The NFL pre-season is here and I for one am pretty pumped about it. A lot of people have some strong opinions about the NFL and I’ve got some for both sides of the coin. For one, I think it’s a little bit ridiculous that the players are paid millions of dollars to play a game. But there’s just something about watching a bunch of the biggest, strongest, fastest and most physically impressive people to ever live try to kill each other on live television that gets my blood pumping.
I really only have one reason I love the NFL. Some of the positively inhuman people on these teams are the most astonishing examples of physical condition and ability that the world has ever seen. The kinds of athletic prowess that some of these players have is just mind-blowing.
I’ll start with the running back. This position requires that you be an expert at staying on your feet while a small army of gigantic crazy people try to knock you off of them. As a running back or a kick returner, you have to run head-on into a meat grinder of 11 muscle-bound freaks that all want to smear you into the turf, and have spent their whole lives training to do just that. Sounds like a walk in the park, right?
As a receiver, you have to outrun a 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback of equal freakish athletic ability and catch a ball thrown at you like a bullet while he and his buddies, who are all on their way to break you in half, try to keep you from catching it. If you do catch it, everyone on the other team is trained to immediately hit you as hard as they possibly can. There’s usually a psychotic free safety that is doing nothing but waiting to find you with the ball in open field.
If he does, you better check your blind spots for someone flying through the air like superman about to harpoon you in front 60,000 screaming fans.
Quarterbacks might not all be specimens of physical perfection, but take a moment to consider their job description. As a quarterback, you have a handful of some of the scariest, hardest-hitting humans on the planet doing absolutely anything in their power to get past your linemen and body slam you.
Picture a 250-pound mountain of muscle and anger. He’s been trained since he could walk to crush people and he’s got this deranged look in his eyes. He’s staring a hole in your head while he paces back and forth behind the defensive line, waiting to sledgehammer whoever you give the ball to. In front of him are a couple defensive tackles.
They’re both crouched in the three-point stance ready to shove your absolutely colossal linemen out of the way and bury you under 300 pounds of pent-up aggression. While you try not to get killed, you have to throw the ball like a laser-guided missile and hit the hands of a receiver that’s running and zig-zagging as fast as he can with a defender stuck to him like glue.
What I’m trying to say is that if you dislike the NFL for whatever reason; you can’t deny the awesome display of athletic ability the players have. It’s really unlike any other sport. Judging someone’s athletic ability is pretty subjective, I know. There might be other, greater athletes out there if your definition of a raw athlete is different than mine, but if I’m drafting people of Earth to be on my side of a bar fight, Ray Lewis, Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson are getting picked first, second and third.