All over the world, each country has a favorite competitive activity that requires skill by an individual or team for entertainment. In the United States (US), “America’s Game” is called football, but not the version many other countries define is futbol. According to a Gallop Poll baseball was the most popular sport in the US from 1948 to 1960 then football became the most popular sport in 1972. The American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) make up the Nation Football League (NFL), which when you calculate the total valuation (according to Sportico) of all 32 franchises it equates to $102.07 billion dollars.
The objective of American football is to win the game by proactively having your defense and offense work in tandem together. A good offense will generate points for the team by passing or running the ball with their possessions in the game. A good defense can limit the chances of the opposing offense ability to score points. Touchdowns award your team six points with a play reaching the endzone by either passing or running the ball. After the play, the team has the chance at an attempt for an extra point by kicking the ball resulting in one point or running a regular play resulting in two points. A field goal is a play, where a team can attempt to kick the ball through the uprights resulting in three points.
In the NFL, both conferences are divided into four divisions representing the regions designated North, South, East, and West with four teams per division. The team with the best record in their division at the end of the year will automatically enter the NFL playoffs. There are two wild card spots in each conference, a team with a worse record than the best team in their division can still make the playoffs. The playoffs are a way to eliminate teams until there are only two teams left who represent both conferences in the NFL. Those two teams will play in the Superbowl to crown a champion of the NFL in that season and take home the Vince Lombardi trophy. The Superbowl champion of the 2020 season was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who won with a score of 31 to 9.
Futbol or as Americans call it “Soccer” a is a sport played by an overwhelming number of countries around the globe. Futbol consists of two teams with eleven players each with designated positions. The offense strategy is to attempt to score goals against the opposing team. The defense consists of designated players who attempt to defend their goal with a player known as a goalie who job it is to guard the goal throughout the match. The goalie is the only player in the match allowed to use their hands.
The different nations are divided into groups of the alphabet (e.g., A, B, C, D, etc.). In the group stage teams complete within eight groups with four teams in each group. Each group plays a round robin tournament in which each team is scheduled to play three matches versus the other teams in the same group. The top two teams in each group advance to the knock-out stage. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and 0 for a loss. The knock-out stage is a single elimination tournament which teams play one another in a one-off match to move on to the next round. If the game is not determined in the full time of the match, either extra time or penalty shoot-outs would determine a winner in the match.
These matches continue until two nations are left to participate in the World Cup final in which the winner of the match will win the Federation International Futbol Association (FIFA) World Cup Trophy. Brazil, Germany, France, and Spain have dominated as winners of the FIFA World Cup. The last FIFA World Cup was hosted by Russia in 2018, which culminated in France defeating Croatia 4 to 2 in regulation time.
There are many sports enthusiasts around the world and will purchase a ticket(s) and travel to watch a game. How many of you have traveled to watch a sport in person? How many of you have learned to like sports, because of visiting different countries? Share your thoughts to these two questions and if you have any funny stories of being an avid sports fanatic.
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