Interesting discussion worth a weekend bump. -BN
According to a study reported by the Wall Street Journal, there's only about 11 minutes of actual playing time in a 60-minute NFL game. I think that's true of college football games, too. Eleven minutes of action, and 49 minutes of standing around. And since the players are split into offensive, defensive, and special teams, and there are substitutions throughout the game, even first team all-Americans may average just a few minutes of action a game. And most of the players, the linemen, don't even have to move more than a yard or two from their stance in a given play.
Of course, a lot can happen in those short bursts of activity in between the longer periods of standing around or warming the bench. And there's no denying that those few minutes of running, passing, blocking, tackling, etc. do require highly developed athletic skills, strength, and conditioning. But could you blame fans of soccer (which is called football everywhere but in the U.S.), basketball, or hockey for saying that American football is less demanding athletically than their sport?
So what's with all the fuss about American football? Is it much ado about nothing, mostly standing around in colorful uniforms, and only exerting oneself for a few seconds at a time, lest one might break a sweat, while the superior athletes are going all out in soccer, basketball, or hockey for long periods every game, in more games per season?
Please vote in the poll and comment below. Is there another team sport you think I should have included in the poll? By all means check "Other" in the poll and feel free to tell me why I'm wrong to have omitted your sport.
NOTE: This was cross-posted on two other SB Nation blogs--Building The Dam (Oregon State University) and The Daily Gopher (University of Minnesota).
Which team sport requires the most athletic ability of its players?
American football (21 votes)
Soccer (known as football outside the U.S.) (53 votes)
Basketball (82 votes)
Hockey (on the ice, not the field) (20 votes)
Other (baseball, water polo, you name it below) (27 votes)
203 total votes