Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sports in America

It should come as no surprise that I watch a lot of football. A. Lot.

 I am, therefore, not surprised by this from Rasmussen Reports:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of sports fans finds that 53% say football is their favorite sport to follow. Baseball comes in a distant second with 16% support, while basketball is the favorite of 11%. Six percent (6%) of Americans prefer hockey, with no other sport including soccer, auto racing, golf and tennis reaching five percent (5%).

 The limited season (14-15 weeks in the college game, 18 in the pros with the bye weeks), the fixed time period (you've got 60 minutes, no more no less with the exception of OT), the speed with which each play unfurls, individual stars playing in a team format at all times...all make the game of football extremely attractive. You can root for a team or individual players. Playing once a week means absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Baseball has an extremely l-o-n-g regular season with a game almost every, single day from the first of April to the first of October. You do have stars, but they are usually involved in individual battles of pitcher vs hitter, the "team" is secondary in almost every way. You may root for a team or an individual, but being able to see them play day in and day out dilutes the experience. I like baseball, but feel I can take a vacation from following the game or my team through much of June, July and August and not miss much.

Hockey and basketball translate poorly to the boob tube. The camera follows the puck/ball and you can't see the play set up on the periphery. (The same might be said of football with regards to play in the defensive secondary. Ordinarily the camera is focused on the line of scrimmage and the offensive backfield play.)

Soccer: too slow.  Not nearly enough scoring. And, as with hockey, no one understands the off sides rule.
Auto racing: go fast, turn left, avoid the crash.
Golf: Individual against him/her self and the course. Tennis: Divas. All of them.

And there's this from the link above (emphasis added):
Regardless of their preference, Americans tend to feel the highs more than the lows when it comes to sports. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of sports fans say they feel Very Happy when their favorite team wins a big game, while just six percent (6%) say they feel Very Depressed when their team loses a big one. In fact, 64% claim they don’t feel very depressed at all when their team loses a crucial matchup.
 After the last two losses by the Scarlet Knights (to Pittsburgh 27-6 and to Louisville 20-17) that cost them a 10-win season and a first ever Big East Conference title all of their own AND a BCS Bowl berth.... I can say I am one of the 6% feeling VERY depressed. even if RU DID earn a share of the title and a trip to a bowl.

(h/t Ann Althouse)

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