A passsion from abroad

BlaugustReborn

Blaugust Reborn is fully underway, and it’s ‘get to know each other week’. So I’m going to talk a little bit about myself today.

I already raved about two of my biggest passions, namely gaming and music, here and here, no need to delve further into those just now. There are some more about which I haven’t talked about at all yet. One of those is American football.

During the mid-nineties I watched quite a lot of American sports on TV, mainly NBA basketball and NFL football. Basketball wasn’t new to me, it’s a popular sport in Germany and I had also played myself at school. Football was indeed something new, and very different. I was fascinated and tried to learn the rules by watching the games attentively.

German TV changed a lot during the following years though, and American sports all but disappeared from the normal broadcasting networks. At best you could watch a weekly show that summarized a whole game week in 30 minutes, or not even that. Germany’s biggest pay-per-month network aired a handful of games per week, but it was expensive and their primary focus was always soccer, which doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Hence football fell off my radar despite my enthusiasm.

Fast forward to September 2015. Lakisa and I were on vacation in California and the surrounding states. You know, LA, San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion and so on. The usual stuff tourists do. Whenever we’re in the US we like to watch a bit of american TV in the evening to relax and see what’s up. The selection of available networks varies from hotel to hotel. One evening we had FOX (I believe) and football was on. I was like ‘cool, I haven’t watched football in ages’ and left it on for a while.

I kind of expected Lakisa to ask me to switch channels again at some point. Instead she started asking questions about the game every now and then. Why did they do that? What happened just now? As anybody who knows me can attest I’m more than happy to give a detailed lecture on topics that interest me when given the chance, so I did. Amazingly she didn’t get sick of it, instead asking more questions and generally enjoying herself.

When we came back to the hotel after our next day’s excursion the first thing she asked after showering: is football on today? A fan was born!

When it was time to return home she asked if we’d be able to watch football there. I really didn’t know, so we did some research. Astonishingly a free cable network had just aquired the rights to air two Sunday games live, what a coincidence. We were on fire now though, and two games a week wasn’t enough. So we bought the NFL Game Pass. It was pretty expensive in Europe back then, but we watched so many games that I feel we got our money’s worth. The price has been reduced to a relatively moderate 160€ per year by now, and we have just renewed our subscription for our fourth season in a row.

NFL
Our home from home’s logo

We haven’t settled on one specific team we’re hardcore fans of, in case you’re wondering. But since watching a game is always more exciting when you’re rooting for either team we picked some that we like more than others. We’re fans of the Cincinnati Bengals (and hence despise the Steelers of course), the Seattle Seahawks and to a lesser extent the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. After watching the third season of All or Nothing recently I imagine we’ll also have a closer look at the Dallas Cowboys this season, because everyone in that organisation (save Zeke Elliot maybe) seemed very likable to us.

Preseason has already begun, but of course we can’t wait for the regular season to start on September 6th. We’ll be on vacation until September 9th, so we’ll miss the opening game, but we’ll watch at least the first half of Seahawks@Broncos (or maybe rather Cowboys@Panthers?) live in the evening when we’re back home. Can’t wait.

Until then at least I won’t have to do without season football though, because my own team has two more games to play in August.

‘What was that, your own team?’ I hear you ask. ‘Aren’t you, like, too old for that?’

More on that tomorrow. 🙂

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