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When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
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britbox Offline
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When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game? I know it's been some time, but when I was kid Baseball was always considered the American game (at least from a Brit perspective) - so when do you think Football overtook Baseball and what were the reasons for both sports passing each other in the night?

Has basketball also overtaken Baseball?
10-May-2014 11:26 AM
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DarthFed Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
NFL has ruled for as long as I remember. Certainly following the big MLB strike in 1994.

As for reasons, speed and action of the game is a big reason. Baseball is just too slow and of course the integrity of the game went out the window quicker than a Mark McGwire home run in 1998. I'd say basketball has overtaken baseball but it is close. Basketball naturally suffered once Jordan retired but it seems to have regained some popularity and star power is a big reason. Lebron is definitely the best baller we've seen since MJ and Kevin Durant will likely have a big time career when all is said and done. Meanwhile some of the old guard like Kobe and Duncan are still around.

I never was a huge baseball fan. For me the NFL is my favorite sport by a country mile and tennis and bball are about tied for 2nd.
10-May-2014 04:43 PM
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kskate2 Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
It's still America's game as it was their favorite pasttime many years ago. But here are some reasons why it's not as popular as the NFL:
- So many older people watch baseball.
- It's not as hip as the NFL or even NBA.
- NFL & NBA have some spectacular athletes and personalities that make the game exciting.
- MLB isn't marketed like the NBA or NFL and that has alot to do w/ the commissioner.
- The amount of games they play. The NFL doesn't linger on like baseball and basketall. It's really about 4.5 months of Thur, Sun or Mon. That's pretty cool as opposed to 82 regular season NBA and 160+ regular season MLB. Ridiculous how long their schedules are.
11-May-2014 08:14 AM
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shawnbm (05-12-2014)
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
Excellent points KS, that really lays it out nice. I love the NBA but it is way too long and I don't go out of my way to watch a lot of games during the regular season. It should be a 66 game season at most IMO, but it's all about the Benjamins of course. For baseball I'm not sure it'd matter that much even if they cut the season in half.
11-May-2014 09:11 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
I will weigh in on this one--and I grew up playing baseball and football before I ever picked up a basket ball, golf club or basketball. Baseball was second place for me because I was a kid in the Sixties and early Seventies without a baseball team (I live in South Florida near Miami)--although Spring training season was up the coast or in Tampa and lots of folks went to see the Yankees and others come down here for the Spring session. On the other hand, WE had the MIAMI DOLPHINS which, back then, was the first professional dynasty after Lombardi retired from the Green Bay Packers. Football was king down here because we had legends--and no baseball, hockey or basketball (for that matter).

Now, I loved baseball and the stories and the statistics and all of that. I devoured that stuff and can still tell you more about Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Seaver, Koufax, Feller, Ruth and whatnot than very much about the last ten years of baseball. This is sad, but it is largely true. Free agency played a big role in my view, just as it has in other sports. Baseball was full of glory players who defined their team and, by extension, the town. I mean, Stan "the Man" Musiel is Mr. St. Louis (along with Bob Gibson) and that kind of thing is not common anymore. Derek Jeter has a bit of that with all his years as the Yankees Captain, but baseball has lost a lot of that with free agency and there can be no denying that the PED scandal just gutted the baseball fan base. Yet, I don't think that is the main reason why baseball has been passed up by football and, in my view, basketball now.

To me, the biggest culprits are the automobile and live television. Baseball became our national pastime from playing fields throughout the nation and games heard on RADIO. You could imagine the skillful interplay with the color commentary as the pitcher worked the count, tried to pick off a runner on first base, and whatnot. It was passed on from generation to generation when folks tended to live near their parents and even grandparents in the same town; it was a family affair. With Eisenhower funding and building our incredible interstate highway system in the 1950s and the rise of affordable automobiles, we started going mobile. That family connection of going to the ballpark became part of nostalgia. The sport was left to defend itself based on what it offered compared to other diversions, and that is where live television came in.

Football was fast, men were strong and huge, and the play on the field was usually fairly certain and the season was not that long. It was like watching gladiators for the early generation I sometimes surmise. Baseball players were SKILLED, but these football players were MONSTERS to most folks. When you compared the two sports on the small screen, one looked comparatively slow, meticulous and for those with a lot of time to spend analyzing the "quiet" part of the game. I think the dye was probably cast when the great Johnny Unitas led the Colts to victory of the Giants in the 1958 Championship game--along with the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for Los Angeles (folks still can't even talk about that without getting angry), followed by the Giants going to San Francisco. Things had changed and baseball has been on defense ever since.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
12-May-2014 01:52 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
I am not a fan of baseball because it is just tooooooooo slooooooooooow....

12-May-2014 06:04 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
Interesting thoughts - particularly from shawn. There seems to be a lot of parallels with cricket. A slow game (Cricket Test matches can last upto 5 days). Cricket's popularity has also plummeted over the last 20 years or so. Both games suffering from the modern day "entertainment on demand".
13-May-2014 06:36 AM
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shawnbm (05-13-2014)
shawnbm Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
Sad to hear that about cricket, but you have hit on something. It seems more and more folks in the world are getting accustomed to instant gratification, whether it is eating, drinking, sex, TV or the worldwide web. People are no longer willing to be patient. From a popular movie from the early 1970s--"Daddy, I want an oompa lumpa and I want it now!!!!!"

Virgil Cane is the name ...
13-May-2014 11:43 AM
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Rose Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
I still like Baseball myself, but it hasn't been America's game for a long, long, long, time now.
13-May-2014 04:43 PM
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Zambiayum Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
Thanks for sharing.
01-Nov-2016 11:49 PM
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GameSetAndMath Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
I never followed baseball. Partly because it is somewhat similar to cricket. I like cricket having been exposed to it and played it. Baseball looked to me like a screwed up version of cricket.

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02-Nov-2016 06:34 PM
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delPoFearhand Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
One market baseball still has cornered is minor league sports. While there are only 30 MLB teams, there are over 200 minor league baseball teams that serve smaller markets. Those games are often surprisingly well attended, though a large part of that is people going for the "experience"- i.e. they don't really care who wins or loses, just like sitting in the stands, having a hot dog & beverage, and watching some guys hit a ball. Low ticket prices also help.
03-Nov-2016 08:00 AM
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kskate2 Offline
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RE: When did Football overtake Baseball as America's game?
I live about 5 minutes from a minor league stadium and you're right, it's always packed over there.
03-Nov-2016 08:21 AM
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