Originated from soccer and rugby, American football has definitely surpassed the underlying sports by its popularity. I have never met an American who would not follow a college game every Saturday or who would not crush into the bar to support one of the NFL (National Football League) teams during the championship!
To learn more about this sport, I went to see one of this famous college games.
And here I am at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, waiting for the University of Texas game between Austin and El Paso teams to start!
The stadium with capacity of more than 100 000 people is almost full and is all in burnt-orange and white colors meaning that the majority of the fans came to support Austin Longhorn team. I got my orange hat too 🙂
Symbol of Longhorn team representing the University of Texas in Austin. The name comes from the Longhorn cattle that were an important part of the development of Texas, and are now the official “large animal” of the U.S. state of Texas.
An incredible opening show with live music played by Longhorn marching band, cheer-leading squads’ acrobatic dance and football players running onto the filed out of the steam welcomed by the roaring crowd of fans create an overwhelming energy!
While watching the game and talking to my friends I learned a lot of curious facts about American football. Did you know that:
- Even though these college games bring millions of dollars, the football players don’t see a dime of it?!
- College football is the last step before professional sport. Every university builds its team by looking for the best players across USA and offering them a free education. So every football player has to get a degree in a non-sport related field while playing football for his University. And then if he proves himself in the games he has a chance to get to NFL.
- Football has the highest rate of concussion among high school sports. About 50 high school or younger football players across the country were killed or sustained serious head injuries on the field since 1997.
- Concussions and other types of repetitive play-related head blows in American football have been shown to be the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has led to player suicides and other debilitating symptoms after retirement, including memory loss, depression and dementia.
All of these facts made me wonder why do these young people choose this sport and risk their health? How do they feel about not being paid for all the value they bring? What kind of character is needed to succeed? What do the football players feel being there on the field? Etc…etc…etc….
To find the answers to my questions I decided to reach out to the football players and ask them directly all I wanted to know about what it takes to be a genuine American football player!
Do you think I made it? YES!! Read the interviews with these exceptionally strong, young and ambitious gentlemen in my future posts!