Fans at Wembley stadium were left confused by all the fuss about British sports being boring after NFL teams Washington Redskins and Cincinatti Bengals played out a boring 27-27 draw after a 60-minute game that took nearly 5 hours to eventually end, including 15 further minutes of overtime which yielded a grand total of zero points.
“We have all the complaints about how football can go on for 90 minutes, with nothing exciting ever happening, or even how cricket can take 5 days and still end with No Result”, said a United fan who had made the trip to Wembley, because heck, who knows how long it will be before they would get to do that again. “Guess who’s boring now!”, he finished triumphantly as he furitively checked if United had finally scored a goal in a game that mattered.
The strangeness of the game was further compounded by the fact that both teams, who were ostensibly playing football, couldn’t quite get a hang of the one thing that involved the foot and the ball – the kicking. After watching both teams miss a combined three attempts at what would be considered penalty-equivalents in ‘soccer’, one fan wryly commented, “Guess they could not do it on a cold, windy night in Wembley. With the roof closed”. No points for guessing where this fan was from.
Many were also concerned by the violence in the stadium, and the impact it would have especially on the young fans. “I can’t believe how much these guys were beating up on each other”, said a clearly shaken Chelsea fan as he helped a West Ham fan pick up a scarf he had dropped. “If it’s such a big problem even in the stands, surely it’s worse on the pitch?”
General confusion also persisted in terms of what the tie really did to the table, and whether this was a hard fought point for the Bengals or two dropped for the Redskins. After a bit of asking around for clarification from ‘true’ fans, the new plastic fans concluded that there were no such things as points or goal difference nor was there a league table. For the National Footbal League. However, there were 8 separate tables, each of 4 teams. And not all the teams play everyone else across the League, but they do play everyone in their mini table twice. And the rest of the teams that they could play is determined by some logic then quite a bit entirely by chance. Like how Arsenal keep drawing Barca in the last 16 of the Champions League ‘by chance’.
Overall, as the NFL left the shores of England for the last time this season, the overall mood was one of wary acceptance. “I mean, it’s not pretty on the eye, or the feet, or the torso, or any body part for that matter. But at the end of the day, 54 points were scored, and cricket was the real winner”, summarized Ravi Shastri.