American football vs. soccer: Which is better?


Fact Box

  • Britannica relates that American football originated from a blend of English rugby and soccer; however, it “differs from soccer chiefly in allowing players to touch, throw, and carry the ball with their hands, and it differs from rugby in allowing each side to control the ball in alternating possessions.” The first official intercollegiate American football game was played in New Jersey in 1869.
  • According to Statista, in 2023, “Manchester City had the highest brand value of any soccer club worldwide, estimated at 1.51 billion euros.”
  • The most popular football team in the US in 2023 was the Dallas Cowboys. 
  • The 2018/2019 US high school soccer season saw over 850,000 boys and girls playing the sport nationwide.

Luis (Soccer)

Soccer is not only better than American football—it is one of the greatest sports of all time. In fact, according to a Nielsen survey, it has become the most popular sport worldwide in recent years. FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) reported that in 2018, an estimated 3.575 billion viewers watched the World Cup final, while American football's Super Bowl attracted only 103.4 million viewers that same year.

One of the reasons why soccer may be so popular is that the game is fast-paced and is constantly moving and going, compared to the many breaks a viewer is subjected to while watching a football game. 

Additionally, soccer is easier to follow and understand, while American football has overly complicated rules that make the game less fluid. Because of this, soccer is considerably easier to play since there are fewer rules to learn and follow, enabling players to focus on developing skills and abilities rather than being distracted by overbearing regulations. 

Moreover, soccer has fewer serious injuries than football, representing a significant advantage that may also explain why so many people worldwide prefer the former to the latter. 

Soccer is also more accessible than football because, outside of soccer cleats and shin guards, it doesn't rely on specialized equipment in order to play. 

Football is a great sport that has become part of American culture. However, with easier rules, less risk of injuries, more accessibility, and a more rewarding viewing experience, soccer has energized the entire world. 

Gina (American Football)

When asking if American football is better than soccer, one must consider how the fans of each sport benefit. When taking into account which of these sports offers more entertainment, touchpoints, and feeling like the fans are part of the game, football comes out a clear winner. 

American football uses specific 'plays' in which players progress down the field to score. Fans feel like they are part of the game in that they can deliberate on the most effective play strategies, while mirror neurons actually help fans identify with their team's players. There are multiple coaches and players, and with so many moving parts, games are far more complex than soccer. This unpredictably heightens the energy level of each game, making it far more exciting. 

Football has multiple ways of scoring points, requiring immense strategy from both defense and offense. Creative problem-solving is essential and depends on everyone's participation to be successful. American football also doesn't have the drama of 'being injured' to get a card from a referee, as in soccer games, making football more authentic. 

Further, the NFL now uses technology to track players' 'performances and movements, as well as medical and other player safety-related data,' broadening the game experience, which brings a new level of interaction for fans, players, coaching staff, and team owners. 

Further, unlike soccer, every game in American football is even more important than the last, as each one gets them closer to being playoff contenders. These games are sudden death, making every game and play more meaningful. 

Finally, for those who enjoy the atmosphere of a football game and don't have a genuine love for the sport, halftime shows provide wonderful entertainment, which soccer simply doesn't offer.

  • chat-ic0
  • like-ic3
  • chart-ic11
  • share-icShare


0 / 1000