NFL sign surrounded by footballs

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Watch the NFL

American men love watching football. A few years ago, almost three quarters of American men watched NFL football. And the amount of time spent watching football per week is significant with 60% of male football viewers spending five hours or less per week watching football and 27% of viewers spending between six and ten hours per week watching football. The remaining 13% are spending eleven or more hours per week in front of the tube. These figures do not include the time spent watching football related infotainment or the time spent playing fantasy football.

Most NFL fans are quite proud of “their team” and faithfully watch games, tailgate, and buy merchandise. There was a time when I was one of those guys spending my time and money watching football. I played football in high school and I started watching the NFL more when I finished playing. It was a kind of way to stay connected to the sport. But here’s the thing: all that time and money spent on the NFL is a total waste. There is no way to justify the time and money spent on watching the NFL. Don’t believe me? Here are my top five reasons you shouldn’t be watching the NFL.


Top 5 Reasons to Stop Watching the NFL

NFL logo on turf

5. You wouldn't invite the players into your home if they weren’t professional athletes

Murderers, rapists, wife-beaters, child-beaters, animal abusers, cheaters, narcissists, and whiners - not every NFL player is one of the aforementioned, but every team has at least a few on the roster. The shear number of criminals and just plain scummy people in the NFL boggles the mind. These people are not the best America has to offer. Not even close.

If these men weren’t playing football, they would never be invited into your home. What kind of message does this send to young people? It’s basically letting them know that this type of behavior isn’t that big of a deal. You can commit a felony (or multiple felonies), maybe even kill a guy, and still play the sport and even get a job as a professional commentator after retiring from the sport. That’s not the message we should be sending our younger generations. We shouldn’t be putting these people on a pedestal.


4. You are getting fatter and dumber spending that much time watching TV

What is happening to your body as you sit for hours and watch football? It’s fairly obvious to most that being sedentary is not good for you. Not only are you not burning any calories as you stare at the screen, there is also a good chance that you are eating and drinking too much while you sit there. How many calories are consumed in food and beer? And, how does the excessive drinking and poor eating affect your sleep? It’s probably not helping you get restful sleep. Which may in turn, reduce your productivity the following day and also decrease the chance you will want to work out that day. All this is going to make you fatter, and probably dumber.

How is this making you dumber? Well, there are several studies that draw a link between sedentary behavior and academic performance. The general idea is that more hours spent in front of a screen is associated with measurable decreases in academic performance. This is clearly bad for kids still in school, but it’s also bad for adults. The time spent watching football could be spent on something mentally stimulating.


3. The time you waste watching football could be spent actually playing sports

If you love football, why don’t you play football? Seriously. If all the time spent watching football was instead spent actually training and competing, men would be much happier, and in much better shape. This doesn’t mean that guys need to join the local arena football league. There are many other ways to enjoy the sport. Any activity, from playing catch to playing a flag football game would be time much better spent compared to vegetating on the couch.

NFL referee pointing

2. It's lame to dedicate so much of your life to the NFL

We’ve all met a dude that thinks he is manly because he watches a lot of football. He’s sporting his favorite team jersey, chugging beers, eating wings, and acting boisterous at the local sports bar. He believes his vast knowledge of football trivia is quite impressive. The only small talk he makes is football-related. This is not manly, alpha male behavior. This is pretty lame. Being a super fan just makes you a follower. Real men do things – they don’t just watch other men do things.

1. You could be spending quality time with people that actually matter

I’ve never met a man that said, “I wish I would have spent more time watching football”. On the other hand, I’ve met many men that regret not spending more time with people that actually matter to them. Imagine if every man spent ten additional hours per week with their son or their father instead of watching football. How much better off would men be?

If you are a football fan that spends multiple hours per week watching football, I challenge you to think about the points above. There is a huge opportunity cost and almost no benefit to dedicating so much time to watching a sport. Think about reducing (or eliminating) the time you spend watching football and instead investing that time in yourself and those you care about. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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