Sports serve to provide entertainment and a bonding opportunity between fans of a similar team and of a particular sport in society.
And the interest is also for the casual observer as well. People will go to sporting events not because they are into the game or the teams playing but as a social activity to participate in and be a part of; it has become a phenomenon in society.
And some sports are a more significant part of American society than others.
For example, the most popular sports in America:
- Others: MMA, Nascar, Tennis, Lacrosse
Football is hands down the most popular sport in America. From early September through early January, the college football season runs, and from early September through the first week of February, the NFL operates its season.
The highlight of the entire Football calendar is the NCAA college playoffs and the Super Bowl. Although the Super Bowl is iconic to Americana. It is the most-watched single event of the whole year. In 2022, for example, more than 98 million TVs were set to watch the Super Bowl.
The game has become eclipsed by the event surrounding the game itself. There’s Super Bowl week leading up to the game itself, and the half-time show is highly anticipated. In addition, it’s known that the day after the Super Bowl is the single-largest “sick day” of the entire working calendar year.
People celebrate the Super Bowl as an event to be a part of; long after the game is forgotten, people talk about the half-time entertainment and the commercials that become the centerpiece of people watching the game.
There are two basketball seasons that capture the American public’s attention. There is the NBA season that runs from October through May, concluding with the NBA finals.
And then there’s the college season. For most of the college basketball season, casual fans and society barely take notice. But come to the NCAA Championship Tournament, known as March Madness, and the country takes notice.
People of all interests and stripes participate and have some interest in the two-week championship tournament, either participating in office pools or betting on the games themselves.
With the drama and pageantry that is collegiate athletics, deciphering March Madness betting lines can be a little tricky to the novice player, so most people prefer playing office pools and brackets online, where the objective is simply to select the winners of each head-to-head matchup through to the championship tournament.
Trailing both the NFL and basketball is “America’s Pastime,” that is, baseball.
Played in the warmer spring and summer months, people enjoy the slow pace of the game, where the event itself is to relax and have moments of spontaneous thrills.
Of all the major sports in the US, hockey trails the other three but is quickly gaining popularity.
Played in the winter months, the transition and counter-attack action makes for exciting moments, and the collisions of the players jockeying for the puck create an added dimension of excitement for the fans.
Once the fastest-growing youth sport in America, soccer has grown in popularity both in National Team play, like at the World Cup, and in the professional ranks.
People in the US like to engage in various sports, from the growing interest in Pickleball and Cornhole to combat sports like boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
While still a little niche as a sport, MMA is growing exponentially, with adherents reaching fanatical devotion to the sport. As opposed to many major sports, MMA is one that participates year-round, making it accessible for casual fans to, hardcore fans, and people that like to wager on MMA.
Golf is on TV more than other niche sports and has a massive following of fans.
The peak of popularity was when Tiger Woods played at his pinnacle, but the viewing has dipped.
Gone are the years of McEnroe, Billie Jean King, Serena, and Venus Williams.
The next great superstar is yet to create the draw to the game that these icons did, and tennis’s popularity has dipped accordingly.
More players are joining to play Lacrosse than almost any other youth sport in the country, and the college and professional games are starting to grow in popularity and attendance.
No matter the interest, sports let people bond and have entertainment that transcends the game or contests.
For example, years after the conclusion of a Super Bowl, people will talk about the things surrounding the game, like the half-time entertainment or the viewing party they were at, and will often forget the game itself, proving that sports serve a unique role in America.
Featured Image: Wyoming Department of Health