Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Allen Barra: Football vs. Baseball? The Same Old B.S. Argument

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?”

Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:53 PM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media, special topics, television

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:55 PM (#3891043)
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?”
You'd get the same response in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami, or Wisconsin about their local teams. But they'd choose football.
   2. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3891045)
You'd get the same response in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami, or Wisconsin about their local teams. But they'd choose football.
Probably Chicago, too. And San Diego, Denver, Seattle, etc. You'd also get the same response in L.A., but probably for a different reason.

Football, and I'm not a huge football fan, just seems to unite the passionate fans with the casual fans much more easily than baseball (and other sports) do. I follow Illinois and UCLA, which are considered primarily basketball schools, but if their football teams got really good, like BCS good, the level of interest in football would dwarf the level of interest in basketball.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3891050)
Probably Chicago, too.


I think it would depend on which side of town you were on. I suspect the average Northsider would take a WS win, a Southsider might prefer a Bears victory (Though results of the extremely informal Morandini-Kittle-Ditka study I performed indicated far more support for the baseball teams than the conventional wisdom suggests).
   4. AndrewJ Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3891051)
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.

If George Will's using a figure, it's basically being pulled out of a hat.
   5. TerpNats Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3891056)
You'd get the same response in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami, or Wisconsin about their local teams. But they'd choose football.
Miami would choose football, given the relatively tepid reaction to the Marlins' championships and that the Dolphins haven't won it all in nearly 40 years. But for Pittsburgh and Dallas, a Super Bowl title would come under "been there, done that"; for the Pirates to win a World Series in the current economic climate of baseball would come as a sort of miracle, and in the Metroplex, the Rangers have eclipsed the Cowboys as the area's favorite team (though the latter still has far more national appeal among casual fans who have no ties to Texas). As for Wisconsin, it's sort of along the lines of Pittsburgh, and there are still older fans who remember "Harvey's Wallbangers" or, a quarter-century back from that, the Aaron-Mathews-Spahn-Burdette Braves.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3891057)
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?”


You'd get the same response in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami, or Wisconsin about their local teams. But they'd choose football.

And given that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, I think that Barra might be in for a surprise if he actually polled Philadelphians. The only cities where baseball beats all other sports unequivocally are Boston and St. Louis. It's also true of New York now, but since the Yankees have been winning for so long and the other New York teams** have been losing for just as long, it's hard to really gauge New York's true preferences.

**Other than the Giants, who blow hot and cold, at least compared to the Yankees. The Mets and the Jets are the equivalent of 17-year locusts, a few months of glory followed by 16+ years of disappearance.
   7. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3891059)
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?”


Is Barra suggesting that the Phillies would be the answer or the Eagles? Because it would be the Eagles. Boston would choose the Sox. Not sure about NY, too many teams to choose from, I'd probably say Yankees/Giants/Jets/Mets.

EDIT:
Partial Coke to Andy. How about a diet, caffeine-free one?
   8. TerpNats Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3891060)
I think it would depend on which side of town you were on. I suspect the average Northsider would take a WS win, a Southsider might prefer a Bears victory
South Siders will always have 2005; North Siders haven't had a World Series title since the team in question was the West Siders.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3891066)
I think New York might be the Jets. Giants just won, Yankees always win and the Mets have little hope of winning.
   10. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3891068)
I follow Illinois and UCLA, which are considered primarily basketball schools, but if their football teams got really good, like BCS good, the level of interest in football would dwarf the level of interest in basketball


I suspect this is true, but I suspect it would a very long stretch of sustained success in football to even things up with basketball with most of the blue blood basketball schools. UK, KU, UNC, IU, Duke. Of those five I'm not sure I could even guess which would have the best odds of prolonged football success. UNC actually has a longer football conference championship drought than Duke in football. Stump your friends with that one.
   11. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3891070)
South Siders will always have 2005; North Siders haven't had a World Series title since the team in question was the West Siders.
I'll grant you that most Chicagoans might pick the Cubs for the novelty factor, I think people tend to be more invested in the Bears, even when the Cubs are doing well.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3891072)
Because it would be the Eagles


That was what I thought also. Especially this year.
   13. BDC Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3891074)
I agree, Philly is a very strange example for Barra to choose. It's not like Phillies fans are getting blasé about winning the World Series, but the Eagles have become one of the great chronic-frustration stories in sports-fan history. An Eagle Super Bowl win wouldn't exactly be the 2004 Red Sox, but it would rank somewhere on the apocalyptic scale :)

the Rangers have eclipsed the Cowboys as the area's favorite team

Only because the Cowboys are currently in training camp. Once the NFL preseason starts, the order of the universe will reassert itself.

I am that rare Cowboys fan who only realizes what's happening in the NFL once the World Series is over, with the result that I never truly follow an entire NFL season. And I've never seen the Cowboys, or any other NFL team, in person. I got an offer to buy tickets to a Cowboys game this year, looked at the narrow window of games between baseball and the holidays on which my +1 would kind of prefer I stay home and cook :) and figured no, I am not going to pay that amount of money to watch the world's largest TV set. So I really do figure as one of George Will's test cases. I see a game or two at the Ballpark during every Rangers homestand, but the NFL to me is a couch phenomenon.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3891075)
South Siders will always have 2005; North Siders haven't had a World Series title since the team in question was the West Siders.


That's why I said they'd prefer it whereas Southsiders might not. It wasn't a comment on the loyalties of the respective fanbases. Proximity to last title is key in many of these cities.
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3891082)
I get the sense that it is Yankees.......everyone else. Just an observation: I was at Old YS during its last season, a June game, following the NY Giants SB victory. A few Giants players were on field before game and then in concourse during 5th inning or so signing autographs, it was announced on scoreboard. Fans barely noticed these guys. Make it Miller Park, and have those guys be two GB Packers and the guys would've been swarmed by fans all game long.
   16. TerpNats Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3891083)
Ask this question in Washington and the answer is overwhelmingly Redskins, because even imagining a baseball team in D.C. that so much as contends is to transcend the realm of fantasy. Unless he or she is a lifelong resident in at least their late eighties, the concept simply cannot compute in a Washingtonian's brain.
   17. Matthew E Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3891084)
Why do sportswriters seem to think that football and baseball fans are some kind of separate breeds? Fans of one sport are invariably fans of the other.


Not invariably. Frequently, okay. But I don't even really understand football, and I have no interest in trying to. If I was listing sports I might theoretically someday become a fan of, football wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list.
   18. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3891086)
In Cincinnati, I'd bet there would be a pretty healthy split in responses. That despite the Bengals laughingstock-ness.
   19. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#3891089)
That's why I said they'd prefer it whereas South Siders wouldn't. It wasn't a comment on the loyalties of the respective fanbases. Proximity to last title is key in many of these cities.
I don't know. It just seems like I meet a lot of people who say they like baseball, but they can't really talk about beyond the basics. They may identify as Cubs or Sox fans, but I don't get the feeling that they're really invested in it. Of course, there were a ton of Hawks "fans" like that too until a couple years ago, and a lot of them have gone back into hiding. But at work and in social situations, when it's football season and the Bears are playing at the same time of year as the Hawks and the Bulls, it seems like EVERYONE is talking about the Bears.
   20. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3891096)
I think San Francisco would easily go Giants. Certainly before last year, but probably still.

Do I want the 49ers to win a Superbowl with Alex Smith at QB? Hell no.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3891097)
I don't know. It just seems like I meet a lot of people who say they like baseball, but they can't really talk about beyond the basics. They may identify as Cubs or Sox fans, but I don't get the feeling that they're really invested in it. Of course, there were a ton of Hawks "fans" like that too until a couple years ago, and a lot of them have gone back into hiding. But at work and in social situations, when it's football season and the Bears are playing at the same time of year as the Hawks and the Bulls, it seems like EVERYONE is talking about the Bears.


My experience is completely different in the 'burbs. Everyone likes the Bears, the one team the city is united behind, but the people I meet are far more passionate about the baseball team they back in the rivalry.
   22. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3891102)
The reasons Asomugha going to the Eagles was such a big story are that (a) he was regarded as the best free agent in the NFL and (b) both New York teams were trying desperately to sign him.


Don't think the Giants were.
   23. Chicago Joe Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3891103)
remember "Harvey's Wallbangers"


Hey, I'm pretty sure he's alive and kicking.
   24. Chicago Joe Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3891107)
I don't know. It just seems like I meet a lot of people who say they like baseball, but they can't really talk about beyond the basics. They may identify as Cubs or Sox fans, but I don't get the feeling that they're really invested in it. Of course, there were a ton of Hawks "fans" like that too until a couple years ago, and a lot of them have gone back into hiding. But at work and in social situations, when it's football season and the Bears are playing at the same time of year as the Hawks and the Bulls, it seems like EVERYONE is talking about the Bears.


You don't have to follow the Bears to be a Bears "fan". Baseball is harder in that respect. Ask any of those people to name more than one offensive lineman and you'd get a lot of quizzical looks.
   25. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3891110)
Don't think the Giants were.


They weren't. They were too busy locking up Fumbles Bradshaw.
   26. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3891111)
Everything Barra and others think defines football is more true for baseball:

His use of Philly as an example there is comically ridiculous.

Baseball, not football, is the sport that has a higher proportion of people who just go to the mallparks (or the two quaintparks) because they're fun places to kill time during the otherwise sleepy, boring summers. If baseball was still being played in the parks of the late 70s through early 90s -- in other words, the places where the only reason to go is to watch a baseball game -- you wouldn't have seen the higher attendances that are really baseball's only leg to stand on in the comparison, and football's dominance would be so absolute that this discussion wouldn't even commence.

A few people -- very few -- go to football games only for the tailgate parties.

Look at middle markets. The Ravens moved into Baltimore, got marginally good, Orioles attendance never recovered. The Browns moved back into Cleveland, RIP Jacobs Field sellout streak. The Browns didn't even need to get good. The Pirates have essentially never drawn that well; the Steelers have never drawn poorly.

Detroit has a decent baseball team, is a better-than-decent baseball town, and a World Series victory would excite the city. The place would blow up if the Lions ran through the playoffs and Super Bowl. It would have blown up in 1975 when the last championship and the last competitive teams weren't that far in the past; it would have blown up in 1995, when they were a distant memory, and it will blow up in 2011 if it happens. Interest in the team is off the charts, even though it's been one of the worst organizations in professional sports since William Clay Ford's daddy used it as a vehicle to keep the imbecile as far away as possible from anything important.

The various conceits regarding football's "true" popularity are nothing more than Northeastern provincialism, biased by baseball's relatively higher popularity in the Northeast, run amok. Of course you're going to read that kind of thing from Yankees and Red Sox fans, and their amen corners in Northeast media outlets.
   27. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3891112)
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?”


Actually I think they'd say "why choose?" They have about as good a chance at pulling off the baseball/football double this year as one could reasonably expect.
   28. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3891121)
I don't know. It just seems like I meet a lot of people who say they like baseball, but they can't really talk about beyond the basics. They may identify as Cubs or Sox fans, but I don't get the feeling that they're really invested in it. Of course, there were a ton of Hawks "fans" like that too until a couple years ago, and a lot of them have gone back into hiding. But at work and in social situations, when it's football season and the Bears are playing at the same time of year as the Hawks and the Bulls, it seems like EVERYONE is talking about the Bears.


Football has the advantage of being this once-a-week thing that everyone can watch and talk about. It's an Event. If you and I watch one Bears game a week and one White Sox game a week, there's a 100% chance that we'll have seen the same Bears game but only about a 16% chance that we'll have seen the same White Sox game. That makes it far easier to talk about the Bears game. Also, playing on Sunday really helps the NFL in terms of getting people to talk about it. You get to work on Monday morning and have water cooler chats about your weekend, which immediately become conversations about the Bears game.
   29. Joey B. Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3891125)
Ask this question in Washington and the answer is overwhelmingly Redskins, because even imagining a baseball team in D.C. that so much as contends is to transcend the realm of fantasy. Unless he or she is a lifelong resident in at least their late eighties, the concept simply cannot compute in a Washingtonian's brain.

You live here, so you know as well as anyone that D.C. is the mother of all front-running bandwagon sports towns. OK, maybe we're second after Miami. If the Nationals do become contenders the support for them will explode and all the doofuses on SportsTalk 980 won't be able to get enough of them.

The Redskins of course are the exception to the rule. No group of fans in America lives in the past quite like Redskins fans do.
   30. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3891126)
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.

George Will: "Nobody goes to football games anymore; they're too crowded."
   31. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3891131)
Haven't we seen more than a couple Barra articles on this topic? I recall him claiming that football's popularity was entirely based on gambling.

This is just a baseball fan acting cranky.

I prefer baseball, but I think that the way football can obsess an entire community is a special and awesome thing. Baseball can do it too, but typically only in October.
   32. Karl from NY Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3891136)
New York's an odd situation for the question because the loyalties are so divided. I'd say Mets in a heartbeat, but you'd also get loads of answers for the Jets and Knicks. Giants fans are content for the moment (18-1) and would probably say their baseball team. Brooklynites will say the Nets within a few years.

Chicago strikes me as similarly divided. Casual sports fans who lean White Sox would probably say Bears overall, but most Cubs partisans would take them over football.

Philly? Obviously and completely Eagles, especially with the Mike Vick show going on now. I have no idea what Barra is thinking if he's implying they'd pick baseball. Heck the Flyers might even come in ahead of the Phillies given that they recently won in 2008.
   33. bads85 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3891142)
No group of fans in America lives in the past quite like Redskins fans do.


Browns fans do. Browns fans even glorify a past that wasn't so good. The Kosar era Browns are considered a Golden Age. There is nothing more pathetic than hearing Browns' fans wax poetic about a regular season finale in which Kevin Mack heroically lifted the city on his shoulders and carried the Browns into the playoffs so they could get beat by the same team the next week.
   34. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3891150)
For me it's the perceived cost involved in going to a football game that keeps me on my couch. I just assume it costs a fortune to go to an NFL game and my perception is that it only for fanatics who paint their faces and borrow on their homes to buy season tickets.

And I watch a lot of football. I prefer college but have been folloing pro more closely over the last few seasons. Still, I've only been to one pro football game, ever -- an LA Rams game with my dad, I was probably 8 years old. I live in the Bay Area now and can't imagine paying several hundred dollars to see one of these terrible teams get crushed by a good team or tread water against another horrible team.

Meanwhile, I can get walk-up tix to a weekend baseball game in Oakland for less than $10, and if you're on the ball and buy at the right time on StubHub, you can easily get tix for less than $20 to see the Giants (worth the markup for the superior stadium experience).

With football, the worst seats in Candlestick still cost 65 bucks plus lots of fees -- which makes one football ticket equivalent to my full OTD cost (3 tix, parking, food, a few sodas) from a few weeks ago when I went to see the A's and Angels at O.co with my wife and toddler.
   35. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3891158)
I don't know. It just seems like I meet a lot of people who say they like baseball, but they can't really talk about beyond the basics. They may identify as Cubs or Sox fans, but I don't get the feeling that they're really invested in it. Of course, there were a ton of Hawks "fans" like that too until a couple years ago, and a lot of them have gone back into hiding. But at work and in social situations, when it's football season and the Bears are playing at the same time of year as the Hawks and the Bulls, it seems like EVERYONE is talking about the Bears.

Does it really count when most people talking about the Bears don't really know what they're talking about? The Bears are great water cooler material, but very few people can actually provide intelligent insight to a football game. It's all "Cutler's a #####\" or "what a bad call" or "fire Lovie". No real basis for any of that, though, for most people.

If you polled Chicagoans, the answer would be the Bears, but only because of the split in baseball. And I definitely think that people are more passionate about their baseball team of choice, because it at least sets them apart from half the population. Saying, "I love the Bears!" will get you a "well, of course" in response. But saying, "I love the White Sox" will at least get you a reaction, be it "Sox suck, Cubs rule!" or "go South Side!".
   36. bigglou115 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3891160)
I think the problem is the divide between fans of a given team. Any of us are probably in the top 10% of knowledgeable baseball fans. We enjoy the game more because of it. The gulf between our enjoyment and the bottom 10% of knoeledgeable fans is huge though. In football that just isn't the case. I don't know that you really get any extra enjoyment out of knowing football better than a random guy who doesn't think about his team until Sunday.
   37. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3891171)
Chicago strikes me as similarly divided. Casual sports fans who lean White Sox would probably say Bears overall, but most Cubs partisans would take them over football.

I disagree, if only because you have fewer casual sports fans who lean White Sox. The "easy" baseball fandom is Cubs, since they're slightly more popular (only slightly) and have a much more popular gameday experience (neighborhood, stadium, etc.). In my experience, if someone follows baseball enough to profess they're a Sox fan, they're more than a casual sports fan.
   38. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3891173)
With regard to actually attending football games, I generally stay away for a couple reasons:

1) It's really cold during most of football season, at least in Chicago;
2) Football is a better sport on television. A long time ago I read someone, probably Frank Deford, who argued that if football hadn't already existed, television would have invented it. I can't disagree.
3) The real excitement of attending a game live is the camaraderie and emotion of being around the other fans. I can get that in a bar, where it's warm and the game is on TV. I usually can't do that for baseball, unless it's a playoff game.
4) There are a bunch of games going on at the same time, and if I watch on TV, I get constant updates on those other games.

There are a few exceptions. I try to get to an Illinois game every so often. And the Illinois game at Wrigley was an event, and walking distance from my apartment, so it was more important to be able to say I went. And the Rose Bowl can be fun to go to every now and then. But for the most part, I'd much rather watch football on TV.
   39. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3891174)
Football, and I'm not a huge football fan, just seems to unite the passionate fans with the casual fans much more easily than baseball (and other sports) do.
With football, it's easy for the casual fans to be passionate fans. Look at the time commitment to follow a football team vs. a baseball team. All you have to do is pay attention once a week, for a few hours, on a day with few other commitments anyway -- vs. having to follow a team on a daily basis for six months.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3891178)
Any of us are probably in the top 10% of knowledgeable baseball fans. We enjoy the game more because of it. The gulf between our enjoyment and the bottom 10% of knoeledgeable fans is huge though. In football that just isn't the case. I don't know that you really get any extra enjoyment out of knowing football better than a random guy who doesn't think about his team until Sunday.


This seems like projection. People like us may enjoy baseball more because of the opportunities for study it provides, but I see no reason to believe we get more enjoyment out of the sport than incurious fans. And even if that were true, I don't see why the same wouldn't apply to football.
   41. JRVJ Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3891181)
As to the Philly question, opinions will differ, but from the people I'm in contact with in the Philly area, I strongly suspect that the Phillies are gaining on, if they haven't already passed the Eagles as the favorite sports team in the Delaware area.

Furthermore, it looks and feels like the Phillies are going to be an elite franchise for a while, and THAT's something that's unusual for Philly fans (1976-1983 being a bit of a distant memory, and the only sustained period of elite level play by the Phillies).
   42. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#3891184)
I don't know that you really get any extra enjoyment out of knowing football better than a random guy who doesn't think about his team until Sunday.

Interesting thought.

Part of me wants to disagree; I'm also in the top 10% of knowledge for an NFL fan, and I get immense enjoyment of watching coverages and gameplans develop, arguing strategy intelligently, and following teams that aren't the Bears.

However, part of me wants to agree, as well, because the bottom 10% of football fans are nearly impossible to deal with. They can easily bring down enjoyment of an event with ill-formed, macho opinions.

EDIT: Half a coke to SoSH?
   43. BDC Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3891187)
it's the perceived cost involved in going to a football game that keeps me on my couch. I just assume it costs a fortune to go to an NFL game

The cost is quite real, as you go on to note. I can typically get into the Ballpark for $6; parking is $10. I can't get into Cowboys Stadium and actually sit for under $60; parking is $40. (Standing room might be $40, big of them.)

So at a minimum it's six Rangers tickets for the price of one Cowboys ticket. Now, I go to 15 or 20 Rangers games a year, so I suppose I could go to two or three Cowboys games at the cost of giving up baseball, but let's get real.
   44. PreservedFish Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3891188)
Good God, the bottom 10% of any large swath of people is going to be ghastly.
   45. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#3891193)
Good God, the bottom 10% of any large swath of people is going to be ghastly.

Haha, true.

I'll amend my earlier comment; with football, it greatly seems like there are way more unintelligent fans. That is, even dealing with the bottom 50% is much worse (they don't understand any concept of defensive scheme, or the difference between types of receivers, etc.), so having any sort of intelligent discussion with them is impossible.

Whereas, at least with baseball, while the bottom 10-20% are truly moronic, at least a 50th-percentile fan will understand that Juan Pierre's speed is useless when he's getting thrown out 40% of the time when stealing, or that a lower batting average can be offset by hitting for more power or playing better defense.

With football, its as if any time a QB doesn't lead his team down the field for a touchdown, he's an irredeemable failure in the eyes of a very significant portion of fans.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 02, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#3891195)
No group of fans in America lives in the past quite like Redskins fans do.


Browns fans do. Browns fans even glorify a past that wasn't so good. The Kosar era Browns are considered a Golden Age. There is nothing more pathetic than hearing Browns' fans wax poetic about a regular season finale in which Kevin Mack heroically lifted the city on his shoulders and carried the Browns into the playoffs so they could get beat by the same team the next week.

In the case of the Redskins, though, it's not so much that they live in the past, it's that they still think that the Allen and Gibbs I eras are the norm, and that what's happened since 1992 is a mere aberration. This team hasn't had more than five good weeks in a row since the day that Joe Gibbs jumped ship for NASCAR in 1993, and yet every time Little Napoleon hires some has-been Big Name Coach like Mike Shanahan, or some over the hill Big Name Free Agent like Deion Sanders or Donovan McNabb, Redskins fans immediately start speculating about the Super Bowl. Dan Snyder is like Lucy holding the football, and the Redskins fans are the perennial Charlie Brown. It's the most pathetic fan base of any sports team in the world.
   47. Joey B. Posted: August 02, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3891204)
It doesn't help that, with a couple of notable truth-telling exceptions like John Riggins, the local sports media are the most pathetic bunch of enabling lapdogs anywhere in the country, even the entities that Snyder doesn't literally own. They're every bit as bad as Joe Sixpack Fan when it comes to being disconnected from reality.
   48. rr Posted: August 02, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3891216)
looks of astonishment and replies of “Are you kidding?”


Echoing what others have said: Neither the Chargers nor the Padres have ever won the whole thing, but I think SD would pick the Super Bowl about 75-25 given the option. As I said in yesterday's realigment thread, I myself am a very casual, part-time football fan, but the idea that some baseball fans seem to have that people who like it "don't really care" about football is IMO simply wrong.

Barra is right of course about how well football works on TV.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 02, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3891225)
It doesn't help that, with a couple of notable truth-telling exceptions like John Riggins, the local sports media are the most pathetic bunch of enabling lapdogs anywhere in the country, even the entities that Snyder doesn't literally own. They're every bit as bad as Joe Sixpack Fan when it comes to being disconnected from reality.

I haven't heard Riggo lately, but when he used to be on WTEM and on the old George Michael Saturday TV show, you could always count on him to cut through the rah-rah crap. It's not that Doc Walker doesn't know the game inside and out, which he does, but his blood is so Burgandy and Gold that he simply won't confront the fact that the overriding problem with the Redskins begins and ends with the chief occupant of the owner's box. I might say that it's connected to the fact that Snyder signs his paychecks, but he was saying the same thing well before Snyder bought the station.
   50. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 02, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3891226)
I can typically get into the Ballpark for $6; parking is $10. I can't get into Cowboys Stadium and actually sit for under $60; parking is $40. (Standing room might be $40, big of them.)


Wow -- only 10 bucks for parking. What a bargain! It's 18 bucks to park at O.co, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that much of what I pay will subsidize the cleanup crews who pick up the smoldering charcoal and other crap left behind by the slobbish fraction of the 10% fans who tailgate on any given day.

One time I parked in the light industrial area across the street to save money. When I got back to my car my passenger door was open and my glovebox had been rifled. Nothing was missing because nothing was worth taking.
   51. bads85 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3891245)
In the case of the Redskins, though, it's not so much that they live in the past, it's that they still think that the Allen and Gibbs I eras are the norm, and that what's happened since 1992 is a mere aberration.


Same with the Browns (well, since 1995), except the Kosar era has been elevated to the Allen/Gibbs level while the Jim Brown/Frank Ryan era has been elevated to some sort of mythical Pantheon that young people doubt even happened. You have an entire generation of fans embracing the ludicrous notion that the Browns of the late 80's were a team of the ages. Because their dads told them how glorious Brown/Ryan/Kelly were, they try to do the same with Kosar/Slaughter/Golic because they fear the generation link (curse) will break.

Browns v2.0 are treated as a nightmare from which Browns fans will one day wake up, and the resplendent Browns will have been there all along. Since Modell moved the team, the fans first believed they were entitled to an immediate championship as some sort of recompensation for Modell leaving. When v2.0 won their first preseason game in their inaugural season, people thought the redemption was near. Few Browns fans have wavered in their loyalty because they are either:

A) haunted by the insecurity of the Browns leaving again, or
B) reveling in the psychotic belief that rooting for a lousy team is a virtue that helps shape outstanding moral character.

They still believe their redemption is coming, but the football gods and the Commissioner must have mistaken the date.
   52. Karl from NY Posted: August 02, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#3891247)
B) reveling in the psychotic belief that rooting for a lousy team is a virtue that helps shape outstanding moral character.


But of course it is.

- Karl, Mets and Islanders fan
   53. AndrewJ Posted: August 02, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3891270)
As to the Philly question, opinions will differ, but from the people I'm in contact with in the Philly area, I strongly suspect that the Phillies are gaining on, if they haven't already passed the Eagles as the favorite sports team in the Delaware area.


That's been true since the new stadia were built -- Citizens Bank Park is a more beloved venue than Lincoln Financial Field -- but the Iggles winning a Super Bowl would be huge in the entire mid-Atlantic region.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 02, 2011 at 07:26 PM (#3891286)
Same with the Browns (well, since 1995), except the Kosar era has been elevated to the Allen/Gibbs level while the Jim Brown/Frank Ryan era has been elevated to some sort of mythical Pantheon that young people doubt even happened.

If the Brown / Ryan era team is in that mythical Pantheon, then where does that leave the Paul Brown / Otto Graham team that won 10 conference titles and 7 league titles in its first 10 years of existence?

Note to Cleveland fans: Yes, they really did. And even stranger, their one nemesis during that period was the Detroit Lions.
   55. bads85 Posted: August 02, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3891294)
If the Brown / Ryan era team is in that mythical Pantheon, then where does that leave the Paul Brown / Otto Graham team that won 10 conference titles and 7 league titles in its first 10 years of existence?


Same plane. Paul Brown versus Jim ####### Brown is one of the most bitter Browns' debates.
   56. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 02, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3891313)
I disagree, if only because you have fewer casual sports fans who lean White Sox. The "easy" baseball fandom is Cubs, since they're slightly more popular (only slightly) and have a much more popular gameday experience (neighborhood, stadium, etc.). In my experience, if someone follows baseball enough to profess they're a Sox fan, they're more than a casual sports fan.


I think this is partly wrong. White Sox fandom is a South Side pride thing -- if you're a casual baseball fan and you live on the South Side, you'll be a Sox fan. So there are lots of them running around. Elsewhere in the city your observation probably holds true.
   57. Eddo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3891349)
I think this is partly wrong. White Sox fandom is a South Side pride thing -- if you're a casual baseball fan and you live on the South Side, you'll be a Sox fan. So there are lots of them running around. Elsewhere in the city your observation probably holds true.

I don't disagree (in general, Sox fandom is much more reliant on where you grew up/your family history than Cub fandom).
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#3891357)
I support the contention that NFL fans overrate the popularity of their sport, and/or underrate the popularity of baseball, since they constantly base the ratings of popularity on something silly like TV ratings. But I have to agree with some on here, the Philly example (among others) isn't a good way to argue the popularity at all. In most cities with multiple sports, if there is a long drought in championships for one of their sports, the fans are going to be more than likely to root for that team (otherwords Cubs in Chicago, Eagles in Philly, heck Vikings in Minnesota) outside of the cities that are identified by their local teams success (St Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Red Wings-maybe, Los Angeles Lakers--different story) while not having as much success with their other sport teams(why I didn't list Boston or New York teams) in those situations the more successful franchise is probably going to win out in popularity and desire to win a championship.

I think that asking people which local sport team they would prefer to win a championship is also not the best way to figure out the popularity. I usually say it's NFL at 1A and MLB at 1B, implying that they are close and that football might just be slightly ahead. There are so many ways to measure popularity that the one which seems most common, (TV ratings) is about the dumbest way to measure popularity.(I could have a tv show of a guy masturbating, and another that just shows people in car crashes, the car crash video will get much better ratings, but I guarantee you that masturbating is much more popular activity than getting in a car crash---ratings have nothing to do with popularity of something, just the popularity of watching something)

If someone ever wanted to measure the popularity of the sports in a scientific manner you would have to go through and do a ton of surveys, you would need to go through each of the cities with both teams and count the number of articles written by each city on the subject, and even separate them from on season articles to off season articles etc. I honestly think the two sports are pretty close, I live in a city that they aren't particularly close, but in most of the cities in the country I think the popularity is pretty close. I think baseball fans care more about their sport after the fact, during the off season, during the season etc. The game lends itself to individual storylines, the game makes all 25 players part of the story, while football is a here and now type of event, the game itself, the fantasy aspect, and the national game of the week makes it more event driven, more tv driven. Fans do care about the major transactions of the team, but just by it's very nature the fans can't identify a quarter of the players on their local team(including starters). The skill position players are the whole story, those are the ones the fans know due to their impact on the team and the fantasy aspect.


Go to any city and find casual sports fans and ask "name two relievers on the local mlb team" and ask "name two lineman on the team(either offense or defense)" unless they have an established long term player there, it's very unlikely you are going to get a lot of people answering better on the football question than the baseball question. Baseball is easier and more interesting to follow(the NFL salary cap structure hurts it here I think) when the game is off the air. In baseball you get a new player you can instantly see how he fits into the needs of the team, in the NFL due to the fact that coaching is a much larger part of the game, it's not as easy to slot how a player addition is going to help the team other than "he's better than what we had" type of comments(of course elite skill players are different)
   59. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: August 02, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3891370)
Boston and St. Louis. It's also true of New York now, but since the Yankees have been winning for so long and the other New York teams** have been losing for just as long, it's hard to really gauge New York's true preferences.


I'd bet St Louis tops this list, with only Boston and New York clearly preferring MLB baseball over NFL. I would be shocked if anyone produced data that showed New Yorkers would rather see an NFL title over a MLB World Series.

There are probably 7 cities that would prefer a BCS title over an NFL Super Bowl.
   60. William Satterwhite Posted: August 02, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#3891378)
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.)



I'm probably an oddball in this respect but while I love both the Braves and Falcons, I would consider myself a much bigger baseball fan than football fan yet have been to many more Falcons games than I have Braves games. For me, going to a football game has always seemed to be a much bigger deal and more unique event- there are only so many opportunities and it's an all day event that just seems kind of special. Might just be because it was a part of my ritual growing up (and what are probably the unique aspects of growing up a Braves fan that I guess apply to no one else but Cubs and Mets fans) but for me at least, baseball has always been much more of a tv thing.
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 02, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3891389)
I'd bet St Louis tops this list, with only Boston and New York clearly preferring MLB baseball over NFL. I would be shocked if anyone produced data that showed New Yorkers would rather see an NFL title over a MLB World Series.

There's no evidence whatsoever that New Yorkers would prefer a Yankees WS to a Giants or Jets SB. I'm having a tough time getting a Game 6 rating, but Game 5 of the 2009 World Series did a 28 rating in the New York area, roughly what the Giants and Jets do combined on a typical NFL Sunday. The Packers/Steelers Super Bowl last year did a 42.6 in New York area; in other words, half again as many New Yorkers watched non-NY teams in the Super Bowl as watched the Yankees in a pivotal World Series game.

For the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl in 2008, the NY share was 67; the Boston share was 81.(**)

The Giants have sold out every game since the 60s if not earlier, many of those years with abysmal teams; until recently, Yankee Stadium was replete with empty seats even with good/great Yankee teams.

(The rating in San Francisco for the clincher last year was 35.3; the 49ers would blow that away if they went to the Super Bowl again.)

(**) The gold standard for this metric will always be the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers, whose Game 6 victory in the finals was watched on TV by over 9 of every 10 Portlanders. The Super Bowl local ratings will never get there, but they aren't far away. Baseball's ratings, even for the local nine in the biggest games they play, aren't in the same stratosphere.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: August 02, 2011 at 10:36 PM (#3891397)
There's no evidence whatsoever that New Yorkers would prefer a Yankees WS to a Giants or Jets SB. I'm having a tough time getting a Game 6 rating, but Game 5 of the 2009 World Series did a 28 rating in the New York area, roughly what the Giants and Jets do combined on a typical NFL Sunday. The Packers/Steelers Super Bowl last year did a 42.6 in New York area; in other words, half again as many New Yorkers watched non-NY teams in the Super Bowl as watched the Yankees in a pivotal World Series game.

For the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl in 2008, the NY share was 67; the Boston share was 81.(**)

The Giants have sold out every game since the 60s if not earlier, many of those years with abysmal teams; until recently, Yankee Stadium was replete with empty seats even with good/great Yankee teams.

(The rating in San Francisco for the clincher last year was 35.3; the 49ers would blow that away if they went to the Super Bowl again.)

(**) The gold standard for this metric will always be the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers, whose Game 6 victory in the finals was watched on TV by over 9 of every 10 Portlanders. The Super Bowl local ratings will never get there, but they aren't far away. Baseball's ratings, even for the local nine in the biggest games they play, aren't in the same stratosphere.


And again, tv ratings have very little to do with popularity. Football is an event, it's like going out once a week to go bowling. It's always going to be impossible for baseball ratings to approach football, because each game, even in the post season, individually have less value. If you are going to pull "ratings" for baseball vs football, why wouldn't you list the total ratings for a baseball play off series? One playoff game for football is equivalent to one playoff series for baseball. And yes I know there are flaws with that, the point is that they are completely two different sports and that tv ratings is going to be unfairly tilted in favor of the one game importance of the NFL over baseball. In baseball even a game seven isn't going to have the same importance to a fan as a playoff football game. Playoff football is something you have a week to plan (or more) you set up parties, you have friends over, you watch it as a group exercise, heck I even scheduled my work around the super bowl a few years. You can't do that with baseball because you don't know if there is going to be a game seven until game six is done, you don't know any of that stuff, it's a different tv environment.


I don't disagree with you on whether New York would prefer a superbowl or a World Series champion, I wouldn't know the answer to that, but I don't even think knowing the answer to that, would actually have any bearing on the question of which sport is more popular, even in New York.
   63. doc dynamo Posted: August 02, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#3891407)
Redskin and Bear fans living in the past don't hold a candle to Raiders fans. It's all about the 70s.
   64. Shredder Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3891413)
I disagree, if only because you have fewer casual sports fans who lean White Sox. The "easy" baseball fandom is Cubs, since they're slightly more popular (only slightly) and have a much more popular gameday experience (neighborhood, stadium, etc.). In my experience, if someone follows baseball enough to profess they're a Sox fan, they're more than a casual sports fan.
I agree with this. In my experience as an outsider, I've met far fewer Sox fans who don't really follow baseball. That's part of the reason I've always had a bit more respect for Sox fans in general. Before 2005, I knew very few if any people who would admit to being Sox fans if they weren't REALLY Sox fans. Any random a-hole would call themselves a Cubs fan. Of course, I know quite a few die-hard Cubs fans, but many more who don't really care either way. That's one of the reasons I've always disliked the Sox less than the Cubs. Sox fans in comparison to Cubs fans were more like Angels fans in comparison to Dodgers fans. I've always felt their fanbase was thinner and deeper, while the Cubs was wider and shallower.
   65. Flynn Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3891416)
The Philly example is weird just because the Phils won so recently and the Eagles haven't won a title in 50 years. I have had many Philly people say to me that the Phils are nearly as/as/more popular than the Eagles but there's no doubt that the region would go bonkers over an Eagles Super Bowl.

It's like the Bay Area. I have no doubt that baseball and football, in that order, are more popular than basketball, yet the region would go into meltdown if the Warriors won an NBA title. It'd be like Santa turning up at your house and throwing the keys to the sleigh.
   66. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: August 03, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#3891484)
This is one area where the popularization of sabermetrics has hurt baseball.

Football is a great water cooler sport because 1) everyone watches most of the games and 2) you can say anything you want when analyzing a game or a team and it is hard for anyone to contradict you. You can say that Joe Blow is the best Left Tackle in football and who is going to be able to prove that you are wrong? What football fan has any idea who is the best Strong Safety or Middle Linebacker in the NFL?

But in baseball if you say that Danny Valencia is the best 3B in the American League you can be proven wrong in a number of ways using the game's statistics. Nobody but an idiot will tell you that Valencia is better than Beltre or Longoria.

Here in Los Angeles you will not hear one comment about the Dodgers on sports talk radio unless it is about the McCourts or it is on the Dodger pre or post game talk show but they will take call after call about the NFL and we don't even have a team.

Hell even Bill Simmons has basically admitted that he has stopped writing about baseball because he is intimidated by the fact that what he writes is examined by fans and often proven wrong.
   67. Dylan B Posted: August 03, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3891548)
Well, atleast MLB doesn't have to worry about the NFL in Toronto. Now if the Blue Jays can just past the Marlies into being the second most popular team in the city.
   68. JJ1986 Posted: August 03, 2011 at 02:50 AM (#3891551)
What football fan has any idea who is the best Strong Safety or Middle Linebacker in the NFL?


I'd guess 90% of football fans know who the best strong safety is. He's wildly popular.
   69. Eddo Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:49 AM (#3891582)
I'd guess 90% of football fans know who the best strong safety is. He's wildly popular.

Ed Reed?

The top MLB (at least for the majority of the last 15 years) is much easier - Ray Lewis.
   70. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:02 AM (#3891592)
Ed Reed?


I think he was looking for Troy Polamalou (sp).
   71. JJ1986 Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3891599)
I think he was looking for Troy Polamalou (sp).


Yep. Reed plays free safety.
   72. Dan Evensen Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:10 AM (#3891601)
It's always going to be impossible for baseball ratings to approach football, because each game, even in the post season, individually have less value.

Good argument -- except that it is not historically true. There was once a time when World Series games consistently had higher ratings than NFL games, and it wasn't as long ago as you might think.
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:17 AM (#3891605)
Good argument -- except that it is not historically true. There was once a time when World Series games consistently had higher ratings than NFL games, and it wasn't as long ago as you might think.


Historically dealt with different situation. You had TV fewer channels to choose from, so the choices were limited, factor in that the summer months was often rerun time of the year and baseball was easier to dominate in the past on TV. And of course until the NFL perfected the use of replay and multiple camera angles, it wasn't nearly as easy to follow on TV as baseball. I honestly think until the mid 70's or so that baseball was the better TV experience, not because it was better, but because football hadn't figured out how to best present it's product.

If you look at baseball broadcasts from now and say the 60's, it's very much the same thing. Take a look at football broadcasts from now and then and it's a vastly different experience.
   74. Dan Evensen Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:24 AM (#3891630)
Historically dealt with different situation. You had TV fewer channels to choose from, so the choices were limited, factor in that the summer months was often rerun time of the year and baseball was easier to dominate in the past on TV.

Honestly, neither of these arguments are good explanations for the current TV ratings situation. Sure, you had fewer TV stations to choose from in the past -- but baseball was actually able to top football in ratings for decades on end. The summer months are still the rerun season in the television industry. If anything, the vast amount of new cable and satellite television stations have given us more reruns, not less.

If you look at baseball broadcasts from now and say the 60's, it's very much the same thing. Take a look at football broadcasts from now and then and it's a vastly different experience.

I've got a collection of hundreds of old sporting events on DVD, mostly baseball games from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. I can tell you with absolute certainty that baseball is not broadcast the way it was when Harry Coyle was directing at NBC. I can also tell you that the quality of baseball broadcasts vastly improved in the 1980s, when NBC and ABC began competing to see which network could come up with the better slow-motion instant replay.

Football broadcasts have changed quite a bit over time, as you state. Check out the 1961 NFL Championship game, if you have a chance. The lack of replays is very telling, and the camera angles are generally pretty crappy. I wouldn't say that the FOX-box is an improvement, but your mileage may vary.

Essentially, I agree that the NFL has presented its product better than in the past, but I disagree that baseball broadcasts are essentially the same. The contemporary fetish for nose closeups and cut scenes to "increase the drama" are all FOX creations. Watch some GOTW broadcasts from the mid-1980s and you'll see a lot more sweeping field shots.

We've gone over this again and again on this forum. I still believe that national baseball broadcasts would earn higher ratings with better production quality and better announcers. FOX has been horrible for baseball, and fewer people remember anything that we had before (CBS wasn't really all that good, either).
   75. Greg K Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:54 AM (#3891636)
The top MLB (at least for the majority of the last 15 years) is much easier - Ray Lewis.

I thought this was some kind of joke about Ray Lewis being the most popular player in Major League Baseball and spent the last 5 minutes trying to reason it out. The truth is often disappointing.
   76. Norcan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:29 AM (#3891639)
I'd bet St Louis tops this list, with only Boston and New York clearly preferring MLB baseball over NFL.


Is this true? And I write as someone who lives in Massachussetts. I really don't know. I think there was a poll on the Boston Globe site or another newspaper a few years back about which championship people cherished most and while there are going to be problems with such a poll, the 2001 Patriots won out even over the 2004 World Series. I know more people who fanatically follow the Patriots than they do the Red Sox.

With New York, I think the Knicks could give the Yankees a run for the money.

There has to be big fluctuations in the interest or disinterest of a specific sport depending on race, age, gender, income and so on, of course.
   77. OsunaSakata Posted: August 03, 2011 at 11:20 AM (#3891645)
Watch some GOTW broadcasts from the mid-1980s and you'll see a lot more sweeping field shots.


They used to introduce the defensive alignment by showing each player playing catch while the pitcher warmed up. Now you see faces or names against the outline of a field. Did television just decide they'd rather spend the time on a commercial and give you just five seconds to absorb the defense?
   78. Benji Posted: August 03, 2011 at 12:18 PM (#3891650)
It was sporting of the 49ers to concede the area's fan interest to the Giants. By the time the WS rolls around, they'll be 1-5 or so and on no one's radar. The re-signing and re-installing Smith at QB has destroyed the season before the exhibition games started. It would be like the Mets making Ollie Perez their #1 starter. Yes, he's that bad.
   79. Dread Pirate Dave Roberts Posted: August 03, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3891678)
Is this true? And I write as someone who lives in Massachussetts. I really don't know. I think there was a poll on the Boston Globe site or another newspaper a few years back about which championship people cherished most and while there are going to be problems with such a poll, the 2001 Patriots won out even over the 2004 World Series. I know more people who fanatically follow the Patriots than they do the Red Sox.


They did an updated poll recently after the Bruins title -- see here. Currently, the 2004 Red Sox title is in the lead, but closer than I would have thought. The interesting thing is how the 2008 Celtics title is clearly the lowest rated of the four "first title since X years".
   80. Joey B. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3891721)
Redskin and Bear fans living in the past don't hold a candle to Raiders fans. It's all about the 70s.

But the Raiders have been at or very close to the bottom of the NFL list in attendance for years now. Most of their home games are blacked out.
   81. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3891727)
I lived in Chicago for five years and felt like it was clearly a baseball town- interest in the Cubs way outstripped interest in the Bears.

Of course, I lived on the North Side and those 5 years included 2003 so perhaps my perception is off...
   82. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3891751)
Now if the Blue Jays can just past the Marlies into being the second most popular team in the city.

I don't know where you get the idea that the Marlies are "popular" in Toronto.
Toronto ONLY supports "major league" teams now.
Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, TFC, that's it. The last two are fading fast.
To be fair, the TFC fans are a VERY loyal group, but just not as big as they need to be to really mean something.

Marlies or any major junior hockey team? Nope.
Argos? Nope. It ain't the NFL (and real NFL, not this crap they overprice before the season, or the meaningless mid-season Bills game).

In order of desire for championships, it's:

Maple Leafs
(approximate distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri)
Blue Jays
Raptors
(slight gap)
Argos
TFC
(huge gap)
Marlies
Toronto Rock
(big gap)
any major junior hockey team still around
Toronto Maple Leafs (intercounty baseball team)
   83. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#3892263)
Detroit has a decent baseball team, is a better-than-decent baseball town, and a World Series victory would excite the city. The place would blow up if the Lions ran through the playoffs and Super Bowl.

So much this. If the friggin' Lions were ANY GOOD AT ALL, they'd own the town. Own it. But, no. (I like to explain it this way: "The Lions have won one...ONE...playoff game in my lifetime. I'm forty-six years old.")

I was there when the Tigers won it all in '84, and I've been to a Pistons parade ('90) and two Red Wings parades. They were great. But I can't even begin to imagine a Lions Super Bowl parade. Jesus, the Lions winning a Super Bowl? Or even playing in one? Lions fans would reduce the city to subatomic particles.

Yeah, I know, the Lions are the hot "sleeper" pick for this season. I'll believe it when I see it...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(5061 - 12:13am, Nov 28)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Newsblog[Cricketer NOT baseball player] Phil Hughes dies after “pitch” to the head
(12 - 12:12am, Nov 28)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

NewsblogOT - November 2014 College Football thread
(596 - 12:05am, Nov 28)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogSource: Tomas agrees to six-year deal with D-backs | MLB.com
(23 - 11:39pm, Nov 27)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogDave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals
(50 - 11:39pm, Nov 27)
Last: Guapo

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1183 - 11:25pm, Nov 27)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogShould the Red Sox Be Afraid of Hanley Ramirez Being Hanley Ramirez? - Red Sox - Boston.com
(34 - 10:52pm, Nov 27)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8716 - 9:49pm, Nov 27)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(548 - 9:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prove (once again) that competitive balance in baseball will never exist | cleveland.com
(38 - 9:21pm, Nov 27)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogSandy Alderson says Mets can move quickly if a shortstop becomes available - NY Daily News
(37 - 9:15pm, Nov 27)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

Newsblog2015 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot | Baseball-Reference.com
(33 - 6:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(85 - 4:43pm, Nov 27)
Last: Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge

NewsblogJon Lester has plenty of options in addition to Red Sox - Sports - The Boston Globe
(9 - 3:56pm, Nov 27)
Last: Digit

NewsblogNotable Players Available In The Rule 5 Draft - BaseballAmerica.com
(10 - 1:34pm, Nov 27)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

Page rendered in 0.6638 seconds
52 querie(s) executed