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Analysis of American Football Culture

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#1 One of the competencies in Kluckholn’s model is the nature of people. In the world of American football, the evil outweighs the good. Recently, there have been studies examining concussions in the NFL. A notable neuropathologist, Bennet Omalum, discovered the consequential damages, such as concussions. The settlement of US$1 billion was due to the players accusing the NFL of intentionally concealing the dangerous consequences of the concussions as a result of football Drape 2017).In the NY Times, Drape states that “…this same group of owners, and this same commissioner, are accused of slow-paying — and in some cases no-paying — former N.F.L. players from an estimated $1 billion concussion settlement agreed to in 2015.” Additionally, the players are encouraged to provoke fight as it intensifies the positive reaction from the crowd. This violence translates to the bleachers. The spectators become extremely territorial. In fact, a man wearing a Jets jersey was once punched when walking with his family because he was not wearing the Raiders jersey (Babb and Rich 2016). In the stadium, spectators are being arrested due to the fact that they are intoxicated, harassing one another or becoming physical amongst themselves. “Last year, 6.34 arrests per game were reported league-wide during the 17 weeks of the regular season” (Babb and Rich 2016).

The relationship with nature is another aspect. American football views nature as a tool which can be manipulated. From the grand stadium to the enthusiastic fans, there are many aspects which harm the environment. The football stadiums are constantly seeking to be replaced due to the newly developed areas in the cities as well as integrating more technological advancements (Warren 2017).“NFL stadiums in the United States, for example, have a median age of 31 years before they are replaced” (Warren 2017). Every 31 years, the stadiums become outdated, thus needing to construct a newer and more innovative stadium. This causes many severe issues with the environment such as the emission from the construction vehicles and the destruction of the land where the stadiums must be built upon. Moreover, the spectators that drive to the stadiums emit large quantities of emissions. The football stadiums are meant to be at maximum capacity. For instance, in Philadelphia, the average stadium attendance is 69,969 people (NFL Attendance 2018). As a result, this has many people travelling to one destination at a certain date and time. The environmental consequences are detrimental due to the construction of new stadiums as well as spectator’s transportation methods to these stadiums.

The time focus of human activity is the future of American Football. The NFL partnered with Microsoft in order to create a tablet that assist the coaches in analyzing each game play significantly faster than the alternative printouts (Welcome to the NFL Sideline). “They get access to the photo at least 30 seconds faster, which can prove invaluable for making adjustments on the fly” (Welcome to the NFL Sideline). This advancement may seem insignificant; however, these changes can greatly enhance gameplay. Moreover, the controversy with the staggering amount of head injuries has caused a company to create a helmet which reduces the impact to the head. Riddell, a company which produces helmets, has created a customizable helmet for each player. The InSite Response System they have created puts sensors in the helmets which will notify the staff on the sidelines when a major collision occurs that impacts the head and where the impact exactly happened (Newcomb 2017). These technological advancement is one of many which ensures the NFL’s long-term survivability with regards to an ever-growingly conscious fan base.

The goal for the players in American football is to win the superbowl as well as bringing awareness to certain causes. Every team, specifically the players, arduously and diligently work towards their goal of being the best in the league. “The bottom line is to win the game. The guys want to win and it doesn’t matter who is hot in the game. They have bought in 100 percent and they prepare that way, and they’re all making plays and all contributing” (Unselfish Eagles 2017). By working as a team, this increases their likelihood of their personal success and of obtaining the teams desired goal. On the other hand, the NFL players have goals which are not necessarily related to the game. Due to their known success, some players use their platform to educate people on ongoing issues. For instance, J.J. Watts, a player on the Houston Texans, created an online fundraiser in order to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey (Barshop 2018). He had raised US$37 million when he had initially planned to raise a mere US$200,000 (Barshop 2018). Due to football players having celebrity status, this allows them to bring attention to different causes.

Another aspect of Kluckholn’s dimensions is privacy. In American football, privacy is crucial due to the players need to keep their personal lives hidden from the rest of the world, specifically their fans. The players, outside the football field, go to great lengths to be able to be unrecognizable to the public. For instance, the issue of discretion has become problematic due to players driving while inebriated and under the influence in order to not be harassed by pedestrians or cab drivers. Therefore, the NFL Players Association and Uber have partnered in order to discreetly and safely get players back to their residents while having the ability to be discreet (Geron 2013). This allows players to be privately escorted back home without implicating themselves in dangerous situations. While privacy outside of the field is crucial, the privacy during the game is as important. There can be multiple injuries throughout the game. The spectators are curious to know the situation and crave to be updated on the players condition. Therefore, the NFL has put a plan forth of setting up tents on the sidelines in order to privately examine the players and allow the physicians to focus without having any distractions (Medical Examination Tents 2017).

American football is a collectivistic sport. Within the game, they must play as a collective whole in order to win each game. The talent of each player is insignificant if they cannot pull their perspective techniques in order to obtain chemistry on and off the field. The chemistry within the team can determine their success. “The quarterback has to trust his receivers to hit their spots every time they run a route, while expecting the linemen to hold their blocks. Cornerbacks and safeties have to communicate coverage adjustments on the fly, relying on one another to stay on assignment” (Shaked 2014). The critical and pivot point in the game is the reliance upon one another. This requires a collectivistic mindset of each of the team’s players.

#2 In American football, the outer layers are the expressions used throughout the game. Once entered the stadium, the people demonstrate their passion for the team they are rooting for. The norms and values in American football is that everybody can behave however they see fit. It is the norm to be able to yell and shout. The assumptions and beliefs in the NFL are that people are a part of something greater than themselves. Football has become America’s game. The reason for American Football to be heavily popularized by people is due to the escape of reality. “Football is essential to American culture because it makes us a family. It brings us together, it allows us to share in something greater than ourselves, it gives us a reason not to hate Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, and it gives us the opportunity to fall in love with something spectacular” (Phariss 2015). The culture of American football reflects a national culture by integrating everybody no matter who they are by applying the same rules that everybody understands.

#3 The ranking is not valid due to the fact that each sport culture is vastly different. American Football is not on the same international level as Soccer. There is a formula that is developed which takes into account social media following which cannot determine one’s popularity. There could be supporters who don’t have a social media account. Additionally, this formula takes into consideration endorsements which would not be entirely accurate because endorsement come with popularity of the player themselves. It is not a valid measure for the NFL to achieve its goals because it does not take into account the sport itself but just the popularity of the players.

#4 Brady is an engineer and an executive. As an engineer, he analyzes the situation in order to fulfill an objective. He does this within the football game as a quarterback. Brady is the NFL’s executive who pushes the league to international waters. He does this by getting sponsorships which bring more recognition to the league. He is the person within the league that plans for the next phase of expansion.

#5 The NFL has a sole mission of expanding internationally in order to save the game from decaying. Brady has international recognition due to his international sponsorships, which allows the league to be on the advertised on the world stage. Therefore, Brady’s objectives are aligned with the NFL’s.

#6 The NFL faces some cross-cultural challenges when trying to obtain international viewers. However, the main issue is that the sport is being played in the United States. This proves to be challenging because any viewers in different countries might not comprehend the game itself. For the American people, there is a history to the game. However, the other countries do not understand the intricate details in the game especially without having any international players within the teams.

#7 As the CEO of the NFL, I would recommend for the board to pursue expansion into the Chinese and Japanese foreign markets. With some of the players becoming major international ambassadors, this brings attention to the league. Just like the NBA, the NFL can become a major power player in the world of sports if it were to expand and acquire the Asian market. “To boost its online presence in China, the NFL last year signed a digital streaming partnership…” (Flannery 2018). Due to this partnership, the league has already grabbed the attention of 19 million Chinese homes (Rick 2018). With the growing potential spectators in China, there is a fundamental base for the league to bring its sport to Asia.

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