As the NFL kicks off its 100th season, BYU–Hawaii students explain why the NFL matters to them in their families, as individuals and as fans.
Sophomore Alex Tumalip from Honolulu said, “I think the NFL is important to all of us because it’s part of our culture, it became an American tradition back in 1920, and now you’ve got people in Mexico wearing Raiders gear, people in London supporting the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
Tumalip, who is a communications major, added, “That’s why the NFL is so important, it’s not just an American tradition anymore, it’s worldwide now, and nothing is gonna come close to it, nothing ever will.”
BYUH sophomore Zaylie Evans said jokingly, “At home, Sundays are for church and football.” Evans, who is from Burbank, Washington and is a biology major, said for her family, football is a way for them to stay connected.
“It’s a way for us to bond. My family all has crazy schedules with work and school and everything else, but when the Seahawks are playing we are all together on the couch cheering and laughing together.”
Evans said the NFL celebrating 100 years is a big milestone “It’s really crazy to me to think that the NFL is 100 years old now, I can’t imagine a time when the NFL wasn’t there, it’s such a huge mark for them to hit this year.”
Evans added she is glad the NFL has grown more inclusive throughout its history. “I think it’s great, the NFL is a big part of our culture in the United States, and the fact that it keeps evolving and growing is something to be proud of.”
Bruce Arians, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been a champion for women trying to enter the NFL in a coaching capacity.
Arians made NFL history by bringing in Jen Walters as a coach in 2015 while he was with the Arizona Cardinals. He did it again by adding two female coaches to his staff in March 2019.
When asked if she thought there would ever be a female NFL head coach, Evans said, “Oh, 100 percent. No doubt in my mind, I think it’ll happen sooner than we think, too.”
Peyton Astle, who served his mission in the New York Rochester Mission, said, “When I was in New York I embraced so much of the culture, especially the fandom of the Buffalo Bills.” Astle, a first-year biology major from Idaho, added, “It’s special to be a fan and feel close to a team. Even though we lose a lot recently, as fans we stick together.”
Astle said he is very excited for the 100th season of the NFL. “I’m excited that I’m young and can really enjoy the 100th anniversary of the NFL and all of the celebrations.”
The NFL is celebrating with an anniversary campaign appropriately called NFL 100. The celebration kicked off at the NFL draft when Greggory Hampton, a lifetime New York Giants fan, was given season tickets for 100 years. Astle said, “I wish I could’ve won those tickets! But that’s what I mean, it’s fun to be able to see someone win that prize and to see the NFL giving back to the fans.”
Tumalip said, “It feels different, it’s not a normal kind of year.” He said it was great to see the NFL’s oldest rivalry, the Green Bay Packers taking on Chicago in an old school game for the first game of the NFL’s 100th season. Tumalip added, “There’s just so much history steeped into this one season, that the 100th season feels a little bit more special.”
Tumalip went on to say it is going to be a different kind of year because you’ve got a lot of living legends playing the game, like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald, the list goes on and on.
“At the same time you have a new generation of rising stars coming up in Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Hollywood Brown, and Saquan Barkley.”
Tumalip said it is a unique time during this 100th season because the contrast between the old and the new players is at a peak this year and he is excited to see what happens in the NFL’s 100th season.