The NFL Declares Its Dominance Over Baseball

So we were perusing the brief that the NFL submitted to the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the question of whether the First State will be allowing sports betting later this year, and we noticed on the very first page a statement that, given our love of football and general disdain for baseball, we really, really like.
“While baseball is known as ‘America’s national pastime,'” the NFL explains, “football is the most popular sport in the United States.”
It’s perfect.  A concise, professional, sit-down-and-shut-up to a game designed for a period in history when, after finishing the farm work by 10:00 a.m., we sat around all day with nothing to do.  So we found a place where we could sit around with a bunch of other people who had nothing to do — the ballpark.
But, then, technology intervened.  And with each development, from radio to television to the Internet to wireless hand-held devices (from Sprint) that allow access to radio and television and the Internet from anywhere at any time, our national psyche meshes even better with a game requiring intense focus on the action in five-second chunks, while then allowing us to focus on something else for the intervening 40 seconds.
“According to the Harris Poll,” the brief states, “the National Football League moved ahead of Major League Baseball as the fans’ favorite in 1965.  Football has remained America’s favorite sport ever since.”
We agree, and for some reason it’s great to see the NFL acknowledge those facts in writing.
So, after more than four decades of dominating the sports scene in the U.S., is it really any surprise that the NFL is now setting its sights on challenging the dominant sport in most other countries?

59 responses to “The NFL Declares Its Dominance Over Baseball

  1. I remember vividly my old man telling me the same thing back in 65….After a diaper change and a bottle……..i was 5 months old……..If the NFL needs a reference…….I’m still alive……….

  2. mitchrapp says:
    May 16th, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    Does it really matter?
    Football isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s much more serious than that.

  3. Good luck NFL, because in Europe Football means kicking a ball 95% of the time and not running or throwing a ball 95% of the time. They think our version of football is a joke.

  4. I love football! The NFL anyway. But your team only plays once a week. I can watch my Tigers almost every day from April til Sep. Hey, its not Golf or bowling guys. Chess meets athletics!

  5. I enjoy playing baseball but I never could get in to watching it…..Football & Basketball I can’t even really get in to hockey….

  6. I will guarantee right now, that if the NFL think they will ever challenge the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, or the Bundesliga in terms of popularity, they should probably send Big Roger for a lobotomy, as his brain has been interfered with.
    I love the NFL, and I sort of love soccer, in that way that I am inexorably tied to it because of my heritage and culture, and there is little better than the atmosphere and sense of occasion that applies at all levels of the sport. It’s a thousand times more accessible, and unlike the NFL, you are rarely more than 30-40 miles from a football league club in England.
    I wish the NFL would realise that we are in a minority over here, and that just showing people a ‘product’ will not encourage mass interest in this game.

  7. Who the hell cares? It’s personal preference. If Baseball were 10 times bigger than the NFL it wouldn’t make me think anything less of the NFL or anything more of baseball. It doesn’t matter.

  8. Soccer is probably rivaling baseball for 3 most popular sport in the states.
    If i wanna watch roid-heads swing bats i’ll watch the WWE

  9. I am enjoying baseball now. My Rangers are finally playing decent. WHo really Gives a S which is better? That’s like arguing over whos car is faster. In the end, as long as you like your car, that is all that matters and the other guy can suck it. (You Florio, being the other guy. Enjoy West Criminal University Football)

  10. “…a game designed for a period in history when, after finishing all the farm work by 10:00 a.m., we sat around all day with nothing to do. So we found a place where we could sit around with a bunch of other people who had nothing to do — the ballpark.”
    Wow, that is great!!

  11. Florio, your outright hatred for baseball is sickening and unnecessary. Just because Florio, Jr. is weak and unathletic and can’t hit a baseball doesn’t mean you have to try and cover that up by posting this kind of bullshit. Stick to making assinine comments about the NFL.

  12. I try to like baseball, but MLB sure has a lot of stupid broadcast rules that make it hard for me to watch my local team.
    Doesn’t seem like the best marketing strategy, but hey, whatever.

  13. So it’s Florio’s fault that the NFL is more popular than MLB? We all know that Mike is a bastion of impartiality and a flagon of sodium amytal. The truth literally gallops from his fingers.
    It’s just us out here in our own little fiefdoms of our own truths and facts that get things all mish-mashed.
    Who says Mike hates baseball? I just read that the NFL is more popular than MLB. I can’t see that Florio rigged the Harris Polls since the 1960s. He’s welcome to agree with statistics if he chooses.
    Why do you hate football so much? Using your logic, you hate football because you defend baseball. How much sense does that make?

  14. “…a game designed for a period in history when, after finishing all the farm work by 10:00 a.m., we sat around all day with nothing to do. So we found a place where we could sit around with a bunch of other people who had nothing to do — the ballpark.”
    I’m going to assume that that remark was completely tongue-in-cheek, Mike, because my two uncles owned a farm many years ago and at 10 o’clock in the morning they were just finishing up with the morning milking. After that it was it was nonstop work around the old homestead until it was time for the evening milking.
    Second, Shaun Lowrie stated it much more eloquently than I could have ever done. Soccer is king in Europe and American football will never be more than a curiosity over there.

  15. This is really one of the most useless posts I have seen on this site.
    I love football as much if not more than the next guy, and September thru early February is the best time of the year. But in from April thru September, you’ll find me watching baseball on tv or at the ballpark.
    Once Labor Day rolls around, its time to switch gears to football, and follow baseball if my team(s) are still in it or if its still interesting. Since the seasons only slightly overlap, its not really a big deal. The sports are apples and oranges.. Baseball is more leisurely and suits the summer months.
    Seriously, give it a rest with your irrational vitriol towards baseball. A majority of Americans, including myself, would agree that the NFL is the most popular league, but there also is a place for baseball in the summer months, whether you like it or not. The fact that teams can draw 40,000 a night for 81 games a year speaks to that.
    Really, why does it even matter? Why do you sound so insecure about football’s status vis-a-vis baseball? Seriously man…check yourself.

  16. ELaw6- “if i wanted to watch roid heads swing a bat, i’d watch WWE”
    lol that was great man have to give it to you

  17. And who really cares about the popularity of Football in Europe? I know they call Soccer Football. Soccer “over Here” is only a curiosity, if you ask me. Sure, it’s legit and growing. But I don’t think you or I will be alive when Soccer overtakes Football as most popular sport in America. Unless you’re typing this from your Blackberry in your High Chair waiting for your oatmeal to cool.

  18. You know, I really like all the information you pass along…but I’m sick of reading 1/3 of the stories on here, about your personal opinions that have nothing to do with anything. Kurt Warner for instance. Anytime he speaks, you break it down and write a 5 page essay on how he’s a phony. You don’t like baseball? Fine. You don’t have to find some random quote and make a big write up about it.

  19. Dear Mike,
    Seriously stop ripping baseball. I care just as much about baseball as football, you should realy consider ripping the NBA, where a paper cut causes the players to sit out, but in the other sports players are banged up and keep playing. I mean baseball boss advertises on your site. Keep your opinion to yourself on this one, it cant be good for business.

  20. Soccer will never take over in America because of one simple fact. It is the same fact which keeps hockey from being anything more than a curiosity: ties. The vast majority of Americans DESPISE games that end in ties. It is baseball’s one redeeming quality and it is the reason that college football found a resurgence in the ’90s (after they added overtime) and why the NFL has continued to grow each year.
    Football has another advantage over the other sports: (current) lack of saturation. I’m a busy guy. I don’t have time to follow 162 games much less 82 games of the MLB and NBA seasons. A few games on the weekend is about all the time I have and that builds interest in the game.
    IMO, the sport that ought to be great but never will be is hockey. Any sport where you get to go real fast, carry a big stick and hit people has the makings for a great sport. The ties and lack of scoring ruin it however.
    Lastly, football as some other significant systemic advantages over soccer, basketball, hockey and baseball. Football has a much better mix of strategy and tactics. I define tactics as player on player gamesmanship as opposed to strategic game planning. Basketball is almost all tactics until the finals. Baseball is tactics only between two players: the pitcher and hitter. Hockey is mostly tactics with some strategy and soccer is pretty much just like hockey (how about that) except on grass instead of ice (and you don’t get to hit as often and you don’t get to carry a big stick). As a game football has better balance and is more sophisticated and yet still easily accessible than any of its competitors.

  21. “…after finishing the farm work by 10:00 a.m., we sat around all day with nothing to do.”
    Maybe I’m the only one here born on a farm, but you’re f-king ignorant, Florio.

  22. the nfl dominates farming too. farmers are wimps. with their overalls and family values. get a grip wimps. watch some nfl. DAWG.

  23. 24seven. Hockey games don’t end in ties. They goto overtime, then shootout. a winner is declared, and the loser still receives one point whereas the winner receives 2.

  24. Baseball can be just as intense as football, and it’s harder to play
    why did florio get all gay about that one comment anyway

  25. Its funny, I loved baseball growing up more than anything. I watched all of the sports though. But as I got older, I gravitated towards football. Hockey was always my number 2 though. But I still love baseball and still have many conversations about baseball with friends, family, and coworkers. We talk football too – the difference is that it is all year round. I am not sure why it has to be one or the other.
    Florio, would you use up all of your competitive juices watching baseball and be spent by the time football season rolls around.
    Say what you want but the NFL is arogant. They treat their fans like shit because of the popularity. They will not be challenged by any sport for some time but once you get that attitude, you can be knocked off.
    Also, talking about roidheads swinging a bat? Come on, are you saying that a lot of NFLers are not using? Mike Golic used for Christ sake and all he did was stand there and wait for Reggie and Jerome to chase people at him while he was uncovered.

  26. This is a site dedicated to football news and Seinfeld references, not baseball. In other news, Brett Favre’s daughter was seen coloring with a purple crayon. Is this another sign that Brett Favre will sign with the Vikings?

  27. Baseball blows. This post only verifies what the rest of the intelligent portion of the country already knew. Football is the manliest team sport on the planet, and 3rd manliest after Boxing and MMA.

  28. The NFL and people like Florio, are like that boyfriend who constantly needs to have his girlfriend (America) tell him that she’s the best sex she ever had, and how bad a lay her former boyfriend (MLB) was.
    Get over it. Enjoy football, if you dont like baseball, you dont have to justify your choice. 90% of America enjoys both games and doesnt feel the need to get into your “my favorite sports could kick you favorite sport’s ass” debate.

  29. My opinion, I love baseball and football both. How can you go wrong with either sport? However, basketball, hockey, and soccer all suck. All three are as boring as watching paint dry, especially basketball.

  30. Many more people play baseball growing up than football. It is harder to make it into MLB because it is a harder sport to play requiring more skill, coordination and concentration. Just because you have the attention span of a gnat, don’t smarm baseball.
    I played competitive softball with a famous, All-Pro DL for SEA (who I won’t discredit by naming him) and he rode pine. He couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag or field. He got mad and left in the middle of a game, we didn’t call him back.

  31. Clutch baseball in the playoffs is MUCH more exciting than the most exciting football game. I still remember the postion I was sitting in when Reggie went deep 3 times in 1997 WS

  32. Baseball is the most geniously designed sport with unique rules (defense holds the ball, no clock) and incredibly precise dimensions that allow a runner to narrowly beat out a ground ball on a slow enough hit to SS etc.
    You, and most of America is hung on the slam dunk and TD dance. The “quick fix”. If you have a brain, you can enjoy baseball.

  33. We all already knew that football was the most popular sport in this country. I like baseball too, its just a matter of preference I guess

  34. Baseball is boring, stultifyingly boring.
    Most of the time, here’s what happens in a typical baseball game: The pitcher is scratching his genitals, or adjusting his pants, or shrugging his shoulder, or shaking his head at the catcher, or digging a hole in the dirt, or going through any number of inane and tiresome pre-pitch rituals. The catcher is squatting behind the plate giving hand signals from his crotch. The batter is meandering around home plate, or, if he actually stays put, he spends most of his time waving the bat around or kicking his own hole in the dirt. The in- and out-fielders are just standing there, looking around, waiting for something to happen. The dugouts are full of players and coaches with their eyes glazed-over from the boredom, eating sunflower seeds, or chewing tobacco, or spitting, or talking about the stock market or anything but baseball.
    Unlike football, basketball, hockey or soccer players, who have to have strength, endurance, quickness, agility, technique, etc. — that is, ATHLETIC skills — many baseball players are over-weight and out-of-shape. Just take a look at David Wells, a pitcher who, until recently, was one of the top players in the game. Have you seen the gut on the guy? Wells lives on beer and junk food (and it shows), but why shouldn’t he? He doesn’t really need to do anything that requires any true athletic conditioning or skill.
    Some fans marvel at the “strategy” of the game. I’ve got news for them. Mowing the lawn takes more strategy than a baseball game. If strategy is what they’re looking for, they’d find oodles of strategy in a game of chess, which has a tempo only slightly slower than a baseball game.
    That is why there’s so much emphasis on baseball statistics — to distract the fans from the ho-hum events on the field. One baseball fan might ask another: “Which switch-hitter had the most doubles in August during a strike-shortened season in replacement of the regular third baseman when hitting left-handed in night games?” I have a better, and more important, question: Who cares?
    Lastly, to make matters even worse, the exhorbitant salaries being paid to players have made them more disinterested than ever, and that makes the game even more tiresome. But who can blame the players? Who would want to spend an afternoon playing a boring game of baseball when, with another $100,000 in the bank for that game, they could be self-indulging themselves with liquor, drugs and women, popping steroids and pumping iron at the gym, acting like arrogant a**holes to fans, walking around as if they peed eau de cologne, or otherwise behaving badly?

  35. brianlion says:
    May 16th, 2009 at 11:20 pm
    The NFL and people like Florio, are like that boyfriend who constantly needs to have his girlfriend (America) tell him that she’s the best sex she ever had, and how bad a lay her former boyfriend (MLB) was.
    Get over it. Enjoy football, if you dont like baseball, you dont have to justify your choice. 90% of America enjoys both games and doesnt feel the need to get into your “my favorite sports could kick you favorite sport’s ass” debate.
    Well done. I love baseball but someone this is the best:

  36. “According to the Harris Poll,” the brief states, “the National Football League moved ahead of Major League Baseball as the fans’ favorite in 1965. Football has remained America’s favorite sport ever since.” – Except the television ratings and attendance figures don’t really bear that out.

  37. Good for the NFL for stating the obvious. The real question is will they ever acknowledge the only reason football is as popular as it is, is because of gambling/fantasy football? I love how they say it officially passed the MLB back in 1965 like their was some poll done. Here’s another reason football is more popular today, society as a whole has become dumber and slower. Football’s simple and violent approach is much more appealing to the ADD generation. So the rest of you who like Florio “hate” baseball know the real reason why.

  38. Since 1968, the highest television rating for the World Series is 32.8 in 1980 ( That same year, the Super Bowl had a 67 rating ( The NFL’s worst Super Bowl rating is Super Bowl I at 36. In other words, the Super Bowl’s worst year is still better than baseball’s best year.
    Taking the college championship since 1991 (when they founded the POS that is the BCS), it has never gotten lower than a 11 and averages in the high teens to low twenties ( In 2008, the World Series got a 8.4 rating. That means it barely beat out the Orange, Fiesta and Sugar Bowls ( Frankly, if college would put in a playoff, then it would regularly trounce the World Series.
    Beyond last year’s pathetic 8.4, look at the trend. Each year, baseball bests the previous year’s low record. Baseball is definitely dying.

  39. TorVikeFan, I don’t want to diss baseball, but that was seriously one of the best posts I’ve ever read on this site…LOL!

  40. the fact florio and the nfl (and they are one and the same since florio carries the nfl’s water, he has lost all credibility with posts like this) have to take the time to puff their chests to proclaim how much better the nfl is than mlb is so incredibly lame it’s not even funny. also, at its highest level, baseball is SO MUCH BETTER than football it’s not even funny. give me an elimination baseball playoff game any day of the week other than a lame nfl two minute drill where we get to see coaches botch time management and replays that take 20 minutes and terrible pass interference calls and thugs celebrating in the endzone. i love the nfl as much as the next guy but baseball is the best sport.

  41. Thinking that baseball is a better sport is a perfectly fine sentiment. Just know that the majority of Americans disagree with you.

  42. Florio says, “after finishing the farm work by 10:00AM”
    Sounds like Florio has never done a bit of work in his life.

  43. wow, all the baseball fans came out of the woodwork for this one.
    i don’t care for baseball personally. but i don’t feel the need to trash it. i just don’t visit or whatever the equivalent site is. of course, that goes for all the baseball lovers that apparently come here to trash football too. stay away please.
    so congrats to the NFL. maybe to celebrate they can stick their nose in Delaware’s law-passing abilities or fire hundreds of people and blame it on the economy. 🙄
    love the game, hate the NFL.

  44. elroyhirsch says:
    May 17th, 2009 at 10:44 am
    2008 paid attendance NFL – 17,469,636, MLB 79,502,524.
    Statistics should not be used by idiots. There were about 2,730 MLB games played in the regular season in 2008. There were 256 regular season football games. More than 10 times as many MLB games.
    So if we break down your attendance numbers by regular season game (which I know is not exactly correct), we get this:
    Average attendance at NFL games: 68,240
    Average attendance at MLB games: 29,121
    Now if you pile on the TV ratings you get the full picture. Football beats baseball hands down in terms of popularity in this country.
    Great. So what’s it prove? Nothing. Why’s this posted on PFT? So Mike feels better about himself than baseball fans? Or just to whip a bunch of drooling idiots into a my-favorite-sport-is-better-than-yours frenzy?
    I love football and can’t stand baseball. So what?

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