Is football popular because it's 100% pure 'Mercan?

So says a noted sports columnist in Sports Illustrated.

First of all, this is bunk. Foreign-born baseball players like Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano, Hideki Matsui, Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez, Jorge Posada, etc., etc. are immensely popular. They don’t detract from the game of baseball; they add to it.

Second, this column is a good example of elite arrogance, which Thomas Sowell often writes about. E.g., see The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Deford casually accuses the rest of us of being anti-foreign bigots, although the accusation is easily disproved. Of course Deford doesn’t believe he’s a bigot. He thinks he’s better than we are. So, he needs to have power and influence to save the country from us boobs.

It’s ironic that Deford accused the United States of being arrogant and insular. He ought look in the mirror.

Football is popular because they have one of the most effective marketing machines in the world and is very conducive to gambling. Baseball has Bud Selig.

That’s it.

This is one issue in which white American sports fans can’t win. When white Americans EMBRACE foreign athletes (as they have Yao Ming, Ichiro Suzuki, and Dirk Nowitzki, among others), they’re accused of racism by black writers at Sports Illustrated.

Get it? As far as Sports Illustrated is concerned:

  1. White Americans who DON’T embrace foreign athletes are insular, unsophisticated rubes…

  2. However, white Americans who DO embrace foreign athletes are obviously closet Klansmen, because the ONLY possible reason they’d root for Dirk Nowitzki is that he’s white!

Football is popular all over the world. What are you talking about?

Oh, you mean American football. Can’t help you there. :wink:

American football? That’s that pussyfied version of Rugby, innit?

That’s a better thread title than mine:

Is football popular because it’s pussyfied?

Football was more popular than basketball back when the entire NBA was American, so that makes no sense at all.

As Neurotik points out, the NFL has the best marketing program of any professional sports league in the world, absolutely hands down. They were thirty years ahead of the curve in translating their product to television. The popularity of football, even at the college and high school levels, owes a great deal to Paul Tagliabue and the other geniuses who made the NFL what it is.

As a non- American this makes perfect sense to me. American Football is a well packaged Television product. It’s not only about a game but it has many stoppages to allow for advertisements and spectators/viewers to get their refreshments.
It does seem to me though to be a trifle contrived and slick though.


Well, those stoppages have been part of the game from the beginning for the most part, they weren’t, with a few exceptions, added to make it better for TV.

I’d posit (without any cites or evidence, of course) that football is popular because it involves two groups of strong men in what amounts to armor facing off against each other on a battlefield-like setting trying to plow through the other side with demonstrated physical violence.

Americans would probably like rugby if it did not appear to be so “gay”.

La la la, just pulling theories out of the ol’ arse… Where else do they come from? :confused:

Football is a rough sport. I think that’s why it might be the most popular. Baseball used to be, but after they went on strike 4 times (at least), people are getting tired of it.

I thought the ploy was to associate American football with being ‘American’ so that it becomes a question of patriotism to support the game over competitor sports, like ‘world’ football – isn’t it a marketing ploy that’s supposed to induce loyalty those who wrap themselves in the flag first, and think second ?

You’d be right, L_C, if our transatlantic friends actually called it ‘American’ Football. But they only call it ‘Football’. The former is what all us furriners call it. Hence my joke.

Isn’t what a marketing play, L-C? The NFL does not wrap itself in the flag. Nor does it call itself American football. So what the heck are you babbling about?

Also, unless I’m mistaken (and I probably am) world soccer would not be a competitor sport in the US. First off, American football would crush it anyway. Second, the American football season lasts between September and early January. After that, there are no more games until September. Soccer seems to be a summer sport, at least the schedules I was looking at for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona makes it look that way. Or is it year round?

Either way, the NFL isn’t really too worried about soccer.

Football has the most TV viewers per game.

If you compare a sport with 16 games to a sport (like baseball) with 162, it’s easy to see why football would have so many viewers per game.

NFL football also happens to be scheduled for a day when many people have the opportunity to watch the games.

Football is also conducive to gambling in ways that some sports like baseball aren’t. Good baseball teams win 60% of the time. Good football teams win 75% of the time. Great football teams can go undefeated.

So, you have a sport with built in scarcity where the better team usually wins the game, and that sport has convenient built-in commercial breaks. Plus, you have a broken players’ union and non-moron commissioners (Bud Selig should be shot) who sell the game by highlighting the positive and ignoring the type of negative that the Bud Seligs of the world emphasize.

Plus, it’s fun to watch guys beat up each other! Woo!


People are ignoring the obvious. Football is popular because it’s entertaining. Folks like it.

Baseball, on the other hand. Zzzzzzzz…

Don’t even get me started on soccer! (A tie?!, WTF.)

Nope. In most professional leagues, the season begins around August and lasts until May (or thereabouts); summer is the time for transfer activity and, in certain years, for international tournaments (involving national sides, of course, not the league teams).

Regarding Real and Barcelona, you must have been looking at the schedules for some pre-season friendlies, which naturally take place during the summer months leading up to the official season.

Gotcha. OK, so it would go up against American football. Still doesn’t mean the NFL considers it a threat.

How does the league system work in UEFA or the Premier League? From my understanding it doesn’t have the division that American sports do - season then postseason tournaments for the championship. Is it just whoever has the best record at the end of the year win?

Football’s popularity:

  1. Short season that focuses interest on each game
  2. Played on weekends
  3. Gambling
  4. Good for TV
  5. Gambling
  6. Lends itself well to rivalries
  7. Gambling
  8. Lends itself well to people with short attention spans

That said I enjoy baseball more than football, but like both sports.

Don’t like the NFL much though.

The Premier League has 20 teams, they play each other twice: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, whoever has the most points wins the league (if points ar etied placing is decided by goal difference). Teams finishing highly in the legue have the chance to play in European competions the next year, the bottom 3 teams are demoted to the league below and are replaced by the top two teams from the league below plus the winner of a play-off between the teams finishing 3rd-6th in that league. There is also the FA cup (which has a couple of hundred of the tgop English teams, if you include the qualifying rounds) which is a straight knock out competion (i.e. final, semi-final, quarter-final, etc.)with teams been drawn against each other and the winner of that match going through to the next round).

The format for the UEFA Champion’s League next season will be 32 teams in eight groups of four (these teams would of finished higly in their national league, though some of them would of had to play in sveral intial qualifying rounds) who play each other twice. The two highest teams in each group (same points syustem as in the Premier League) will then go through to the knock out stage (again semi-final, quarter-final etc.)where they will be drawn against another team, who they will play twice, the winner on aggreagate will go throught to the next round. This is repeated until there are only two who will play each other only once in the final with the winner of this match being the winner of the tournament.