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American Football: really basic questions

rross
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1/14/2013 12:54:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hello. I've got a debate that touches on American football and I have some really basic questions, because I can't figure it out on the Internet. This will probably seem like a troll post, but it isn't. I really am this ignorant and confused, and if anyone could help me out with answers, it would be very kind of you.

1. Is college football as important as professional football?
2. What do sportscasters do exactly? I mean, you can see what's happening by watching the game, right? So what do they add to the experience?
3. Are sportscasters celebrities? Are they more or less important than, say, coaches?
4. Is it all men? Are there some kind of regulations that prevent women playing in the men's teams?
5. Why do wives and girlfriends go along to watch? Musicians' partners, for example, rarely go to gigs. Are the WAGs there to be seen? What's the significance of it, if any?
6. Why is football interesting? (this is a serious question)

Thanks!
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/14/2013 1:51:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 12:54:18 AM, rross wrote:
Hello. I've got a debate that touches on American football and I have some really basic questions, because I can't figure it out on the Internet. This will probably seem like a troll post, but it isn't. I really am this ignorant and confused, and if anyone could help me out with answers, it would be very kind of you.

1. Is college football as important as professional football?

No, professional football is the biggest sport in the country. College football's probably number two in recent years, with reduced popularity of baseball and basketball.

2. What do sportscasters do exactly? I mean, you can see what's happening by watching the game, right? So what do they add to the experience?
The color commentator adds humor and exclamation and lets people who don't normally watch know when they should be excited. The other dude often analyzes how the strategy is playing out-- why you are seeing the results you are. Not just anyone who watches knows the difference between man and zone coverage, and how to recognize the difference, and how the choice of that is playing out on the field, and the sport has a million little subtleties like that. More than any other sport probably, if for no other reason than because each team is allowed to stop, catch their breath, take a different formation, and implement a new strategy out of a myriad of possibilities, every 5 to 30 seconds.

3. Are sportscasters celebrities? Are they more or less important than, say, coaches?

Less important than the successful head coaches, but there's a lot of back-and-forth between coaching gigs and sportscasting gigs so it's hard to be sure. Former coaches often take up sportscasting as a temporary or permanent career when they're sick of the 100 or so hours a week an NFL head coach works. Former players who are too dumb to be a successful coach but have a great deal of name recognition from their time as a player often do too.

4. Is it all men? Are there some kind of regulations that prevent women playing in the men's teams?
There's no regulations, just biology. Every few years a college team has a female placekicker and some females play with the males at the high school level. If you're not a placekicker or punter, and to a limited extent if you are, football places a premium on body mass, speed, and bones that will not shatter upon collision. These are rare commodities in general, and almost unheard of in females at levels comparable to males.

5. Why do wives and girlfriends go along to watch? Musicians' partners, for example, rarely go to gigs. Are the WAGs there to be seen?
Virtually no football fan cares about the wives and girlfriends of American football players, unless a player gets REALLY bad right after knowledge becomes public about their wives and girlfriends, in which case the diehard local fans might chat a little amongst themselves (i.e. Christian Ponder's slump after announcing his engagement to ESPN analyst Samantha Steele), or if a football player is around 20 years or so, in which case like Deanna Favre people might get used to seeing the face. Some people who buy newspaper tabloids might care more about such things.

I presume your odds of dating a football player increase if you watch football.

6. Why is football interesting? (this is a serious question)
Why is chess interesting to some people?
Why is violence interesting to some people?
Football is a game with comparably deep strategy to chess, and is one of the most violent sports anywhere in the world to still be legal. They wear armor just so they can hit each other harder without guaranteed messing up of faces (although this increases risks of brain damage). It appeals to the intellect and to baser emotions all at once.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/14/2013 4:24:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.

lol, you don't NEED to accept the debate. It was a tease, as I interpreted your original comment to be. :D
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/14/2013 4:36:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 1:51:33 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/14/2013 12:54:18 AM, rross wrote:

3. Are sportscasters celebrities? Are they more or less important than, say, coaches?

Less important than the successful head coaches, but there's a lot of back-and-forth between coaching gigs and sportscasting gigs so it's hard to be sure. Former coaches often take up sportscasting as a temporary or permanent career when they're sick of the 100 or so hours a week an NFL head coach works. Former players who are too dumb to be a successful coach but have a great deal of name recognition from their time as a player often do too.

I would say that John Madden is more famous than any working coach today. I mean, sure, he was a coach too, but he really got acclaim as a sportscaster.

4. Is it all men? Are there some kind of regulations that prevent women playing in the men's teams?
There's no regulations, just biology. Every few years a college team has a female placekicker and some females play with the males at the high school level. If you're not a placekicker or punter, and to a limited extent if you are, football places a premium on body mass, speed, and bones that will not shatter upon collision. These are rare commodities in general, and almost unheard of in females at levels comparable to males.

^

It's hard to stress this enough.

The reason why women are generally place kickers/punters is because of the ridiculous amount of regulations placed on how one can disrupt a kick. If you even TOUCH a punter that's generally a pretty major offense.

6. Why is football interesting? (this is a serious question)
Why is chess interesting to some people?
Why is violence interesting to some people?
Football is a game with comparably deep strategy to chess, and is one of the most violent sports anywhere in the world to still be legal. They wear armor just so they can hit each other harder without guaranteed messing up of faces (although this increases risks of brain damage). It appeals to the intellect and to baser emotions all at once.

^

Well put.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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1/14/2013 4:44:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:24:06 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.

lol, you don't NEED to accept the debate. It was a tease, as I interpreted your original comment to be. :D

You tease people by challenging them to debates?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/14/2013 4:52:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:44:34 AM, rross wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:24:06 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.

lol, you don't NEED to accept the debate. It was a tease, as I interpreted your original comment to be. :D

You tease people by challenging them to debates?

You tease people by telling them how offended you are by their behavior? You compare them to hypocritical, misogynistic politicians?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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1/14/2013 4:53:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 1:51:33 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/14/2013 12:54:18 AM, rross wrote:

1. Is college football as important as professional football?

No, professional football is the biggest sport in the country. College football's probably number two in recent years, with reduced popularity of baseball and basketball.

So, it's the same game but not as good? Why bother with it then? Why not just watch professional football?

2. What do sportscasters do exactly? I mean, you can see what's happening by watching the game, right? So what do they add to the experience?
The color commentator adds humor and exclamation and lets people who don't normally watch know when they should be excited. The other dude often analyzes how the strategy is playing out-- why you are seeing the results you are. Not just anyone who watches knows the difference between man and zone coverage, and how to recognize the difference, and how the choice of that is playing out on the field, and the sport has a million little subtleties like that. More than any other sport probably, if for no other reason than because each team is allowed to stop, catch their breath, take a different formation, and implement a new strategy out of a myriad of possibilities, every 5 to 30 seconds.

So Musburger would be the color guy?

5. Why do wives and girlfriends go along to watch? Musicians' partners, for example, rarely go to gigs. Are the WAGs there to be seen?
Virtually no football fan cares about the wives and girlfriends of American football players, unless a player gets REALLY bad right after knowledge becomes public about their wives and girlfriends, in which case the diehard local fans might chat a little amongst themselves (i.e. Christian Ponder's slump after announcing his engagement to ESPN analyst Samantha Steele), or if a football player is around 20 years or so, in which case like Deanna Favre people might get used to seeing the face. Some people who buy newspaper tabloids might care more about such things.

I presume your odds of dating a football player increase if you watch football.

So is dating a football player a desirable thing in America? Or is it just desirable for a particular type of woman?


6. Why is football interesting? (this is a serious question)
Why is chess interesting to some people?
Why is violence interesting to some people?
Football is a game with comparably deep strategy to chess, and is one of the most violent sports anywhere in the world to still be legal. They wear armor just so they can hit each other harder without guaranteed messing up of faces (although this increases risks of brain damage). It appeals to the intellect and to baser emotions all at once.

Yeah. Mostly men watching it? In bonding groups?
rross
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1/14/2013 4:56:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:52:17 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:44:34 AM, rross wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:24:06 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.

lol, you don't NEED to accept the debate. It was a tease, as I interpreted your original comment to be. :D

You tease people by challenging them to debates?

You tease people by telling them how offended you are by their behavior? You compare them to hypocritical, misogynistic politicians?

Lol. I never compared you to Tony Abbott. Although, that's kind of funny now I think of it.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/14/2013 4:57:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:36:32 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
I would say that John Madden is more famous than any working coach today. I mean, sure, he was a coach too, but he really got acclaim as a sportscaster.
John Madden had several decades as a broadcaster compared to a few years as a coach. I'd say the percentage of his fame that derives from his coaching is higher than you'd expect given the percentage of his career devoted to it.
Also, I'd say both of those are less influential than his role in helping build a video game brand.

And although Madden is doubtless more famous than Belicheck overall, I think more people would identify that Belichick coaches the Patriots than that Madden worked or works any specific broadcasting gig (Your perception of Belichick's importance relative to Madden's goes up the more of a football fan you are).

The reason why women are generally place kickers/punters is because of the ridiculous amount of regulations placed on how one can disrupt a kick. If you even TOUCH a punter that's generally a pretty major offense.
I actually don't think I've heard o femalet punters at nearly the rate I've heard of a placekicker. Though incredibly difficult to do, it's perfectly legal to tackle the punter just like a quarterback before they go into the kicking motion-- it's even credited as a sack. And although legal to lay blocks on either a kicker or a punter once the ball has been caught, the punter's gonna be subject to it more often at levels short of the NFL. , since there are guys trying to block the punt who will therefore be near the punter, there are not guys trying to block the kickoff, and field goals are not supposed to be caught (thus "hit the kicker" is generally a "don't do" situation rather than a "wait for the right time" situation. Watch the ball hit then lay the smack.).

Although in the interest of full disclosure of countervailing evidence, you do see the occasional gigantic, real-player-sized kicker like Sebastian Janikowski (a man who looks like he could lay some serious punishment on someone with the temerity to return his kickoff) much more often than you see such things in punters. Not that it usually does them a lot of good (Janikowski has 18 career tackles. Shane Lechler, his much more human-looking teammate, has 15 over a career of the same length and without nearly as much color commentating about how much you wouldn't want to get hit by him).
Mind you, females might just avoid the punter position to avoid the jokes about how good they are at spreading their flexible legs :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/14/2013 5:01:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:56:22 AM, rross wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:52:17 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:44:34 AM, rross wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:24:06 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/14/2013 4:12:32 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks Ragnar Rahl. You're a genius.

At 1/14/2013 1:09:40 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
Lol, is this about the Brent Musburger thread?

Yes. I'm screwed.

lol, you don't NEED to accept the debate. It was a tease, as I interpreted your original comment to be. :D

You tease people by challenging them to debates?

You tease people by telling them how offended you are by their behavior? You compare them to hypocritical, misogynistic politicians?

Lol. I never compared you to Tony Abbott. Although, that's kind of funny now I think of it.

lol
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/14/2013 5:13:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 4:53:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 1/14/2013 1:51:33 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/14/2013 12:54:18 AM, rross wrote:

1. Is college football as important as professional football?

No, professional football is the biggest sport in the country. College football's probably number two in recent years, with reduced popularity of baseball and basketball.

So, it's the same game but not as good? Why bother with it then? Why not just watch professional football?
One's traditionally on Saturday, one's on Sunday. They don't traditionally compete for viewing time with each other.

I don't watch college football. I might, if it were organized in a manner to make it less "rigged" (a playoff rather than the "bowl championship series" bullcrap it uses. Every year 99% of college teams are eliminated from contention for the championship before a game is played, whereas every year every NFL team need do nothing more than win all its scheduled games to assure a championship-- NFL teams control their own destiny, college teams do not).

So Musburger would be the color guy?'
I would assume so, I'm not familiar with the fellow but it's unlikely the analyst would be spending his time looking into the crowd for silly little human interest stories no one cares about.

So is dating a football player a desirable thing in America? Or is it just desirable for a particular type of woman?
Everything is desirable for only a "particular type." In the typical high school in America however, the highest spot on the traditional "social ladder" is for football players and cheerleaders. On those college campuses where athletic success is important to the institutional culture, this pattern continues. Suffice it to say that it is desirable for a highly statistically prevalent type of woman. Almost as prevalent as that type who wants to date a rich dude.

Yeah. Mostly men watching it? In bonding groups?
Mostly men watching sports in general, but, since football is such a widespread sport in popularity, it's probably got one of the least skewed gender-ratios for fans. The NFL has a breast cancer awareness month. I think baseball has one too, but baseball also has a prostate-cancer awareness thing which I'm fairly sure the NFL doesn't. (Media execs have this weird impression that women care more about such things, instead of virtually no one caring, which is why it's more likely to have one for women even with a lower prevalence of females overall in the fabase.

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com...
Men account for 58 percent of all NFL fans. Disproportionate, but hardly as disproportionate as one would expect of the average sport.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/14/2013 5:19:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hmm, looks like my estimate was off in that baseball supposedly has a higher percentage of its fans as women, although their statistics... don't quite hit the gut check as far as "this percentage of women are fans vs this percentage of men, but women are this percentage of fans." Those numbers seem off too.

http://mlb.sbnation.com...

Then again, this should be a more even comparison, as it has them all on the same source, and it says that the fan gender demos for baseball and football are roughly even:
http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com...

NASCAR and the NBA, predictably, are the bastions of male rednecks and male hoodlums respectively :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/14/2013 5:22:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
wait, I'm not sure that second link has everything in the order it says it's supposed to be. The NBA is the sport with the least fan prevalence of African Americans? that just don't sound right.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.