SPORTS OPINION | The NFL is back, and here’s why you should watch it 

The 104th NFL season has officially kicked off, and I, for one, could not be more excited. Time for another year of big plays. 

As a massive football fan, I can’t help but try to spread the joy of the NFL to my peers, and I hope that this reaches an audience of new fans that can experience just how much fun football can be. 

Storylines, storylines, storylines 

If you love TV and movies, you’re going to love the NFL. 

Football, as some fans describe it, is overall a product meant for entertainment. Although the big picture of the sport is identifying a winner and a loser, the NFL has plenty of stories both on and off the field. 

Let’s say you’re a fan of underdogs in popular culture, and you can’t help yourself but root for characters that deserve to have their big moment. Well, why not also root for the Detroit Lions or Jacksonville Jaguars, who are among the twelve current NFL teams without a Super Bowl win? 

Heroic players stand out as well. There are many athletes that are perceived as underdogs, whether they recover from a life-threatening injury like Damar Hamlin or Alex Smith, or make an unexpected comeback, like Geno Smith or Baker Mayfield. 

If you like villains, there’s plenty of them. It’s unfortunate that the league’s most notorious villain, Tom Brady, decided to retire in 2022, but players like Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Donald are quickly becoming a couple of the league’s most dangerous players to face. 

Feel like supporting a villainous team? Try the Pittsburgh Steelers or New England Patriots, the NFL’s leader in Super Bowl wins all-time. The Dallas Cowboys, also known as “America’s Team,” have also been viewed as an overdog franchise, mostly because they have the largest fanbase in the NFL. 

The game within the game 

I’ll say it as many times as I can: There is not a more fun experience in the world of sports than playing fantasy football, especially for the first time. 

For those unfamiliar with fantasy football, here’s a quick rundown: 

  • A “league” is formed between you and a few other people (friends, family, strangers, etc.) 
  • All the players in the NFL who play on offense are available to be selected in a draft style selection process, and you take turns choosing players who you believe will perform the best over the course of the season. 
  • Scoring is based on different factors and settings, but basically, if your player makes a positive play, you gain points. Negative play, negative points. 
  • At the end of the year, whoever had the best performing team will win. Simple! 

Fantasy football might be the best way to get into football alone. It allows you to have allegiances to different players on different teams and root for them to perform well.  

For myself, I never really liked celebrating good plays by the Minnesota Vikings, as that’s a rival of my favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to select dynamic Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson for my fantasy team, and now I can’t wait for him to reach the end zone each week. 

The on-field product 

How about just watching how a football game is played?  

Big hits, massive tackles, big-play runs and one-handed grabs included — football has it all. Even if you don’t know the rules of the game yet, football has to be the most exciting sport on the market. 

I get it, the NFL is a polarizing organization. Some people love it, some people can’t stand it. For those of you who haven’t given it a shot yet, though, I recommend you try it out. Football could very well change your outlook on sports forever.