Although baseball is know as America’s favorite pastime, professional football is the country’s most popular sport, and has been since the 1960’s. According to Forbes Magazine, the NFL is economically the strongest sports organization in the world today. (Vogan, T. 2011) On the other hand, baseball legends like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Roberto Clemente will always be remembered, especially for their outstanding accomplishments and remarkable sportsmanship. What happened to America’s favorite pastime sport? I grew up playing my favorite game baseball. I remember playing and dreaming of being one of my favorite players.
I knew the stats of every player in the baseball league. In particularly, I loved going to the ball park, eating ball park franks, and watching my baseball hero’s play. This was the most exciting childhood memory for me. For this reason, I feel sorry for today’s children. They don’t know what it’s like to sit back and enjoy baseball, like it was back in those days. My greatest fear is that baseball is no longer America’s favorite game. What caused baseball to lose its popularity? It’s not easy to pinpoint. I can only speculate as to how this happened. For one thing, all the scandals, the controversy issues, and the trikes, fans have been disappointed by the unsportsmanlike conduct that resulted from this. The 1990 season bought major controversy. For example, Pete Rose was ruled ineligible for the hall of fame by major league baseball for gambling on games. Lets not forget about the Barry Bonds incident in 2007, that convicted him for the use of steroids in every vain of his body. Certainly, all of the steroid talk led other players down the same road. Players were randomly selected and busted on drug tests, the hitters in baseball have taken a backseat to the pitchers which no one wants to see.
Another key point to why baseball is losing its swag, is because the ridiculous salaries paid to the players. USA today provided a detailed report, showing the total payroll for the New York Yankees. The payroll was at a whopping $202,689,025. The average salary for each player was $6,756. 300. (USA Today, 2011) Compared to the NFL New York Giants, total payroll was a mere $138,354,866 and averaged $2,470,622 per player. (USA Today, 2011) Consequently, this has caused a lot of controversy amongst the players, owners, and the league. Let’s talk reality, baseball owners are forking out a huge amount of money, to buy themselves a World Series.
In my books you can’t buy a championship. To put it another way, NFL players must display a supreme test of strength and endurance. Unlike baseball, football has a high risk factor for injuries. When comparing the compensation of two sports, it appears the risk factor hasn’t been taken into consideration. In comparison to baseball, football has gained more popularity and amongst our generation today. In 2004 Gallup polls reported that, “64% percent of Americans identified themselves as football fans, 52% said they were baseball fans. (Isley. K, 2006 pg. 1) In the NFL, we see extremely talented NFL players.
Day after day, these men go out and take a beaten. They earn the salary and gain the respect they deserve. You never hear the football league talking about strikes or walkouts. Of course, there are a few football players that embarrass the profession; but the numbers are a lot less noticeable. How many World Series can compare to the excitement of the last couple Super Bowls? The NFL has been able to make the Super Bowl not only exciting with the parity of the league, but they make it the most entertaining of all championship games. In Conclusion, in football we see talented players in the game, making less money then baseball players.
They appear to be more loyal and genuine to the game of football. As a kid, I was huge fan of baseball, but I don’t love what it has become. Even though my heart will always be in baseball, I can honestly say that, “I’m a bigger football fan, at this time in my life”. It appears to be true that baseball is not nearly as popular any more as it once was. Clearly, baseball is not the favorite mass media sport anymore, and hasn’t been for the last 40 years. As television replaced radio as the preferred entertainment medium, football replaced baseball as the preferred sport to watch.
Keith, Isley (2006, August 18) Really? Is baseball less popular? Hard Ball Times, Retrieved from http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/really-is-baseball-less-popular/ USA Today. (2011) Salaries Databases. Retrieved from http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/team Vogan, Thomas. (2011, May 02,) Historians, storytellers, mythmakers: NFL films and pro football experience. Proquest Dissertation and Theses. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/862727108?accountid=87314