Why American Football Is Stupid

Why American Football Is Stupid

Commentary on a game from someone who doesn't know the rules
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On Nov. 21, I went to see the Penn State Nittany Lions play a game of football against the University of Michigan Wolverines.

I'm not really the kind of person that cares at all about sports. For the past two years, I've gotten obsessed with soccer during the World Cup (I'm still supporting Tim Howard as Secretary of Defense), but that's basically the extent of my experience with sports, professional or otherwise.

So why was I at the game? A friend of mine was able to get the tickets for cheap, and I'd never watched a football game, whether on TV or in person, so I figured it'd be an interesting experience. And it was. I had a ton of fun. But I realized one thing: American football makes absolutely no sense.

Now, I'm not saying that football is totally illogical. I acknowledge that it has a complex rule structure. What I'm saying is that those rules are opaque to outsiders like me, which make many of the actions taken by the players feel arbitrary.

Let's start with what feels the most arbitrary to me: the point values. Your favorite player just got the ball into the end zone. Quick: how many points was that worth?

Well, it depends on how the player got it there. Did he get a touchdown? Six points. Or did he kick it between the posts for a field goal? Three points. On top of that, players are allowed to try for an extra point or two after a touchdown, because why-the-hell-not.

Now, of course, you could say "Well, of course touchdowns are worth more than field goals, since they're harder to get." But that doesn't really address my criticism. Why six points? It just feels as though it were randomly selected.

I contrast the scoring system with soccer. In soccer, you score one goal, you get one point, because you did one thing. In American football, you score one touchdown, you get six points. WHY?

And then why does everything stop so much? A football game puts an hour on the clock, but then takes four hours to actually run the time down. Contrast this to soccer, for which 90 minutes typically lasts for around two hours. And then there's baseball, which at least has the decency to admit that it has no idea how long nine innings will last.

To an outsider like me, it felt like the players just needed to take a couple minute break after doing...just about anything.

It was all sort of a surreal experience. I was surrounded by literally 107 thousand other people, and it felt like every single one of them intimately understood what made zero sense in front of me.

They knew what plays were good, what plays were bad. They knew when to cheer, when to boo, and the words to all the chants.

I knew none of that. And that's what made the whole experience so interesting to me. For about four hours, I was totally immersed in a culture that I am in no way a part of. It was uncomfortable, but fascinating.

But the game still makes no goddamn sense.

Cover Image Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?
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So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to taxfoundation.org, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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At Last, the Buffalo Bills Have Released Nathan Peterman

After Matt Barkley's successful stint at quarterback, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would part ways with Peterman

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In a decision that has been long overdue, Buffalo Bills fans can breathe a sigh of relief, at last, knowing that quarterback Nathan Peterman is no longer on the roster. I know it may seem like I've been harping on this guy recently, but it can't go unnoted that he has thrown as many touchdowns as he has interceptions that have been returned for a touchdown. In Buffalo, we live and die with our team. We ride the bus through the many trials and tribulations that are experienced. We know not to get too high on any particular moment because, in an instance, it will turn into a low. This fanbase has endured too many lows throughout its tenure and releasing Peterman may be the change of mojo that has been needed.

The Bills started their 4th quarterback of the season last week against the New York Jets. Playing a team that has underperformed this season just as much as Buffalo has, the stakes were very low entering the contest. Matt Barkley, a free-agent that was signed to play for the Bills just 12 days before the game was expected to start at quarterback for the team. That's right, the Bills decided to go against playing Peterman, who has been on the roster for over a year and knows the offense far better than Barkley and went with a new guy. And to their credit, Barkley excelled. His first play from scrimmage he ran a fake run play and heaved up a 47-yard completion to Robert Foster.

He dominated the offense for the Bills and lead them to a monster 41-10 victory against their division rivals. More importantly, the Bills put up the most points in a single game in the last three years in their win last weekend. Barkley was a much-needed spark to this seemingly depressing offense. He demonstrated that the guys on this team are talented and capable of playing well, they just needed the right guy in the driver's seat.

After cementing a win, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would finally release Peterman. There seemed no point in having four quarterbacks on their roster and releasing a QB would clear up cap space. Peterman, who clearly resides as the worst out of the four roster spots, would be the guy to go. The following Monday, a dream became a reality. Breaking Buffalo News reported that the Bills had decided to release Peterman in an all but necessary move.

Now, do I feel bad for the guy? Sure, he loved Buffalo and really did try to bring his all to the team. It's unfortunate that it didn't work out in the end, as this happens with players from time to time. However, Peterman's resume may be padded as the worst in NFL history. His 3 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions is by far the worst touchdown to interception ratio by a quarterback ever. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do, but bye bye Nathan Peterman.

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