It is coming…..it is coming……it is almost here!!!! The NFL is starting up once again and I cannot be happier. So the Spew is engaging in a week-long celebration of all things football.
There was a time when baseball was considered the national pastime. Back in the 20’s-60’s, the MLB was the center of the sports universe in America. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry knew all the players on their favorite team and huddle around the radio listening to each game throughout the entire summer.
Wow have things changed.
The NFL is by far the most popular and valuable sports league in America. The total worth of all 32 NFL teams is $62.9 billion; MLB is at $36 billion. But what is even more striking is that the sports media completely stops covering the MLB, despite all the pennant races, to cover the opening games of the NFL. The opening games…..the least important of them all. Playoff baseball gets drowned by all the media attention pro football (and even college football) receives.
So why the sudden change?
A few thoughts:
The advent of TV. Football is a much better game to watch on TV compared to baseball. Baseball is a good radio game; you can fade in and out and have the game on in the back. Football is not a background sport. It is fully engaging and requires complete attention.
The urgency of the week-to-week games. Football games are important, in fact 10x more important than a single baseball game. Baseball plays 162 games, football 16. A football game is an event. A baseball game is one in a million…or one in 162.
Fantasy Football has engaged more people and have brought more women into the fold.
Finally, I believe football in a sense has always been the most beloved sport. Football has been played on college and high school campuses since the 1880’s. School spirit has always been defined by a football team, never the high school or college baseball team. Football games are a place to go, a social event. It has just been recently that football has had a strong pro league. The NFL has been around since the 30’s but never really had the national attention or money to grow early on. It takes a lot of players and coaches to make a football team. But now…well you know the deal.
Regardless of the reasons why the NFL dominates the sports world, it just does. So stop resisting it, buckle up, because it is going to be a fun season!