Observing the mayhem from my usual perch at the Gunmakers pub in London’s Marylebone, I left the television undisturbed, but marked a personal milestone of my own: I’ve made the switch from American football to real football. After years of trying to sneak away from the National Football League—with its weaponized linemen, bounty-hunting defenses and periodic bursts of action to break up the commercials—I am finally, completely finished with it. You may be ready for some football, but I’m so bored with the NFL.

As an American, this puts me at loggerheads not just with my countrymen—this year’s Super Bowl was the most watched program in U.S. history—but also my colleague and boss, Wall Street Journal deputy editor in chief Gerard Baker. In December, Mr. Baker penned a confessional essay in these pages describing the shame of being an Englishman who likes American football better than soccer…

But the NFL slowly lost me as an adult. While I was at a Monday Night Football game at Seattle’s Kingdome in the mid-80s, the endless commercial breaks awakened me to the extent the game had been handed over to the requirements of a television broadcast. The vicious leveling of a Seahawks receiver by the headhunting Raiders secondary came back to me years later as studies about concussions and crippled league veterans gained prominence. My last NFL highlight was Prince’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2007.