The annual Harris poll that asks Americans what their favorite sport is has come out. According to the poll and for the 30th year running, the National Football League is the most enjoyed sport by a mile.
From the poll: In 2014, 35 percent of fans call the NFL their favorite sport, followed by Major League Baseball (14 percent), college football (11 percent), auto racing (7 percent), the NBA (6 percent), the NHL (5 percent) and college basketball (3 percent).
That’s a huge gap between the NFL and Major League Baseball. Here are some reasons that I believe are the reason why the NFL is widely more popular than baseball in Modern American cultural.
1. It’s easy to follow and fast paced. If you’re a baseball fan like I am, I’m sure you have heard someone say “I can’t follow baseball, it’s too slow”. In football, the object is to get to the other side of the field. That’s it. In baseball, you have to run bases, keep an eye on the pitcher so he doesn’t throw you out, as well as the catcher. Oh and in order to get on base? You gotta hit the ball, or get 4 “balls” tossed to you. Whereas in football, you just have cross the line without getting tackled.
2. Violence. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that most Americans enjoy violence. In baseball, the only violence you seldom see is a bench clearing brawl. Which most of the time is just a bunch of pushing and pointing fingers at each other. I don’t have to explain how the NFL is different from that. If you need a case and point, the Super Bowl is this Sunday.
3. Four 15 minute quarters, with a half time in between. This is a huge reason why I think a lot of folks love this game. It also goes back to what I said in my first comment, that it makes it easy to follow. In baseball you are given 9 innings and all the time in the world to win the game. And if a team hasn’t won the game in 9 innings, there are given another inning to win it. Making the time you have invested in this game ranging from 2 and a half hours to 4 hours and on. This can be a bit to much for the fan who wants a quick fast paced game. As a friend once said to me, “Baseball is played by God’s watch”.
4. It’s mainly played on Sunday. One day a week and if your team is lucky enough to win a few games they get to play on Monday Night Football. The NFL season is only 16 games, and for baseball there is a 162 game season. That’s a lot of games for the modern American mind.
5. Most Americans have ADD. It’s true. Don’t believe me? Go turn on one the 24 hour news channel. (And if you are still reading, you must be a baseball fan.)
One more thing from the poll I thought was interesting is how the demographics broke down fans of the sports listed.
A sport’s popularity varies greatly based on demographics. More people who live in rural areas on the East coast say they’re fans of the NFL than the general U.S. population. Those with an annual household income of more than $100,000 are more likely to be baseball fans, while African Americans are less likely to enjoy the sport, the poll reveals. More southerners call college football their favorite sport, while those with a high school education or less tend to gravitate to auto racing.
That tells me two things. A. You gotta be smart to enjoy baseball. B. Stereotypes are true for a reason.
All in all, the NFL has done a wonderful job at marketing their product and fans keep wanting more of it. One major difference I see between the NFL and MLB is, the NFL is an ever changing game. It’s as if it’s a leftist progressive game. Ever changing rules, more safety regulations, more red tape for hurt players, and so on. If you were bring back to life some NFL players from the 50’s and 60’s and placed them on a team today, they would have no idea what game you were playing. But in baseball, you could bring back to life, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Walter Johnson and so on, and they would still feel Right at home.