American football is exactly like cycling.
I know this because I went to an American football match last week and it was exactly the same as watching the Tour De France. Don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence.
And, remember, this is based on my experience of one whole game of American Football, so this is almost scientific fact.
Evidence number one: both sports have a star man, a fast man, and a fat man who does all the heavy lifting
In American Football it’s all about the Quarterback, the leader, the main man controlling the action. His fast wide receivers are the ones who make a spring for the line. The hulking linebacks protect him from attack. In cycling it all about the GC leader, the main man controlling the action. His sprinters make the spring to the line and the hulking domestiques use their strength to protect the leader from attack.
Evidence number two: it goes on forever and nothing much happens until something happens
American Football last over three hours. Most bike races last three hours. And for most of the time, nothing happens. The peloton rides serenely on. The team has a time out and a natter in the middle of the stadium. Nothing happens!
And then something happens. And you’ve missed it because, really, who can watch any sport for three hours?!?!
Evidence number three: all supporters dress in silly costumes and get really, really drunk
In America being a mascot is pointless. Why pay someone to dress up and dance around the stadium when the whole stadium is filled with people who have dressed up and dancing around for free? Everyone dresses up. It’s would be like employing a man to shout “the Referees a wanker” at any football (proper, UK football) game? There’s no point. There’s 20,000 people already doing it.
Instead, attending an American Football game is basically Halloween meets P.E. Muscle suits. Captain Americas. Soldiers. Gladiators. Anything except footballers.
Just like in cycling. Where muscle suits, Captain Americas, Soldiers, Gladiators and anything except cyclists dot the roads of Europe like Comic-con road-kill.
Evidence number four: the rules are completely incomprehensible
I’m not even going to try and explain American Football because, well, I don’t know how. Something to do with going forward and getting to the line first.
As for cycling. Again, no one really knows the rules. Sometimes you can grab a bottle and hang onto a car and sometimes you can’t. But what I do know is that the whole race is about going forward and getting to the line first.
Evidence number five: no one knows what’s going on
There’s faints when someone pretends to do something so the other team reacts. But they weren’t doing that, they were doing this, or not doing anything at all. Also, you can watch the leader but actually all the actions happening elsewhere and he’s not involved at all.
Basically, see number five.
Evidence number six: they’re all on drugs*
*For legal reasons I cannot substantiate this claim**
** We all know it’s true.***
*** Except for Bradley Wiggins.****
**** He definitely didn’t do anything. And not with that bag. Or those drugs. Or that week before the Tour De France. No, sir. Not him.*****
(***** He did it.)
Evidence number seven: both sports are about going a set distance
In American Football it’s all about getting 10 yards then 100 yards. In cycling it’s all about kilometres. Which, when you think about it, is all topsy turvy. Surely, in Europe, home to the classics and traditions and a century of always doings things the same way, we’d have yards, and, in America, where everything is in metric system, they’d have kilometres. It’s all mixed up. Which just goes to show both sports are nothing like alike. One is American and incomprehensible and the other is not.