8 Reasons Why American Football Is Quite Simply Better Than Rugby

Yup. We said it.

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The Six Nations has finished and for once, things haven't gone Ireland's way.

An apparent World Cup hangover and the retirement heartbreaking retirement of Paul O'Connell is where we're placing the blame. But is rugby even THAT enjoyable (he said, wiping the tears away)?

College Football rolls into Dublin this year with all the razzmatazz that goes with it. Here's why you should consider crossing over to the pigskin game...

1. The team names are cool.

Leinster Rugby, Munster Rugby. Yawn. American Football teams often derive their names from the animal kingdom (Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears), cultural references (Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins), or in the case of the Baltimore Ravens, famous poems. 

Their name references Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’, Poe having lived in the city for a number of years. Can rugby boast such creativity? Nevermore.

Ravens

2.  Attendances

From 2008 to 2015, the NFL average attendance never dropped below 60,000. For rugby’s European Champions Cup over the same period, it never eclipsed 15,000 – despite the 'passion' we see around the big tournaments.

Americans love their ball and enjoy getting off the couch to get their fix.

3. The food

The matchday grub at American Football games is an eclectic mix of traditional eats from all over the globe as well as local delicacies. Empanadas, Burritos, Argentinian Asado appear on the menus alongside American fare like Philly cheesesteaks and GIANT nacho plates.

Beats the usual choice of an overpriced cheeseburger or a hot dog where by the sausage is three times as big as the bun.

Nachos

4. The Celebrations

American Football players have long been known for their elaborate scoring celebrations which put their bland rugby counterparts to shame. Case in point: (personal favourite: number 6 – the Forrest Gump).

A far cry from a Jonny Sexton fist-pump. No offence, Jonny.

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Watch the video here

7. The cheerleaders

A particularly drab game needing an atmosphere boost? Fear not, for all American Football teams from high-school level to the NFL provide an array of professionals to lift spirits throughout those cold winter games!

In contrast, 'give loudest guy in 6th year the megaphone and see what he shouts' tends to be the mantra for schools rugby teams this side of the Atlantic.

Altogether now:  "Gooooooooo (insert  team name here)!!"

5. Those catches

Some of the catches made in American Football go a long way towards defying the laws of physics.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Junior (no relation to the man himself) has particularly made a name for himself in this department. Catching a ball while running at speed is not something that comes easy and for that we salute you, American Becks.

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Watch the video here

7. Superbowl Sunday

The holy grail of global sporting events. Every year, usually in early February, across all time zones, the world gathers to watch the final game of the American Football calendar. In recent years here in Dublin, several venues have been known to acquire late licences in order to screen the event.

Mondays are booked off work and chicken wings are devoured by the bucketload. Also, the participants tend to be different every year and viewers get to pick a different team to support each time.

No New Zealand-like domination in this sport.

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8. Marshawn Lynch

Former Seattle Seahawks running-back Lynch (known as Beast Mode due to his aggressive running style) made quite a name for himself in the build-up to the 2015 Superbowl.

Famous for an unwillingness to talk to the media, the now-retired Lynch spent a whole five-minute mandatory press conference answering questions with the line “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

You could hate it. But you kinda have to love it...

Written By

James Fenton

Lover of sports. Reformed funk soul brother. Down to one Simpsons quote per day. Never won friends with salad.

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