Americans love their favorite sports. We love watching games on television and in person, and we go out of the way to spark up conversations and, at times, arguments with strangers on the Internet all because of the “hot takes” that we have about the sports world. With casual fans in the United States embracing European soccer leagues more and more with each year, those who live to watch live sports during their weekends can now do so for just about every minute that they are awake for the majority of the year. Throw in high-definition television, and it is reasonable to say that US sports fans have never had it better.
There are, of course, only so many hours in a day, and only so many of those precious moments can be dedicated to following sports for those of us who are not able to sit in front of television sets for the majority of any given day. Because of that, the likes of women's golf, women's professional basketball and women's college basketball, did not manage to crack the list of the top-14 favorite sports among American adults in 2014. Five different sports all begin the list by having the lowest popularity of those who were asked.
It should come as no surprise to anybody who follows American sports that pro football was once again far and away the king in 2014. Men's soccer is tied for fifth on the list, although that likely won't again be the case until 2018 for an obvious reason. While baseball has fallen in popularity since a study that was conducted back in 1985, the supposed death of the sport in the United States has, to date, been greatly exaggerated. Major League Baseball needs to find a way to speed up games, but the league does have young stars who are entertaining to watch and to follow.
Info from Sports Business Daily
14 Men's Tennis/Swimming/Horse Racing/Bowling/Women's Soccer: All 1%
13 Not sure: Less than 0.5% in 1985 - 2% in 2014
12 Women's tennis: N/A in 1985 - 2% in 2014
11 Track and field: 2% in 1985 - 2% in 2014
10 Men's golf: 3% in 1985 - 2% in 2014
9 Boxing: N/A in 1985 - 2% in 2014
8 Men's college basketball: 6% in 1985 - 3% in 2014
7 Men's soccer: 3% in 1985 - 6% in 2014
6 Ice Hockey: 2% in 1985 - 6% in 2014
5 Men's pro basketball: 6% in 1985 - 6% in 2014
4 Auto Racing: 5% in 1985 - 7% in 2014
3 College Football: 10% in 1985 - 10% in 2014
2 Baseball: 23% in 1985 - 16% in 2014
1 Pro Football: 24% in 1985 - 32% in 2014
2014 was a rough year for the National Football League in that the league's reputation and its image took multiple deserved blows. The NFL also made a boatload of money, and the league continues to be responsible for the highest ratings draws for live sports programming in the United States. No sporting event in all of North America comes close to rivaling the Super Bowl as it pertains to coverage, ratings and overall spectacle. Fantasy football and the genius that is the NFL RedZone channel only adds to why so many in the United States love pro football more so than any other sport.
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