Earlier this month, PEOPLE Magazine released a list entitled “100 Reasons to Love America,” and it was quite possibly the most ridiculous list I have ever read.
It tried to transition from beautiful, wholesome things, like workplace equality to paid advertisements or just random things found on your desk like a pack of Cheez-its; though lacking a coherent transition, it was pretty accurate.

There are few worlds as ridiculous and diverse as America, but one of them is the world of America’s game: football.

Here are 100 ridiculous things that make the NFL the NFL, this season, previous seasons, and beyond.

For football fans, we’re living in our own world.

  1. The First NFL Sunday of the year: The “Sundays are back” feeling is undefeated.
  2. The ring ceremony during the first Thursday night game: Tom Brady’s hand is probably 30 pounds now.
  3. The first time you hear the Sunday Night Football theme: Nothing says “Football” like Carrie Underwood.
  4. Tailgating: from waking up at the crack of dawn to get the burgers and charcoal to claiming your spot in the parking lot, it’s an art form.
  5. Dusting off your jersey after it’s been in the closet for half a year: suit up.
  6. Overworking your eyes from watching football all day for the first time: the American workout.
  7. The NFL is the league with the most parity so EVERYONE has hope: it’s the most unpredictable sport week-to-week. The chaos is beautiful.
  8.  The young talent: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, and Justin Herbert are all 25 years or younger. We’re in good hands.
  9. …and the old talent still performing: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Ryan Fitzpatrick don’t care if you think they need a cane.
  10. The rivalries: the intensity is just different when the blood is boiling in Packers-Bears, Ravens-Steelers, Seahawks-Niners, or Raiders-Chiefs.
  11. Dallas Cowboys fans claiming to be Super Bowl-bound to start every year: “Look at that offense! This is the year!”
  12. The “expert” incorrectly claiming “this is the year Tom Brady falls off”: He’s 43 and just won a Super Bowl. Are we really gonna play this game again?
  13. Snow games: The game is infinitely more aesthetically pleasing.
  14. Good uniform matchups: The color combinations matter since we look at the screen so long. Chargers-Raiders is much better-looking than Panthers-Jaguars.
  15. Derrick Henry stiff-arming someone into oblivion: The most grown-man move in all of sports.
  16. Aaron Rodgers drawing someone offsides with his voice: This form of trickery is art.
  17. Fantasy Football: It just makes following every game more fun with more stakes.
  18. Bill Belichick looking like he rolled out of bed in his cutoff hoodie: The man knows there are no points for being dressed well when it comes to winning Super Bowls.
  19. Andy Reid when he’s extremely bundled up in a puffy coat in cold weather: They call him “Big Red” for a reason.
  20. An onside kick recovery: The luckiest play in football that can sway the entire game.
  21. Rookies are performing at a high level quicker now than they ever have: The rookie passing touchdown record has been broken TWICE since 2018 (Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert) and the rookie receiving record was broken by Justin Jefferson last year.
  22. A Lamar Jackson spin move: He may be the fastest quarterback ever. “Not bad for a running back.”
  23. “The witching hour”: The glorious hour where the first slate of games is all coming down to the wire at once. It is PURE CHAOS.
  24. When you get up and go for a walk during halftime to feel better about your Sunday: A necessary chore.
  25. When a lineman does something athletic: Big guys are athletes too.
  26. When a punter or kicker makes a big tackle: So are small guys.
  27. Running backs that hurdle: Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Kareem Hunt have mastered the move.
  28. Mike Tomlin’s press conference metaphors that make no sense: “It’s a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes, as we say in this business.”
  29. Russell Wilson answering every answer with a generic leadership quote: “*Generic accountability quote followed by “Go Hawks!”
  30. Everyone complaining about how the Lions play every Thanksgiving (but watching anyway): It’s all Detroit has at this point.
  31. The seasonal graphics on the score bug on the TV broadcast: You’ve gotta love the little fall Foliage in November and the holly in December.
  32. Jason Garrett mindlessly clapping no matter what just happened on the field: He may be a robot.
  33. When the crowd boos Roger Goodell: The noise that unites us all.
  34. Violent games between AFC North teams: Steelers-Ravens, Bengals-Steelers, Browns-Ravens, they’re all just more vicious.
  35. Bills Mafia: They’re fans who jump through TABLES. Let’s get them a Super Bowl.
  36. Philadelphia fans never being happy: Because unless you’re winning a Super Bowl, no one hates their team more.
  37. Rookie debuts: Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance could all change franchises this year.
  38. Lifelong fans of losing teams that still choose to suffer: You empathize and question their commitment.
  39. When the team you thought was dead appears in the “In the Hunt” playoff picture graphic: “There’s still hope!”
  40. The Red Zone Channel: Because getting to see ALL of the games at once is awesome.
  41. Fullbacks: The 1-yard touchdown runs through the line epitomize grit.
  42. Kyler Murray running around in a helmet 3 sizes too big: He is a bobblehead.
  43. Diva wide receiver vs. diva defensive back fights: The kings of smack-talk will punch each other over anything.
  44. The fans you see in puffy coats still at their team’s game in subzero weather: Dedication.
  45. The “flea flicker”: The most electric offensive play even if it doesn’t work.
  46. Faking a punt: It can go horribly wrong, but you admire the audacity if it works.
  47. The Sunday Night Football player introductions: “Ed Reed, Ball So Hard University”
  48. Pretending the Madden cover curse is real: It’s Brady and Mahomes this year. Watch out, Chiefs and Bucs.
  49. Jameis Winston being the quarterback embodiment of YOLO: We shall never forget the 30 touchdowns, 30 interception season.
  50. Players coming back from injury: We all love a comeback story. Here’s to Dak Prescott, Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, and many more this year.
  51. Pretty much all quarterbacks can run now: Much more entertaining than stoic, non-mobile passers (sorry, Matt Ryan.)
  52. All of the tight ends are bros: George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Greg Olsen have created Tight End University to help each other out and grow the position.
  53. Jaguars fans sweating profusely in the stands unless they have tickets in their pool: As Florida as it gets.
  54. The historic underdogs might be good now: Bills and Browns have Super Bowl expectations! (Sorry, Lions fans)
  55. People complaining together when Joe Buck calls a game: We all universally press the mute button together online.
  56. The NFC East getting basically every primetime game: Death, taxes, and Cowboys-Giants on Sunday night.
  57. Lambeau Leaps are BACK: the legendary celebration was on hiatus in 2020 to socially distance. WE’RE BACK.
  58. Ravens fans for some reason all wearing purple camo pants: The most niche apparel choice in sports that somehow caught on.
  59. Seahawks fans all wearing way too much neon green: You can see them through the thickest of rainfalls.
  60. Ron Rivera is just casually beating CANCER as a head coach: A hero.
  61. The Bears never-ending search for a quarterback might be over: Andy Dalton, QB1! (Just kidding, they drafted Justin Fields)

    Photo: John Fisher/CSM/Shutterstock

  62. Baker Mayfield slipping in a pop culture reference in interviews: From Dwight Schrute to Ron Swanson to Lil Wayne, the man has done it all.
  63. The new stadiums: You bet the broadcasts are going to shove So-fi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium down our throats this year.
  64. All of the random jerseys on fans in games played in London: There is no coherent fandom. They just love football.
  65. The young, up-and-coming coaches: There are 10 coaches all under age 42. Tom Brady is 43..
  66. …and the old ones that are still at it: Belichick, Andy Reid, and Pete Carroll may never retire.
  67. Pete Carroll aggressively chewing gum non-stop on the sidelines: Hubba Bubba, sponsor the man.
  68. No one is remotely near Tyreek Hill on a long touchdown pass: His Twitter handle is @cheetah for a reason.
  69. When the delivery food you ordered arrives perfectly in time for kickoff: Fewer greater feelings.
  70. When reports that a player is in the “best shape of his life” at training camp gives you false hope: We’ve been let down far too many times.
  71. High-fiving a stranger at a sports bar: It’s beautiful, spontaneous unity.
  72. Avoiding watching sports talk shows on Mondays after your team’s embarrassing loss: Hearing criticism just salts the wounds.
  73. Jon Gruden ending every sentence with the word “man”: The most fun impression to do in football, I tell ya, man.
  74. Cam Newton dressing like a different cartoon character in every press conference: Apparently barbershop quartet hats and Monopoly Man monocles are “swag”.
  75. More playoff teams now!!!: More games and more hope for more teams!
  76. 17 games now!!!: One more Sunday that matters!
  77. Getting excited for the first preseason game only to realize it’s meaningless: Watching third-stringers just isn’t the same.
  78. The NFC West scoring 50 points a game (probably): Russell Wilson, Kyler, the Sean McVay offense, and the Kyle Shanahan offense. It’s an arms race.
  79. The never-ending “should you pay running backs” debate: There are superstars, but they don’t last long…
  80. Josh Allen turning what looks like the stupidest decision of all time into an incredible play: He runs backward for -30 yards only to throw it 50 over two defenders. He’s a human roller coaster.
  81. Tony Romo over-exaggerating every instant replay under review: “EHHHHHHHH I don’t know, Jim!”
  82. The Mannings being in every commercial: Peyton had Nationwide every break. It was only a matter of time for Eli to get in on this.
  83. Memes are created instantly every Sunday: The “DK Metcalf running down Budda Baker” play was a week’s worth of content last year. The NFL is a content machine.
  84. Saints fans claiming they were hosed by the referees every single game: We get it. You were robbed.
  85. The Vikings “SKOL” clap: It is loud, and boy, is it ELECTRIC.
  86. Scary Raiders fans: Because dressing in skull masks and weapons shoulder pads needs to live on in Vegas.
  87. Tim Tebow somehow being in the NFL news every year: Just when you thought he was merely a baseball player, Jacksonville brought him back!
  88. Ben Roethlisberger pretending every minor injury practically killed him: Ben and a walking boot. There are few duos more iconic.
  89. Jets fans believing in a new quarterback every 3-5 years: You’re up, Zach Wilson!
  90. When the players point that the flag was on the other team when it very clearly was not: You have to respect the commitment to the bit.
  91. Repeated trope storylines: “Matthew Stafford and Clayton Kershaw played Little League together,” or “Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard” is squeezed into every broadcast.
  92. Switching seating arrangements to change your luck: Whatever it takes.
  93. Convincing yourself the team can turn the season around after the bye week: “New season starts now.”
  94. Getting excited for the NFL draft when your team’s season is officially dead: “It’s mock draft season!”
  95. Super Bowl Sunday feeling like a national holiday: Seeing everyone at the grocery store in their jerseys one last time is a moment of unity.
  96. Claiming this year’s Super Bowl commercials were the worst every year: Recency bias reigns supreme.
  97. The olds vs. the youth debating who the Super Bowl Halftime Show should be: The olds: “Who is this? Bring out The Eagles!” The youth: “Where is Beyonce?”
  98. Schooling someone who doesn’t watch football at a Super Bowl Party: You like Tom Brady? Name 3 of his Super Bowl wins.
  99. Always trying to figure out what number Super Bowl it is because they use Roman Numerals: It’s LVI this year, folks!
  100. “I’m going to Disneyworld!”: Nothing like ending  America’s game with some commercialism.

Featured Image: Peggy Khammanotham
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