Football and It’s Fans Have Changed

The National Football League and the Super Bowl are the largest thing in sports in the United States without debate. Traditionalist may argue baseball is the “American Past-Time” and in days gone by that may have well been true, but those days are long gone.

Fans of the professional football have changed in recent years. The days of a player playing an entire career for one team are no more, the days of a fan rooting for one team over their entire life-time may also be gone, along with the fan loyalty that came with those things.

With the emergence and explosion of fantasy footballs popularity even the casual fan know the players from teams they never watch and how these players are performing. Fans with no knowledge of the storied history of some teams can tell you those teams running backs names, they know who the quarterbacks are, who the wide receivers are, and they even know who the kickers are.

Players not teams may now be the focus of fan loyalty in the so-called modern era of football. In the mind of fans “The Lombardi Trophy” may not be as important as fantasy statistics and winning their own league.

Some younger fans may have no idea what teams came from the old NFL or which teams came from the old American Football League when the two leagues merged to become the present NFL.

The Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Oakland Raiders all have better all-time winning percentages than the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, as do the Minnesota Vikings, but most fantasy football fans probably would be unaware of this fact. Some would be inclined to argue this fact due to the recent success of the latter group of teams.

When Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers tore his ACL and was lost for the season, not only Packer fans hurt for him, every fantasy coach who wanted him on their team this season were left scrambling for an answer to his replacement and they anguished for Nelson.

More fans probably felt worse about Nelson than for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson when he threw away last season’s Super Bowl on the last play of the biggest game of the year.

The NFL has evolved, but not as much as its fans.

J. Brackston

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