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First Time Football Fan: Dipping my toe in the NFL

The NFL is fun yet complicated

Sports Obsessive’s own Amber McCrudden starts her journey into learning all there is to know about the NFL. So what has she learned so far? and is she a fan or does she still need time to make that decision?

Follow her journey during the 2021 NFL Season from pre-season to the 2022 Draft as she gets her head around the most popular sport in all of America.

 

The Offseason in the NFL is Long

But not uneventful. we have the draft in April, training camps in the summer before the Pre-season even gets going and then the full season starts in September.

After the Super Bowl, we have a few months off before the NFL Draft in April. Between March and April, this is the time for teams to take the opportunity to sign from the free agency and make trades before the transfer window closes.

the NFL displays the helmets of eatch team

The offseason is typically 9 weeks, but this doesn’t include the time between the end of the Super Bowl and the start of training camp. The Hall of Fame takes place the week before the Pre-Season starts, meaning two teams get the opportunity to play 4 instead of 3 games. From there we move on to the Pre-Season, which is the perfect opportunity for the coaches to have a look at the 75 men who haven’t been cut yet, these will be whittled down to a lovely 53 players just before the season starts. Yes, it’s brutal and sucks for everyone but it does push those who want the opportunity to make the squad.

Madden isn’t just a Game

I adore a good sports game and I’ve been needing something I can obsess over since the disappointment of WWE 2K20 and I have found it in Madden 21, and I am very excited to try out Madden 22 which I will get around to streaming on my Twitch, I need to get my 10 hours of gaming in on that one.

Madden 22 is set to be released with Tom Brady on the cover

What Madden has brought to me has been the ability to learn every team in the NFL as well as the players within that. You also have to make, and plan plays which also has helped in beginning to understand the game. My favorite part of the game is Franchise because who doesn’t want to get their favorite team to the Super Bowl and sign all the best free agents or make trades. I have managed it in my second season and am hoping to do the same in my third.

Football is a very Technical Game

For all the years I’ve thrown crap towards Football, I’m European my sport has been Football/Soccer or Rugby, I didn’t realize just how technical the game is. I’m learning all about plays and the different positions, luckily, I’ve found some things that are similar to the sport I already watch. 11 players on the field, yes field not pitch, there are offensive and defensive players and the line of scrimmage is something I know because of Rugby. It’s easy to pick up but also loads to learn and if you are anything like me, it will be your mission to learn everything.

Aaron Rogers is ready to bring it as the QB of the Green Bay PackersThe teams are also known as franchises and unlike European football can move town, city, or even state. The LA Rams for example used to be the St. Louis Rams some five years ago. Also getting my head around not saying Match but Game has taken me a while, yet again this is down to European Football and Wrestling lingo being what I know best. Also, I was completely thrown off by the term ‘Special Teams’, what even is that? Turns out it’s the kicker and punter and all the plays and players that don’t fit into either offensive or defensive. There is so much lingo that I don’t understand but my American friend advised me to get myself ‘Football for Dummies’ and I am glad I did, there is a whole section explaining Sacks, Snaps, and Spin. This has been the most helpful thing I have invested in since July 2021.

 

NFL Gamepass is Worth the Price

Gamepass is a little steep, but it is well worth the price, if you decide to upgrade from the free version to pro it opens up a whole world of content. I have learned so much about the history of the game and big moments and plays such as the Tuck Rule, the Helmet Catch, and the Ice Bowl. This isn’t just about watching the games and analysis but there is a whole host of documentaries that you can work through during the week when we don’t have a game.

NFL Gamepass is a great investment and includes the Buffalo Bills in their add

Hard Knocks is a favorite of many football fans as it follows the ups and downs of a team during training camp and the pre-season. The documentaries on offer are varied and focus on the game’s influence and part in world events, famous plays, strange games, and bitter rivalries. On top of that, you have the NFL Network available and the Red Zone which is a show focussed on every single touch down from each week’s games, giving you intense analysis. It isn’t just this that is available the talented Eli and Payton Manning have their own show while there are several Podcasts for you to listen to at your leisure.

 

LET’S GO CARDINALS!

I picked my team, not from stats or who had the best season last year, cause hello the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but from my heart. On my journey to learning all I can about Football I started watching All or Nothing, the Arizona Cardinals are the first franchise to be showcased and I instantly fell in love. You can read my review of the season here at Sports Obsessive.

NFL team, Arizona Cardinals team logo

The truth of the matter is I love an underdog, it must be the punk girl in me. Some examples of this include my need to cheer for the guy who is always overshadowed by their friend, Sami Zayn and Christian in WWE, or in European football if your team has never won anything and they are close to, you can bet I will be cheering very loudly. Even during the Rugby World Cup my team ended up being Japan, yes I was cheering for England and Ireland as well as the All Blacks, but Japan felt like the little engine that could.

So, yes that means my heart is often broken but sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s about the ride, but if the Cardinals win this year I might cry. The Red Sea needs a Super Bowl win, please just give it to us.

Written by Amber McCrudden

Writer | Podcaster | Streamer | Photographer | Content Creator | Wrestling's Sweetheart

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