Monday, April 30, 2007

Why the NFL is the most popular sport in the US

Seriously, there has been no NFL since the first part of February and so it's no surprise that the draft gets a ton of coverage. Probably a disproportionate amount from what it really is which is basically a guess on which player will fit in with each team. It makes sense that the draft is popular. As popular as college football is in the country, it's a way to immediately follow your favorite player from your favorite team and watch them develop (yes, Tennessee fans, I know how many players were taken from there on the first day, especially compared to Vandy).

What's amazing to me is how much the NFL has surpassed Major League Baseball so much within the last 15-20 years. When I was a kid, it was baseball hands down. Now, baseball is more of a tradition and football is THE sport.

There are a couple of reasons I think for this...

  • Salaries. $250 million for ten years. Really? Now that's not to say that the money that NFL players make for playing a game isn't ridiculous as well, but it's not "stupid" money.

  • The length of the season. Yes, it's true that the NFL is now a year long sport. But so much of that is anticipation of the season. You get 7 months to build up your hopes and dreams for your team.

  • Your team actually has a chance. The Titans in 99 are the perfect example of this. 8-8 the previous three seasons. A team of wanderers from Houston to Memphis to Vanderbilt and finally to the (then) Adelphia Coliseum. And they go 13-3 and come within a whisker of tying St. Louis in the Superbowl.

  • Very little fatigue with the sport. Is it possible to get overwhelmed with all of the information that's out there? Sure, but the greatest thing to me about the season is that you have basically a full week between games, as opposed to baseball which plays 162 games, and basketball which plays 84. I think NASCAR has done this well also. You get the whole week to get your expectations up and analyze what went wrong the previous week. And with just a 17-week season, it's sometimes feels like it's over before it began.
It's a great sport and while the draft is interesting, I'll wait until 3 years go by before passing any judgment on how the team has done.

1 comment:

gavin richardson said...

i was thinking about this the other day... not so much why nfl is king, but why other sports get left behind.

the dynamic difference that i saw was anticipation & relaxing. by that with football you anticipate the next play, and all the scenarios that come with it. then the play happens, success or failure then you are able to relax as a spectator. the cycle then repeats itself.

try a soccer, lacrosse, hockey, even basketball to an extent. the plays happen from beginning to end, the strategies move with out stopping and if you turn your head you stand a chance of missing "the big play" or crescendo of the strategy. so it takes a bit more knowledge as a spectator and focus.

i don't know if that is the answer or not, but it was a distinct difference i noticed.

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