I am the average American NFL fan. I am not in the top 10% of American income, so I have to work for a living. I have felt the impact of the sinking economy in America but no matter how bad things get, I can always escape into the game that I love, football. More specifically, NFL football. Sports has a way of taking you away from your problems, if for only three hours. Every September, all my problems feel much more manageable because I know every Sunday, at 1 pm, I can forget whatever troubles me and immerse myself in football. In my experience I have found that the easiest way to bond with your fellow American man, is to talk sports. Most men follow some sports and there is no bigger sporting institution in America than the NFL. I have watched grown men turn into children when they watch their favorite NFL team play. From irrational screaming and cussing like a sailor when their team fumbles, to jumping up and down like joyous maniacs when their team hits a 50 yard bomb for a touchdown. It truly is a simplistic and yet powerful joy that it gives to those that love it.
September 11th, 2001. A day that changed America forever. With so much lost, we turned to America's game to raise the spirits of a Nation. I was in college, at a sports bar with all of my friends when the first games were played after 9/11. They were filled with American flags, American anthems, and American pride and for a few hours, we were all distracted from the horror that we felt just days earlier. It was at that moment, as I watched tears of sadness pour during the National Anthem change to tears of joy as our team won, that I realized how powerful and wonderful the NFL is to it's fans. So here we are ten years later and looking at a possibility that on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we may also lose the game that has helped so many people get through some very tough times. We need the NFL. When you have a bright light to look forward to at the end of the week, it helps the week move quicker. It helps us fight through hard times because we get to cheer for our heroes. We need the NFL. In a time when unemployment casts a shadow over our country, We need the NFL. The NFL is what it is because of the fans and when the smoke clears and September 11, 2011 comes, I hope the spirit of America is rewarded by the game that is ours because even at our worst moments the NFL can give the fans some relief from their problems and we need it.