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.