For some context for Football Part 1 and 2, read these:
Football / Football (Part 1)
Football / Football 2: Superbowl XLIII
Football / Football 3: Mark Learns to Speak American
I like American Football. I have tried, and then succeeded, in finding my voice within the footballing world of the United States. So, one of the greatest things that I am able to whilst here for a year is go and see some football matches and get to experience the real feeling of an American football game. In the flesh. In their home turf. I know the rules to an extent so it was going to be less of an educational experience, but more an actual fan experience - going to see my first American sport that didn't recquire me to sit with Wikipedia or asking Connie every second line what was happening meant I could focus on the game more.
Sport: American Football - NFL
Team: Houston Texans
Stadium: Reliant Stadium
Opponents: San Diego Chargers
The first thing I realised was that no one really cares about the kick off. The reason for this is that very little happens in the first 2-5 minutes of the game, because the game clock hasn't even really started. Once the first team kick it in and the returning team stops, there's a time out for adverts and everyone start talking. I missed the kick off and actually missed the first touchdown because I was buying beer.
This is the second thing I noticed about the football experience at Reliant Stadium - the drinking of beer, eating of food and chatting to friends is something that comes naturally to the sport because of the stop start nature - when comparing it to the constant play of Soccer* and Rugby* I find it strange not sitting rapt watching every second of play. In fact, being able to step out for a beer or pizza during play, or having space to turn and chat to the person you are with, was something that I really enjoyed. And, not to mention that the beer and pizza was good, too.
The experience was very good and I got very drunk. The Texans lost the game and started their spiral into a losing season. Neither of my teams (the Cardinals being the other team) will make the post season this year unless... well, no, they won't. I now have two jerseys for two teams that are rubbish. But that's not the point. The point is that I really enjoyed watching the sport and seeing the fans and the stadium and, happily, once again, managed to share the experience with Connie.
I give NFL an B rating.