Column: For love of the NFL: America’s new favorite pastime

Column: For love of the NFL: America’s new favorite pastime

We are a football nation. There are no two ways around it anymore.

Once upon a time, in the prime of my always-active Red Sox reverence, I was convinced it could not get any better than the great game of baseball.

I defended hardball everywhere. You named the person, place or time. I’d provide the quick remark or the cutting statement to those who dared call baseball anything but what it used to be: America’s pastime.

I said it all – from the straightforward to the blatant over-romanticism. I said in the land of the free and the land of opportunity, baseball has been our timeline. I said the daily soap opera of major league clubs, from the mild and blooming days of April to the chilly evenings of October, was a tradition like no other – which no Sunday in the fall or early winter could ever match.

Sometimes, I even pulled out Terrence Mann’s (James Earl Jones) iconic speech on the sport in the 1989 classic, “Field of Dreams,” just for good measure. As overused as it might be, and as borderline clich

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