Friday, August 13, 2010

The American Football Night

It was a great opportunity last night for me to have been invited to watch the most popular American sport, the American football. Sitting just yards away from the field, club class access to bar, right in the pavilions filled with stars of the game, rubbing shoulders with coaches, almost-on-your-lap kind of access to cheer leaders ;-), thronged by who's who of Texas, I thought it was an unparalleled sporting experience!

Having watched the Springboks team of South Africa win the Rugby Union World Cup from South Africa, I knew the Rugby game more or less. Watching Australia, New Zealand and South Africa play this game, I always felt it was like soccer as the focus was to retain the ball possession and score a try by crossing over to the opponents’ goal line. It was fun to watch given that the game was focused around a ball and any physical activity outside of the ball zone is restricted by tough rules in the game. Also to score a try in Rugby, like scoring a goal in Soccer, the player had to go past the goal line and touch down the ball. ‘Yes-I-made-it’ feeling after some hard work by running, passing and strategizing around.

On the other hand, I did not find American football very interesting (no offence to any hardcore fans of American football, its only my opinion), though everyone kept saying that it’s a preseason game and Dallas Cowboys (the supposed champions) were not playing their full team and up to their full potential. When I actually watched the match between Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders, I strained to understand the rules of the game. I figured out later that when given an opportunity with the ball each team has to advance at least 10 yards before 4 downs else they loose turn to the opponents. However, if they do it, they get 4 new tries to advance another 10 yards line the end goal being to reach the end zone. So the game was gradual moves and nothing spontaneous but given a chance, regardless of where the ball is, people get on each other. And on top of this, probably to support such extreme jolty uncertain physical activity, they are heavily dressed, like some aliens dressed in space suits. The touchdown (like the try in Rugby and goal in soccer) is actually no touch down, quite ironically. All the player had to do, was to get to the end-zone and win some points though there are some other ways to gain points too. And the most disappointing part in last night’s game was that there wasn’t a single touch down by Dallas Cowboy champions that eventually made them loose to the underdog team (supposedly) of Oakland Raiders. But my feeling was that the Oakland Raiders played well and deserved a win at the end of it.

So apart from the glittering lights, deafening loud speakers, rocking music, bubbly curvaceous cheerleaders, overflowing beer, greasy food, loads of commercial interests in terms of companies doing all their advertisements (American companies pay millions to ad agencies to do ads just for the NFL season and their super bowl games i.e the final games of an NFL season), infinite promotions, and some serious panache about the whole thing, all of which were excellent and excited me...there wasn’t anything game about this great American game, which has its roots in Rugby. Or its probably that, I still don’t understand! While I appreciate the fun that is woven around this whole game, the game itself is not very spine-tingling that I expect from a super sport of this nature!

I am grateful to the current client management for having chosen me to this privileged club class access to one of the most popular games of America, and managers at my current company who I could go along with. And I am glad I could go with some of my buddies from the project, though I seriously missed some others there.I would not have afforded one myself to a game like this now, not atleast in this class where the price of the tickets would have bought me my favourite ipad.

More pictures in the recent pictures section on thr right side bar

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