I just started the manga, and I love it. I'm up to volume 5, and so far my favorite character(s) are the Hah Hah Bros., especially Juumonji. Monta's great too, and I really, really want to see Natsuhiko (he seems like he'd be my favorite; flashy and goofy, and he plays tight end, the same position I used to when I played football).
I want to learn the language of men!
As for the anime, my friend has been watching and he says that it's kind of retarded compared to the manga. They introduced the head cheerleader in the anime waaay earlier than she's supposed to be!
The story's comedy is hilarious, but I also like the characters and the action. I played football a little bit back, and it brought back some good memories. Ah, now I wish I went for Varsity in the fall..
Hahaha, everyone likes Juumonji. From the way he's handled, I kinda wonder if the manga-ka's are grooming him to be the next captain. And Taki Natsuhiko is just a gas. He recently got his own shining moment in the SJ manga. (you played football? Then this is especially entertaining for you I imagine!)
I was re-reading the tankoubon the other day, and I picked up something I hadn't before (during the days of furigana-reading only). The America match against the Nasa Aliens (I laughed at seeing a NASA highschool) actually dealt with racism! (in this case, a caucasian coach treating the sole African-American like trash)
And yeah, I hear that the anime doesn't do justice to the manga at all.