As a fan of the NFL, I know what I want from it: I want the 49ers to be hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season. However, in a far more general sense, I ask myself what I want from a game where I don’t have a vested interest. Do I want to see one team dominating, or do I want a close game? Do I want a defensive struggle, or an offensive shootout? Throw into this the issue of player safety, and you really have a pickle.
In baseball, I love pitcher’s duels, especially when it’s one of my teams (the Yankees or the Giants, not in any particular order), and they get that one run (preferably in the seventh or eighth inning) to seal the victory. In football, I also like a good showing from the two defenses, especially because I love seeing how the offenses are going to overcome them. I mean, really; remember the Niner-Saints game last postseason? It seemed like neither team would score until they starting dueling back and forth, culminating in the ultimate 49er moment of my generation: The Catch, Part III. That is the type of game I like.
However, some people don’t like that. Some people like high-flying offenses running down the field in such a manner that the defensive coordinator is losing his hair on national television. Others love watching defenses stop the opposition and deciding the fate of the game.
Most people don’t mind watching their own team dominate, but not everybody has a team in the Super Bowl (or the playoffs for that matter). So, why are the ratings so high? It’s because the fans love the game, whatever aspect of it draws them to it. In any case, regardless of whether or not it’s offense or defense that draws them in, everyone likes to see an exciting game come down to the wire, hoping that their their team wins on the epic final play.