View Full Version : Baseball...not America's Pasttime?

05-11-2002, 11:17 AM
On a recent Peter Gammons chat this was posed to him and he answered...

Q: The bartenders at our fine establishment are having a heated debate ... do you think baseball is still America's favorite sport or do you think football has taken over? My argument is that people around here are only saying football because they're still riding the high of a Super Bowl victory. Others argue that TV ratings and merchandise sales point towards football. What are your thoughts? -- Dick Alexander, Cityside Bar and Grill, Brighton, Mass.

PWG -- OK, I'll come over and have a beer and answer it. Really. The NFL is in a class by itself when it comes to being the No. 1 sport in America. Baseball is trying its best to become No. 5.

I am not sure what four sports he places above baseball but has them at 5-6 right now? Seems fishy to me. I agree NBA, NFL and NASCAR have more fans right now, but who else? NHL? WNBA? What's up with this? He actually says as many as five other sports are higher ih he is rating baseball at #6. Someone sound in here please...

05-11-2002, 12:06 PM
Maybe golf?

05-11-2002, 03:38 PM
I fogot about the PGA. Good point.

05-12-2002, 12:12 AM
Maybe golf is more popular than baseball, but I love baseball more...

05-12-2002, 02:24 AM
Oh, I do too. Played it a bit in college, but I was just trying to think of sports which might be more popular than baseball.

If a strike happens affecting next season the sport is done.

05-12-2002, 09:42 AM
If a strike happens affecting next season the sport is done.

I hear you....I don't know if I can take that again.

05-12-2002, 09:53 AM
Golf is not a pastime for most people - not as many people play golf as softball or even bowling.

05-12-2002, 02:06 PM
Baseball is trying its best to become No. 5.

To recap..Gammons is saying that baseball is the number 6 sport in the US right now. Here are the reasonable sports that could be above baseball IMO.

1. NBA
2. NFL
4. PGA
5. NHL

If baseball is #6, then Gammons is full of crap. The arguments:

1. NBA - the NBA is definitely worthy of being rated above baseball. At least in the ballpark.

2. NFL - see above for NBA

3. NASCAR - NASCAR has the largest gate revenues of any sport in the world other than futbol/soccer. The fan loyalty and following makes it a reasonable sport to include. Probably not higher than baseball though.

4. PGA/LPGA - Golf in general has a ton of fans and a seriously committed following. I would argue vigilantly against golf being higher rated than baseball, but can see the argument that it be included in a top 10 list.

5. NHL - If this were a thread about Canada's national pasttime, then I would agree....but it's not. Hockey just doesn't get it done across the US in spite of the western states stealing some of Canadas teams.

Baseball is the U.S. of A's national past time and has been forever. The other major sports have definitely raised themselves to a worthy comparison, but it still goes to baseball IMO.

05-12-2002, 03:33 PM
Here is how I would rank the popularity:

1. NFL: I don't think there is any question about that. Every time football is on, the ratings are high. The Super Bowl is the highest rated program every year.

2. NASCAR: I don't get it, but millions of others do. Ratings are very high, and they probably have the most loyal fan base. Huge venues and a new TV contract means ratings are high

3. NBA: Not what it was in the 80s or during Jordans tenure, but still very popular.

4. PGA: I don't enjoy watching, but I do play a bit. Tiger Woods alone has vaulted it into the number 4 spot. He has changed the game. I believe purses have tripled since he turned pro. Ratings are at an all time high, and more people are playing than ever.

5. Baseball: The World Series is still a big player with the ratings, but regular season game ratings are horrible right now. On top of that attendance is down, and several clubs are in trouble of contraction

6. NHL: Still has a regional feel to it. Sure it is number 1 in Canada, but if you don't live in a market with a team how closely do you follow it. Ratings are not good.

05-12-2002, 05:50 PM
My personal rankings I guess are:
1. baseball
2. NFL
4. NBA
5. Golf
6. NHL
7. Anything else

05-12-2002, 10:35 PM
Where is Boxing? I love to watch Boxing ...

05-12-2002, 10:36 PM
Don King killed boxing.

05-12-2002, 10:44 PM
Boxing just doesn't have the fan base of the other sports...or the tv exposure. PPV for all the good fights sucks.

05-13-2002, 12:41 AM
I hate Don King except his hairdo.

05-13-2002, 09:03 AM
<< PPV for all the good fights sucks. >>

And that is Don King's legacy. All championship fights were televised on normal TV stations before HE got involved and pushed PPV.

Sometime you have progress and sometimes you don't.

05-13-2002, 09:45 AM
actually, regular season ratings are up 35% this year for baseball

and contraction talk applies to very, very few clubs

just thought i'd help you out here

baseball is the great game

05-13-2002, 10:05 AM
part of the issue with baseball is that there's 162 games.. not 1 race a week.. or 1 game a week like with football..
naturally, people aren't going to stop down for 162 games a year.. so ratings aren't going to be as high,

05-13-2002, 10:40 AM
Just my 2 cents:

I think that football is now america's pasttime. Generally, there is a reason to talk about football 12 months a year. The season; the post-season; the draft; free-agency; training camp.

I think the star system in the NFL is better than in baseball. Some players arrive in the NFL already stars because they were stars in college. Minor league baseball, on the other hand, is not polular outside of cities where games are played.

That being said, I think that if you ask Paul Tagliabue, he'll tell you it is Baseball. Why? Because it takes pressure off football to say that it is second and implies room to grow.

05-13-2002, 10:41 AM
Also, while you can shed a tear over baseball, think of how far tennis has fallen.

05-13-2002, 10:56 AM
baseball is the great game..but football is a more popular sport to watch in the U.S.

much of this has to do with MLB's numerous labor issues in the past 21 years