Are a futbol fan? Or a football fan? How about rugby?
After the hype of the World Cup spreading through Phillips Exeter Academy, the question on everyone’s mind is which football is more popular amongt the student population: American Football or International Football. However, it is imperative to consider that Phillips Exeter is a melting pot of different cultures and customs, which definitely has an impact on people’s opinions. After all, when many international students were asked about American Football, the first thing that came to their mind was Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots.
An international upper school student from Vietnam, Minh Nguyen, preferred International football as she has been playing it her whole life as a midfielder. On the other hand, an upper school student, Caroline Simon from Wisconsin, prefers American Football.
“You just don’t turn on your TV every Sunday to watch some soccer,” Caroline said. “You watch your football and you root for the Packers.”
One of the most comical arguments on the subject was from a pair of friends, Sebastian Aragon and Bailee Porter, both from North Carolina. Sebastian was a staunch supporter of International Football while Bailee was a strong supporter of the Carolina Panthers, an American Football team.
“It’s the real futbol,” Sebastian exclaimed. “It is the original futbol”
“American football is like an event,” Bailee replied. “And you have food and then it’s like part of our culture and we all join in together and it’s like a united kind of thing. ”
Both sides of the arguments had criticisms for each other. Many football fans believed that American Football was too dangerous. “Isn’t it just a bunch of guys smashing their heads together?” said one student skeptically. However, some students argued that the physical dangers provide a sense of excitement and that after all, it was their decision to play.
Additionally, many international students simply didn’t understand American Football. From the exclusivity to American culture or the difficulty of understanding the game, students mainly preferred futbol.
“I don’t know how American Football works but I know how soccer works so I would rather watch that,” said Anna Velazco , a student from Dominican Republic. “I find the game too complex so it is hard to follow if you are not into the sport. “
However, there are also an array of criticisms of International Football. American Football, a sport prominent for its intense physical aggression combined with speed, power, and explosiveness is a complete contrast to the supposedly slow pace of futbol. From feigning injuries to wasting unnecessary time, many students argued International Football is overly redundant.
Regardless of their preferences, all the students were all firm supporters of a single statement: football –and futbol –unites people.