Sports are huge in common society and I see no sign of slowing down. Athletes are now mainstream celebrities who get invited to the White House, award shows, and make millions per shoe they wear. Right now the sports ranking in popularity in the US are 1) NFL 2) MLB 3) College Football 4) NASCAR (seriously Americans?) 5) NBA . Soccer is 7th but is by far #1 in the rest of the world. I think we will see a shift in these rankings in the future and will change how the US views sports.
Football Will Start to Decline
Now we all love football and come together every weekend to celebrate football in many shapes and forms. We play fantasy football (my team hasn’t won a game yet), pay tons of money for tickets, and even play pickup games in our backyard. The issue with this popularity is that less and less kids are playing football in high school. Due to the issue of long term injuries and frequent concussions, kids are picking up sports with less contact and less risk. I say we will have many years of football left, especially if some drastic changes to player safety comes, but I expect that there will be decline in popularity. More players choosing different sports will usher in a new wave of fans for other sports, and unless the NFL can assure a much lower concussion risk, I see football lowering in popularity whether we like it or not.
Soccer Is on the Rise
The USA Men’s and Women’s
soccer teams are growing in popularity and overall country support. This being paralleled by the fact that our teams are competitive against most other countries, makes soccer a sport on the rise. As I walk around my college campus I am seeing more soccer jerseys (US and International) than I ever have. The bright blue striped Messi jersey is a staple in sports culture and keeps growing in popularity. With the lower contact nature of the sport, and overall increase in exposure, kids are playing soccer. More and more great leagues, like we saw with pee wee football, are sprouting up, and talent is continuing to grow. Now I understand that Soccer probably wo
n’t be #1 any time soon but I definitely can see the ball rolling in
that direction. As the new wave of young national talent comes in, expect to see a sharp rise in viewership, actually number of athletes, and jersey sales in the world of soccer.
NASCAR- I can’t believe I have to talk about this
NASCAR isn’t even a sport. I would consider it a hobby. I find it insane that each car isn’t equal, and that’s what makes it a hobby. With each car being different, skill is thrown out of the window. Ever since I was little I expected this “sport” to die out soon due to people becoming intelligent about it, but seeing how this election is going, it might be here for a while. I would like to see the cars be standardized and also cut back on emissions without losing MPH. When you can do that NASCAR, call me and I’ll reconsider my take on you.
NBA is Here to Stay
I would argue that the best sport right now is basketball. But that might only be because I am compared to Lebron on the hardwood. See epic image on right. Basketball can be played anywhere with very little equipment. I can count at least 8 courts within a 5-mile radius of my house which shows how much access people have to the game. Any individual can work on their own skills just by enjoying themselves in pickup games. NBA stars are massive and show just how big time the sport is. Lebron is a billionaire, Curry is the spokesperson for water. They all date models. Mike Conley got the biggest NBA deal ever? I mean seriously Mike Conley is probably ranking somewhere from 40-50 on my big board of best players and he just made a killing. Basketball is HUUUUUGEEE and will not be going anywhere.