Are Americans addicted to football?

In a new study by the University of Alabama, doctors say Americans are addicted to football. Dr. Joseph Kalpow said, “If a person is thinking about football while doing other things, irritated when a game is interrupted, missing family or other important events to watch a game or depressed, angry or violent when a team loses, that signals a loosening grip on reality and too much adoration for a game.”

This comes to no surprise to many considering the NFL is worth more than the NBA, NHL, and MLB COMBINED! The average franchise is worth $96 million… when some teams like the Dallas Cowboys are worth $1.5 billion, and in 2006 the league made over $3.5 billion in merchandise sales alone.

The league itself is not just a cash cow, but other markets are cashing in on America’s addiction. Fantasy Football makes $2 billion. There are between 20-30 million people who play Fantasy Football each week and spend an average of up to nine hours a week refreshing their fantasy stats.

But Dr. Klapow says there is hope… if you or someone you know suffers from football addiction:

  • Keep a log for one week of how much time is spent watching, listening or playing online sports.
  • Set limits, such as one sporting event per week, two hours or less watching sports, etc.
  • Allow your family an opinion on those rules, which might include not missing important family gatherings, such as birthdays or anniversaries for sporting events.
  • Substitute new behaviors for sports viewing, such as exercise or spending time with family or friends.
  • Seek help from a mental health professional to help address concerns regarding your habit.
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