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Changing Landscape of American Sports

Changing Landscape of American Sports


Changing Landscape of American Sports

by Denise I Smithson

The landscape of American sports is one which is in a near-constant state of flux. Sports which ruled the roost a hundred years ago have largely fallen out of favor and other sports have taken their place. It doesn't take an entire century for this to happen of course; even in the space of a few years, the tastes of sports fans can make dramatic shifts. There are many reasons why sports wax and wane in popularity; a charismatic star, a memorable event or just plain luck.

A hundred years ago, baseball, horseracing and boxing were the three most popular sports in the US. While baseball is still one of the most popular sports, it seems to have lost its place as "America's pastime". Baseball now has to compete with newer, faster paced sports which make for more entertaining television viewing.

Boxing's popularity tends to go in cycles, with an increase in its popularity from the 1960s to the 1980, largely on the fame of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. Boxing is now on the decline, battling a serious image problem and a shrinking television audience.

Few sports have seen their fortunes decline more so than horseracing. Once one of the most popular sports, it is now only something people notice during the Triple Crown Races. After these races, the sport is off the radar of most fans until the following season.

Other sports that have fallen off the cliff include tennis, golf and hockey. Hockey had a great expansion led in part by Wayne Gretzky. However, the sport now reaches a very regional grouping of fans. There are diehard fans in pockets of the country close to established franchise, but the sport is not popular throughout the country as a whole. Tennis fails to reach today's youth whatsoever, and the only time golf captures the focus of the public is when Tiger Woods is playing at his best.

The examples in boxing, hockey and golf show how much that one player or one person can change the entire course of a sport, for better or for worse. Another example of this is one of the new popular sports in America, mixed martial arts.

MMA was at first thought to be entirely too violent to ever win over fans. However, the very popular UFC reality show managed to change the minds of many with its series-ending fight. This single match struck a chord with many viewers and sent the popularity of the sport soaring.

If there are any lessons to be learned from the past, it's that trying to predict what the landscape of American sports will look like a century, even a few decades hence is a fool's errand. While NFL football may seem invulnerable, people thought the same thing about baseball not long ago. In American sports, nothing but change is predictable.

About the Author:
Nothing But Sports is a website dedicated to everything about sports providing millions of internet sports enthusiasts with great information and resources about sports. Visit us today at http://nothingbutsports.info.

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