life! Get the ball across the line!

The Duration
Four quarters, 15 minutes each. Simple, right? Wrong! It goes on forever, and by the time you finish watching the game, you’ll probably know the menus at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King by heart from all of the commercials shown during the game.

The People
The game does have some really talented and, I must admit, extremely strong players. It must take a lot to play with all that equipment on and battle your way through. At the same time, it’s odd to watch grown men in those nutty uniforms when you’re used to the simple attire of football (or “soccer,” as they call it here).

The Experience
Regardless of the duration of the game, which is most definitely painful, American football is not without its charms. It brings people together like every other sport in the world. Whether it’s college football or the NFL, team pride rules. I personally have come to like the game, even though real football will always be my first choice. American football just seems like a different ball game altogether.

Is it your cup of tea, I wonder?

(Editor’s Note: This is one person’s interpretation of American football. To learn more, check out the National Football League’s Beginner’s Guide to Football.)

Meghavaty Suresh is a brand engagement specialist at The Guardian. She is originally from Mumbai, India. She earned a master’s in new media at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she realized what it truly meant to be an international student and how best to enjoy the experience. The megaVOICE column is her opportunity to give a voice to the whispers of international students. Megha lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @meghasuresh.

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