The Sporting Chameleon

an absolute cheesecake of a sports blog

The perils of the English NFL fan

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THE NFL season has kicked off again, forcing millions of UK fans to endure some late nights.

I was one of those who settled down last night to watch the Dallas Cowboys open their garguantan, new stadium against 2008 Superbowl champions the New York Giants on Five.

Five’s show is presented by Nat Coombs and token American Mike Carlson – a duo combining knowledge of the game and comedy banter.

For example viewers were informed that if Carlson had to marry either Wilma Flintstone or Betty Rubble, he is firmly in Betty’s camp and considers the choice of Wilma rather perplexing.

I have been watching Match of the Day for nearly 20 years (minus a brief hiatus to ITV) and still wait to learn such intimate knowledge of Alan Hansen’s cartoon character marital preferences.

The game attracted an NFL record crowd of 105,121, including former US President George W Bush, who tossed the pre-match coin.

Not the first time Bush has been a tosser.

American football is the most macho sport on the planet.

A basic tackle or pass completion earns rounds of high-fives and chest pumps, the equivalent of a winning a throw-in and then running the length of the pitch to slide on your knees in front of the away fans.

The sport is unique, in that no other team game revolves so much around one player.

The quality of the quarterback, usually the lone white man in a team of black players, determines the success of the team.

However as entertaining as the game was (the Giants won 33-31, thanks to a last-second field goal), it was hard to ignore that it began at approaching 2am UK time.

I made it through the first quarter no problem, as the Giants took a 13-7 lead.

But half-way through the second quarter I woke up, not having realised I was asleep in the first place.

I could have stayed and fought the fatigue, but admitted defeat and retreated to bed.

Body 1, Mind 0.

Next week it is the Colts v the Cardinals – and I am hoping to make it to half-time.

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