Americans genuinely have sporting souls. Just the mention of football season makes fans break out jerseys and dream of game-changing field goals. It is an obsession shared across the land as people relive their favorite plays and football knowledge.
But sometimes a bizarre rumor finds its way into the conversation only to be repeated over and over. Fortunately, there is plenty of information out there to help break the cycle of these four NFL myths.
1. All NFL players are absurdly rich
We all know the stereotype of reckless and rich football players throwing money like confetti, buying cars, and hosting outrageous parties. While some of the top players do indeed have oodles of money to burn, the truth is not so impressive.
The majority of NFL players start with a salary of $465,000 per year according to the Los Angeles Times. While certainly not impoverishing, it isn’t as much as you think. This NFL myth doesn’t take into account that the average football career only lasts about three years.
The athletes also have to pay agents and managers, not to mention taxes that vary from state to state. Then there are the medical bills. Playing football is the ultimate in wear and tear to the body. This can result in expensive medical issues that can last for the rest of a player’s life.
2. Players from opposing teams hate each other’s guts
True NFL fans thrive on the rivalry between the teams. They love to hate the “enemy.” These faithful devotees assume and expect the players to feel the same way about the opposition. But this is not usually the case.
Players often find themselves leaving one team to work for another much to the chagrin of fans. These pro athletes tend to leave the competition on the field and sometimes get together after the game to socialize. They share the bond of doing the same job.
It is also not unusual to see players hug or trade jerseys after a particularly intense game. Unlike the NFL myth that opponents hate each other, respect for other players is an important aspect of the sports community.
3. Home-field advantage is always an advantage
Most football fans believe you can reliably add about three points to the home team’s score when they are competing at home. While this seems to be true for some teams, it does not hold true for all of them.
Sure, there is something invigorating about cheers from a team’s own fans. There is also the added confidence of playing on familiar territory. But it doesn’t mean the home team will win.
Statistically speaking, the home team’s win percentage is usually between 50-60%, certainly something to consider if you’re betting on the game. It all depends on the team, how they play, and in which stadium.
4. Quarterbacks are smarter than the other players
It is easy to understand why this NFL myth continues to be accepted as fact. Quarterbacks call and execute the plays and make pre-snap reads, which can win or lose a game. They also get all the glory, interviews, and model girlfriends. Yes, quarterbacks must be smart. But this doesn’t mean the other position players lack intelligence.
Running backs need to learn running schemes as well as become familiar with the designs for blocking and receiving. Offensive linemen have pre-snap decisions of their own to make. Middle linebackers are basically defensive quarterbacks who must know blitzes and assignments in a variety of situations.
It takes the whole team to win the game despite these myths that just aren’t true.