Opinion | I’m tired of football

It feels like the NFL season ended yesterday. But regardless, the USFL and XFL are here to ensure we get to watch the sport year round. And yes, I’m framing that as a bad thing.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Driver Will Power (12) goes into turn three during the NTT IndyCar Series Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Power finished the race second.

Sam Knupp, Opinions Contributor

I’m going to say it. I’m tired of football. And the endless football onslaught won’t be ending anytime soon.

The NFL wrapped up in February and a week later came the opening weekend of the XFL. Then in April, the USFL began their season, which will finish in July — which also happens to be the month NFL teams start training camp. And with that, we’re all stuck in a never-ending cycle in which football is played and broadcast on major networks year round.

A 2020 study from FiveThirtyEight showed that the average NFL game contains 18 minutes of gameplay in a three hour and 23 minute span. If that fact doesn’t give you the urge to make toast in the shower, I don’t know what will.

And if you want to watch football, that’s fine. I’m just trying to comprehend what’s creating the constant demand.

Then again, in Iowa City, it’s not like football fandom is necessarily backed up by logic. The Hawkeyes’ boring style of play mimics that of the 1920s, but home games at Kinnick Stadium still draw over 60,000 fans — of which I am often a part — who are more than eager to watch some 2-yard run plays that are inevitably followed by punts.

But maybe I’m the odd one out with my football fatigue. In fact, I’d say I definitely am. While a combined 1,041,000 people were watching the USFL and XFL on Sunday afternoon, I was one of the 930,000 watching the IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park on NBC — a race that was fantastic by the way. That battle between Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin deserves a million chef’s kisses.

Some of you might read the previous paragraph and say, “Sam, you’re the one watching the boring sport. Car racing — really?”

Yeah, really. I’m sorry that I find automobiles driving inches apart at 180 miles per hour to be more entertaining than a bunch of shots showing 50-year-old men wearing khakis and headsets.

Let me be clear, I like football. I just don’t need it year round. Maybe it’s just that a year of watching Iowa, Iowa State, and the Minnesota Vikings can do dangerous things to one’s health. In fact, I’m almost certain that’s a huge part of the reason for my disinterest in football.

Watching Iowa and Iowa State is like watching the ice caps melt. And watching the Vikings is like spending time with Princess Peach. The good times are good, but you’re met with the inevitable fact that at some point, she’s going to do something stupid to yet again get kidnapped by Bowser.

And I understand football season is short. While the MLB, NHL, and NBA seasons all go on for more than eight months each, including preseason and postseason play; the NFL season is a mere six and a half months with preseason and playoffs included.

If you’re a Chicago Bears fan, which many of our readers are, your season almost never continues beyond the end of the regular season. Your team is terrible and they’ve replaced the Detroit Lions as the laughingstock of the NFC North division. Think about that for a second; you’re more of a joke than the Lions.

The point I’m making is that many people might feel that the NFL and college football aren’t enough to fully cure their football craving. And that’s fine.

It just hurts my heart that so many other beautiful sports don’t get the viewership they deserve. I tune into every IndyCar race, and I’m always treated to the best open-wheel racing in the world.

After every race, I find myself craving the opportunity to talk about the events of the weekend with someone, anyone. But I don’t know anyone who watches on a regular basis. And I’m stuck with no one to discuss my favorite sport with, except for the gold folks on the IndyCar Subreddit. Don’t get me wrong, the IndyCar Reddit community is great. But I would enjoy being able to see the people I’m talking to.

And before you ask me, “Are you just knocking football because you’re bitter that no one is watching the sport you like?” All I have to say to you is, yes.

But also, please shut up.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.