Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


Baseball No Longer Number One in America’s Eyes

fangraphsWith football finished until fall and baseball just beginning, one can make an argument that America is transitioning from one beloved sport to the next beloved sport, but the question is which is America's favorite?

According to a poll taken by CBS Sports in the beginning of 2013, football is more popular in America than baseball by 16 percent. Most have begun to believe that the reason for football's supremacy over baseball is due to college football.

Matt Snyder of CBS Sports said, "According to a study by Scarborough Research, 109.3 million people, or 48% of U.S. adults over 18 years of age, watched, attended or listened to an MLB game from February 2011 through March 2012. That compares to 92.6 million, or 39% of adults, who watched, attended or listened to a college-football game during the same period."

Even with this said, is it really factual to say baseball is dying? Major League Baseball has been around since the 1800's and the actual of game of baseball has been around even longer. There have even been accounts of President George Washington participating in many games similar to the modern day version of baseball. So let's rethink if baseball is dying or are the people who are watching the game changing their preference.

With this modern age of technology, people all over the world get what they want when they want it making our attention span shorter. If you want to listen to music, you do not have to find a radio anymore, just look it up on your phone. If you want to find out what the temperature is going to be that day, you do not have to watch the weather channel on TV, but instead, just look it up on your phone. With such a high demand for instant action in this day and age, it is only logical that football would become the preferred sport of Americans.

On every play, football has a visible element. There is a catch, a crash, a run, a fumble; there is something that everyone can see and understand whether they are a fan or not. In baseball, there is a thinking element to every play. If a pitcher throws a ball and the batter does not swing, it looks like nothing happened on the play. Only baseball would understand that either the batter was waiting for his pitch or the pitcher intentionally is trying to force the batter into a certain situation. For this reason alone, football is more comprehensible to the nation.

30B1PeytonManningBW40p-818x1024Rachel Fox, a junior education major, weighed in on the topic of the different pace of baseball and football.

"Football is quick and involves more physical contact, thus making the experience of watching the sport more entertaining. Although baseball is entertaining as well, many Americans enjoy the rough and tumble nature of football," Fox continued. "Basically, baseball is still the favorite sport of Americans, but football serves more of an entertainment purpose."

Furthermore, with the current attention span rate of each individual dwindling, time plays a tremendous factor in which sport is preferred by Americans. One of baseball's biggest complaints has always been the length of the games. This length has recently increased courtesy of the newly enforced baseball review rule which allows challenges much like there are in football.

The University's Assistant Athletics Director/Marketing, Eddy Occhipinti said, "Growing up, baseball was the biggest thing in my life. I could recite lineups, stats, everything about every player," he continued. "As I've gotten older, that has shifted more towards football. I think that might have something to do with the fact that football is timed, for the most part you know how long a game is, while baseball could last anywhere from two hours to four or five. It is very difficult to pick one over the other, but I'd have to say that it's football."

Another great division between the two sports is defined by their leaders. Bud Selig currently holds baseball's highest position as Commissioner. Bluntly put, Selig is not a good leader. While in office, he had to deal with the obstacle of many players using performance enhancing drugs. Even though this was a stressful time for baseball, he was not strong enough to pull through. The NFL's Commissioner, Roger Goodell, was also given a stressful mission as reports continuously state football is directly tied to concussions as well as death from these head injuries. Unlike Selig, Goodell did not cave and instead reacted quickly to these messages.

Goodell also excelled in creating a vast media package for the NFL while Selig lagged to jump on the media wagon. Goodell has made it possible to watch any game being played through various outlets while Selig has done similar but has not been as effective. Another media outlet propelling football is fantasy sports. It is much easier to check on one's fantasy team weekly rather than in baseball when one would have to check the site daily and make changes to their roster daily.

Then there is always the element of the seasons which come into play. Some fans can see that during the cold winter, football gives them something to look forward to every week. Others may say that the warm weather makes them eager to sit back for three hours and just relax.

One characteristic that baseball has and football will never get is the fact there is a game every day. To some, this is reassuring to know that baseball will always be there. If you had a rough day, a great day, or a relaxing day, you always know baseball will be there for you once you get home. Football, however, plays once a week for 16 weeks and for some fans, this is just fine. When football is being played, it usually calls for some sort of reunion where everyone comes together for just that day.

"The fact that football games are weekly rather than practically daily makes a huge difference because it allows fans to follow the NFL much more closely," senior Sarah Yung said. "I don't know too many people that have enough time to watch every single game in a baseball season just because of the fact there are 162 regular season games per team compared to 16 games during the regular NFL season per team."

The absolute final and probably most important aspect when it comes to deciding whether baseball or football is America's favorite sport is how they conclude their seasons.

Baseball finishes with anywhere from a four to seven game series while football ends with one big show, the Super Bowl.

Kristi Silver, a senior studying communication, said that her favorite sport is baseball, but football has taken over Americans' hearts for one main reason. "The Super Bowl is such a big deal whereas the World Series is really only watched by true baseball fans and fans of the teams that are in it, where everyone watched the Super Bowl."

While the argument of whether football or baseball is America's most beloved sport can go on for ages, there can never be a definite winner. Instead, it is simply said that baseball is America's pastime, but football is America's future.


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