Football is one of the best-loved sports in the world, with fans checking scores religiously from the matches today and every other day, but in America, sports fans don’t seem to share the same level of enthusiasm as elsewhere in the world.
In the US, American football is the top sport, but what are the differences between the two sports?
How It’s Played
The most obvious difference between the two activities is that classic football is only played with the feet, and the only player who is allowed to use his hands is a goalkeeper. In American football, this isn’t the case – players can use their feet for kick-offs and field goals, but they can also use their hands to carry the ball along the field.
In American football, the scoring reaches much higher levels compared to regular football. A high scoring game can go as much as forty points higher than a “high scoring” game of world football that reaches just three or four goals. For many Americans, the lack of scoring is what puts them off watching regular football – there isn’t the same level of excitement for them compared to American football.
With most football leagues, the way to win a championship is to end the season with the most points. American football works a little differently as there are playoff systems in place – the four division leaders and two wild cards from each conference are pit against each other in an elimination tournament to decide who reigns supreme.
With American football, there has to be a winner, but regular football can often finish with a draw. Many teams in the middle of the table actually wind up with more draws than wins or losses, which can be disheartening for many spectators who want to know that one team beat the other.
Every sport has its rivalries and while both sports are no exception, American football takes its rivalries more seriously than football teams do. The rivalry between the Redskins and Cowboys barely compare to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In the Super Bowl, there is a clear-cut champion but with regular football or ‘soccer’, the winner of the league is the team with the most points at the end of the year. But there are also other in-season tournaments to consider.
Teams get to lift other trophies such as the FA Cup, the Copa del Rey and so on. While these trophies may seem less important compared to the bigger tournaments, it still gives teams something to work towards when they’re out of contention to win the league. There’s also the Champions League which carries more prestige than winning any other league.
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American football is played in other areas such as Canada or Germany, virtually all of the best players are in the NFL. But with regular football, there are opportunities to see big players in other leagues besides the main ones –the way players are spread out around different tournaments and locations makes it interesting in its own right.