Help me understand – best product or best social event?

By Shayne Combs,
August 28, 2013

I like sports…okay that is like saying I like to eat a little which is somewhat of an understatement. I love sports. I love all sports. I love watching sports. I loved playing sports growing up, and I still love playing most sports that I am capable of playing without injuring my fat, old body.

To use another food reference, I enjoy steak, occasional tenderloin, or perhaps some ribs, but my favorite is a big plate of pasta with applesauce on top. What is the best food? We all have our favorites. As for sports, my pasta is basketball, baseball, or golf; however, I enjoy them all. Which is the best? Well, that is for each person to decide.

If we go on popular opinion in today’s time, it is obvious that football has taken the lead. The television schedule, which is clearly striving for ratings, tells us all we need to know about the popularity of college and professional football. This same popularity is probably true in high school, but maybe not to the same extent. Some areas love them some football, whereas, other school districts offer football as something to do until basketball starts. Even then football Friday night in the fall appears to be a popular social event.

This is where my question enters the equation: best product or best social event? Do more people watch football compared to other sports because they love the game? Do they love the physicality, the offensive schemes, or the one-on-one battles on the outside? In other words, do they love watching the game?

I believe it is the convenience, the social aspects, and the outside entertainment that truly attracts more people. The schedule is easy to follow…high school Friday, college Saturday, NFL Sunday with only a few exceptions. Every community knows that at 7:30 every Friday night the local team plays home or away. There will only be 10 games total, so if I am able to make all the home games and a couple of away games that should make me a true fan.

With a week to wait the anticipation – even for the common fan – builds day-by-day. Football marks the end of the work week. Ohio State can be playing Buffalo and people all over the state are asking: Where you going to watch The Game? The tailgating starts hours before with food and drinks, and no hurry if you do not get to your seat before kickoff.

Finally, the outside entertainment is the final push. Most sports fans are not going to watch two teams with losing records play on Monday Night Football in November, but give someone a nine-point deficit with his fantasy running back in the game and that person will be glued to the television from start to finish regardless of what time they have to be at work tomorrow.

Now, I do like watching football. I am not saying I would sit down and watch Ball State and Tulsa on a Thursday night, but I do like watching the game. The problem in this debate is the outliers that must be eliminated from the discussion. If a person has a passion for a particular team or sport, then you probably are not the ones to fairly answer this question.

For example, not many true fans will sit and stress over every pitch of the Reds for 162 games like me. I understand that a lot of people view baseball as slow and boring because they do not understand situations. Some people say they cannot watch a sport where every game is not a “must” win. I am not a fair person to judge baseball or the Reds because I am too passionate about the sport and the team to give an objective opinion.

Well I better conclude this article because the final week of the NFL preseason is starting. I am sure all of you will stop reading to go watch – especially if you are in a preseason fantasy league.

JOIN ME ON SVC SPORTS TALK – call 740-569-3254 and let me know your opinion on this topic

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