As one of my old managers used to say…“If you’re really not good at any sport…try out for football.”
That’s the nature of pro football. At least 95 percent of NFL fans have never seen their favorite team — or any other team — in person. I’m not pulling that figure out of a hat. A couple of years ago George Will, when he served on baseball’s Blue Ribbon Panel, told me they conducted a survey indicating that the number of football fans who only knew the game from their living room sofa was in the mid-to-high nineties.
In other words, following football is a TV thing — the football season is just another long running mini-series. With baseball it’s the opposite: Many fans go to a game or games over the course of the season and use TV, radio or the internet to keep up with their favorite clubs. (That some clubs, like the Yankees, are pricing out their working-class fans is an ugly fact and another issue.)
...If you must have a pro football vs. baseball argument, let’s try framing it another way. Don’t talk to me about clicks and tweets or even TV ratings. Let’s ask fans in New England whether they care more about the Red Sox winning the World Series or the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. And then let’s ask New York fans a similar questions about the Yankees (or Mets, too, I guess) vs. the Giants or Jets.
You might get some arguments on a couple of these, but I guarantee that if you ask Philadelphia fans if they would choose having the Phillies win the World Series or the Eagles win the Super Bowl, you’d be met with looks of astonishment and replies of “Are you kidding?”