|Source: The Washington Post|
I'm a big fan of baseball myself. Along with football, baseball is the only sport that I can follow for the entire season and actually still enjoy watching regular season games. Not just with the Orioles who I grew up with in Bethesda, Maryland and still consider them to be my number one team even with the Nationals now in Washington. And the Nationals who brought Major League Baseball back to the nation's capital where it's always belonged.
I just don't get the same satisfaction from the NBA or NHL with those two leagues today and I'm only interested in those leagues as far as how the Wizards and Capitals are doing as far as their playoff contention and to a certain extent their playoff games. I don't feel the need to watch the NBA Finals or Stanley Cup Finals anymore. It's just not that interesting for me anymore. That just might be me growing up and having better things to do in June now, or the quality of those leagues especially the NBA, not being what they were in the 1980s when I was a big fan of the NBA especially.
I'm not a fan of the current Roger Goodell and this league really is his league and he now owns it. It's a league where defense is discouraged, where the average playoff team probably throws the ball 60% of the time, because the NFL wants scoring and high-octane offense over everything else. Where playoff teams only have enough defense in order to get key stops towards the end of games. Where certain franchises are marketed and weighed more than others, because they're popular and the NFL believes if those markets are promoted more and better than others, that will somehow make the NFL more profitable. And of course I'm thinking of a certain franchise that plays near Boston, but they're other franchises that the NFL sees as the faces of the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and perhaps others. The NFL is now a celebrity oriented entertainment corporation, instead of a major pro sports league.
But where I disagree with George Will, has to do with the MLB becoming more popular than the NFL at some point. Even with the ratings and attendance down in the NFL ( as they should be ) Americans and this goes back to the early 1970s or so, prefer sports where there's a lot of action instead of seeing a lot of guys standing around on a field waiting for something to happen. Baseball like pool, is very interesting even with the delays in between action on the field.
But the reason why the NHL is a major pro sports league in America now is because of the constant fast paced action on the field. The hard-hitting and seeing these athletes do some incredible things on skates and on the ice. Even with the dangers of football, the only thing that I can see bringing that league down to the point where it's no longer the most popular league in America ( if not the world ) is Roger Goodell himself.
And Americans get fed up with the corporate celebrity driven entertainment oriented format of the league. With celebrities being taken seriously as real NFL analysts ( to use as an example ) and Americans decide that they want their sports to just be their sports and their entertainment and celebrity news, to just be those things. But not all combined in the same pot. Which is what you get with the NFL today.