Chawls

Which sport is most likely to dethrone the NFL atop the North American sports throne?

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NBA: If Adam Silver can abolish the NBA Lottery and make some quality changes that will benefit the sport, the NBA could rise tremendously.

MLS: Soccer isn't the world's most popular sport for nothing and with changing demographics, I could see the MLS rise exponentially.

MLB: America's Pastime will rise again with a new commissioner and if he does some great things, it will reclaim the throne for a while.

I don't see the NBA rising, but I think you are on point for the other two. I think if MLB can find a way to speed the game up it will rise again.

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ncaa football. No question. IMO it's better then the nfl anyways

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if the NFL continues to make missteps and possibly alienate or divert from the path of their fanbase's social consciousness, then which sport is in the best position to take advantage?

The answer is the NFL. The people running the league are idiots, but they aren't idiots. If this recent run of scandals does manage to make a significant dent in the popularity of the NFL, what will happen is the NFL will go into full "clean up mode." A huge production will be made out of firing people. NFL Campaigns against everything that's wrong with the NFL will begin with great fanfare. The only players drafted will be players of the "highest character." The media will go wild with stories covering "the genius of the movement to fix the NFL." And so on... The game will be "repaired" and the NFL will shoot straight back to the top; a spot from which it never truly left.

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The only answer here is either the NFL continues to dominate, or College Football takes over.

I realize that soccer is growing more popular and is truly "the world's sport," but you know who couldn't give two f***ks? America. We freaking use the Imperial system while everyone else except Liberia (a nation we helped found) is using the Metric System. Americans LOVE to be stupidly independent and unique. It's in our blood.

Even if you blew up the NFL and College Football, we'd probably just revive the AFL or CFL America again because we love football too much. Beyond that, I'd say MLB only because of it's history as America's national past time, but even baseball and the NBA have lost the wide spread appeal they once commanded. Right or wrong, the best thing to happen to baseball from a viewership standpoint was steroids. Nothing was more fun than watching McGuire and Sosa duke it out for Maris' home run record.

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College football won't take over. There aren't enoug big programs in big cities (so the whole event of going to a game and tailgating aspect of it isn't there), and in at leas a big part of the country, people root for their alma mater and don't really care about "college football" as a sport. It's obviously huge in the south and in other pockets, but I really don't think that your averge Giants fan just needs the "sport" of football so bad that he's going to start following either Rutgers or some smaller school that's local to him. I know that your average Eagles fan wouldn't follow Temple (unless they went there, and even then) and certainly wouldn't care about Villanova. There's a lot of Penn State alums, but there's an equal amount of Penn State haters. Penn is ivy league and inaccessible to "average joe", and I don't evenknow if St. Joes or LaSalle still have programs.

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The NBA will continue to rise on the world stage. Basketball is second only to soccer, correct? In-season side tourneys and their own World Cup/WBC along with a shortening of the regular season (and hopefully first-round) will help ease the current 82-game monotony, even if it seems like blasphemy now. The NBA is going to do what the NFL wished it could do worldwide. But this discussion seems U.S.- or North American-centric, so...

One thing that will likely come out of this is the end of the NFL's free pass from media. Baseball writers ignored steroids and got burned, and people have wondered ever since why it's a scarlet letter in MLB but virtually ignored in NFL. Now Peter King and Chris Mortensen have been caught reporting stuff about Ray Rice in July that reads now like NFL PR.

Either new reporters will rise or some of these existing insiders will grow a backbone and stop letting TMZ scoop them.

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I think Silver will have the NBA well-positioned to capitalize on the NFL's eventual and inevitable decline.

The problem is basketball is not nearly as exciting and the season is way too long, plus everybody makes the playoffs making a regular season game hum drum.

The NFL's popularity is based on a few things.

First football is exciting and thrilling yadda yadda yadda.

What makes it so popular is the season is short 16 games, going any more would be a mistake. This makes every game important and adds to the intensity. Less than half the league makes the playoffs, so getting one of six spots is a season long battle.

NBA, NHL, MLB they have games nearly every night you miss a game here or there you lose a game here or there its just a game.

Most NFL games are on Sunday its a day off you can watch it for 12 hours and be entertained all day. Especially watching the red zone.

Betting on football is easy and straight forward, compared to the NBA, NHL and MLB.

The NBA game has dead moments runs here and there and it is not until the last five minutes does the game really get interesting. The NHL may be able to open a door here, but they cant seem to do anything right marketing wise. The NHL is tight and exciting through out and every goal is crucial. MLB is the same but its too serene as pastoral to ever truly regain the top spot.

Although it will never happen, if I had to choose, it would be the NBA. The Runner-up would be Nascar (even though I don't think it sould be on the list, and it's not part of the big four)

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I can see the points in soccer's favour, but I just can't see it. It's been the "sport of the future" in the US since the 1950s. It needs to actually become a major force before I can believe in its ability to be one.

I'll go with MLB, if they can find a way to speed the games up.

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Soccer only takes over once the apocalypse takes place because the unified destroyed and ashen world would only be able to replicate the most cost-effective sport.

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I think Silver will have the NBA well-positioned to capitalize on the NFL's eventual and inevitable decline.

Who is the next player after LeBron (or the next after the next)? It won't be Durant, possibly Anthony Davis.

LeBron's only 29 years old and still in his prime, isn't a bit too early to be worrying about who the next big name will be?

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College football won't take over. There aren't enoug big programs in big cities (so the whole event of going to a game and tailgating aspect of it isn't there), and in at leas a big part of the country, people root for their alma mater and don't really care about "college football" as a sport. It's obviously huge in the south and in other pockets, but I really don't think that your averge Giants fan just needs the "sport" of football so bad that he's going to start following either Rutgers or some smaller school that's local to him. I know that your average Eagles fan wouldn't follow Temple (unless they went there, and even then) and certainly wouldn't care about Villanova. There's a lot of Penn State alums, but there's an equal amount of Penn State haters. Penn is ivy league and inaccessible to "average joe", and I don't evenknow if St. Joes or LaSalle still have programs.

College football may not be big in New York or Philadelphia, but college football would certainly sit well with many of the top TV/media markets. Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit....and to a lesser extent, Los Angeles..... would easily support the college game.

Any city that's football-first would adopt college football as the King Sport should the NFL go away. And to most American cities, football is #1.

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College football won't take over. There aren't enoug big programs in big cities (so the whole event of going to a game and tailgating aspect of it isn't there), and in at leas a big part of the country, people root for their alma mater and don't really care about "college football" as a sport. It's obviously huge in the south and in other pockets, but I really don't think that your averge Giants fan just needs the "sport" of football so bad that he's going to start following either Rutgers or some smaller school that's local to him. I know that your average Eagles fan wouldn't follow Temple (unless they went there, and even then) and certainly wouldn't care about Villanova. There's a lot of Penn State alums, but there's an equal amount of Penn State haters. Penn is ivy league and inaccessible to "average joe", and I don't evenknow if St. Joes or LaSalle still have programs.

College football may not be big in New York or Philadelphia, but college football would certainly sit well with many of the top TV/media markets. Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit....and to a lesser extent, Los Angeles..... would easily support the college game.

Any city that's football-first would adopt college football as the King Sport should the NFL go away. And to most American cities, football is #1.

I'd say Philadelphia is football first. I really think that while college football is ingraned (sp?) in the culture in a lot of places, it absolutely could never reach the level of the NFL nationally. The biggest difference (like I sort of pointed out) is that none of us played for the NFL teams that we cheered for, but we attended the colleges that we cheer for. And in many big cities, you have transplants from all over with varying allegiances (if they care at all) and aren't going to adopt the "home team" - especially if it's a rival of "their" team.

NFL (pro sports in general) works because it unites people that all have something in common - they all live in (insert city here.) Whether they went to school in CA, or PA, or IL, or not at all, they can still be united for their support of their local team. It's just not that way for college... in most places. I get that in some areas it is.

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Soccer only takes over once the apocalypse takes place because the unified destroyed and ashen world would only be able to replicate the most cost-effective sport.

And even then, I still wouldn't bet on it being the most popular sport in the U.S. It would be too easy to invent a sport that's equally cost-effective and infinitely more interesting. B)

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I really wish the NHL (my favorite league and sport) could rise to the level of the NFL in popularity in the States, but unfortunately that'll never happen. The only logical sport league capable of competing with or even surpassing the popularity of the NFL is NCAA Football.

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It would be nice if ultimately nothing rose to the obvious top. Right now, sports media barely takes an hour off from the NFL, regardless of time of year.

It would be great if there were multiple sports sharing the top and providing a nice variety.

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I agree with those who said the NFL will fix itself before it allows its market share to collapse. There's just too much money to be made for them to say, 'F#(% it! We're not changin' a THING!'

People will lose their jobs; don't get me wrong. But, drug & PED testing will get more stringent, a MUCH greater emphasis on safety will be in place, and the NFL will start bankrolling PPE manufacturers, doctors, researchers, lawyers, and psychoanalysists to 'get it right'.

IF there were to be a decline for the NFL, the only league I can see gaining even a MARGINAL market share would be the NBA. My Mom's a 55-year-old retiree who never watches sports, and even she knows who LeBron is. Run Sid Crosby's or Mig Cabrera's names by her, and you'd only be met with a blank stare.

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I agree with those who said the NFL will fix itself before it allows its market share to collapse. There's just too much money to be made for them to say, 'F#(% it! We're not changin' a THING!'

People will lose their jobs; don't get me wrong. But, drug & PED testing will get more stringent, a MUCH greater emphasis on safety will be in place, and the NFL will start bankrolling PPE manufacturers, doctors, researchers, lawyers, and psychoanalysists to 'get it right'.

None of that will fix the problem of CTE. And that's why I think football (pro and college) might well be doomed; the only way to fix the sport is drastically change it. No more helmets, for a start. How will the fans respond to that?

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I agree with those who said the NFL will fix itself before it allows its market share to collapse. There's just too much money to be made for them to say, 'F#(% it! We're not changin' a THING!'

People will lose their jobs; don't get me wrong. But, drug & PED testing will get more stringent, a MUCH greater emphasis on safety will be in place, and the NFL will start bankrolling PPE manufacturers, doctors, researchers, lawyers, and psychoanalysists to 'get it right'.

None of that will fix the problem of CTE. And that's why I think football (pro and college) might well be doomed; the only way to fix the sport is drastically change it. No more helmets, for a start. How will the fans respond to that?

This. I don't doubt for a second that the NFL can get through the off-field stuff that's going on now. I am not going to boycott for that*...Yeah the league (and the team for which I cheer) has been totally caught off guard and really has no idea what to do (hence the poor handling). But I have no doubt that stuff can be turned around.

I also have no doubt that the NFL can survive as it is now (regarding CTE); since none of us really cares about the faceless gladiators under the helmets. Yeah, the NFL can survive the CTE stuff. UNLESS we run out of players. Youth football still exists but I wonder how high the participation is. Today's middle school kids are roughly the first group with parents who have to decide whether to let their kids play post-"League of Denial". When I was a kid, we all knew we could break a leg, etc. and I think parents (given what they knew) were right to take that (perceived) risk; kids need to do stuff and not just sit at home. But now that we are talking about long-term quality of life, it's a different story. I do not have (nor will I have) kids but if I did I don't think I'd let 'em play organized football. And it's the only team sport I think I'd keep 'em out of. That does not make me a participant in the Wussification of America. It makes me someone who is looking out for his kids' long-term welfare.

The other thing is that there are so many sports to play nowadays and soccer keeps growing in popularity. And, unlike, say baseball, diminishing US youth participation cannot be made up for by people coming from other countries, since almost nobody else grows up playing this sport.

The NFL is chasing a few fans off right now, but not enough to take it off of its perch. But its supply of warriors looks to be in jeopardy.

I really believe that in 20 years, the NFL will either be no more or it will be MUCH different than it is today.

*My interest in the NFL has diminished a great deal in the past 15 years due to several reasons (some about the game; some about my life) but the fact that there are people like Rice, Vick, AP, etc. playing is not really part of that.

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College Football because it's the closest right now to NFL in popularity, or Soccer because of the growth of the Hispanic population + the USA being relevant at the world stage of soccer.

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NCAA Football will struggle to take the top spot. The product really isn't that great, it's annoying to watch 19 year-olds pretending they're "hard and/or badass" when they have no chance at football after college, too many teams, no parity, and instead of 30 year-olds doing drugs and beating women, it's 20 year-olds.

Baseball would likely be more popular, but too many games.

Basketball could rise up, but too many games kills it.

Soccer needs rivalries. Make it a bit edgier, and it could jump up in popularity.

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