On American Football

Alan Cai

December 23, 2022

The most popular sport in America is almost never played and seldom heard of in other countries. Most citizens of the world have never dreamt of seeing, much less playing the miraculous game of football. Yet, citizens of the United States would often find it difficult to imagine a world in which their favorite sport ceases to exist. There exists a deep and apparent chasm between this endemic American sport and the international community.

To discover the reason why American football establishes a limited presence outside of its nation of origin, one must first observe the nuances of American culture and history. America has, for the eternity of its existence, been a nation of vast resources and expansion. The American mentality has always consisted of toughness, accumulation, and pristine performance. These qualities immediately make American football the most desirable choice for American athletics fans to enjoy.

In a more general sense, American history points toward the tendency of expanding and pushing boundaries while retaining what is already held. This is the exact mentality of football: to gain territory(in this case, yards) as quickly as possible while losing as little as possible. Although the following observation is slightly overanalyzing the correlations, it must be noted to understand the further context behind football’s largely endemic nature.

From a historical perspective, only one other country has enjoyed continuous territorial extension in a single direction while retaining much of it to the present day; Russia. Throughout the early years of its empire, Russians from the Moscow region conquered lands in eastern Siberia all the way to the Pacific, much like the Americans had in its own era of Westward Expansion. Both of these natural explanations point to American football as the obvious sport of choice for people of these cultures. However, given Russia’s frigid temperatures, playing the sport of football would be all but practical for its civilians.

Russia’s frigid temperature causing football relative unpopularity in the country is not an effect solely restricted to the large Eurasian nation. Indeed, even in the United States, warmer southern regions tend to become more football inclined than colder northern regions. For example, big college football names such as Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, TCU, Alabama, UCLA, and USC are all located in warmer and sunnier climates. Although weather is but a small factor determining the success of a football team, it must be noted that teams with located in areas with more days of sunlight annually are granted more hours to practice and therefore have a greater potential to develop.

The equipment, playing space, and aggressive nature of football are found in tandem only in the United States. This homegrown activity has sprawled around every corner of the nation and will continue to be a popular sport in the decades to come. Sadly, few other nations may have the pleasure of experiencing the joy of the sport in the near future, owing the misfortune to a lack of willingness and ability.