Chawls

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

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Good luck getting soccer to be "edgier". A guy gets sneezed on and he gets wheeled off on a stretcher.

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If more people would not think of lacrosse as a snobby, Northeastern prep school sport, they'd see it should be one of the top sports in the country.

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Here's where the major shift could happen: ESPN.

They've protected the shield for years and propped up non-stories in the middle of baseball season to help make a 20-week sport relevant year-round. And I've criticized them and stopped watching them as a result, as I've stated many times here.

But I can't deny their influence is still immense, even if I've broken free. (The amount of people who reference "First Take" frightens me.)

A week ago CBS was telling its TNF crew not to single out Goodell and others. Now ESPN is letting Tedy Bruschi call for the commissioner's ouster and they are showing critical player tweets DURING his big speech that fell flat... perhaps the tide has shifted. Even Schefter waffled. Guess he's no Peter King.

And then ESPN chases the big speech and criticism with this investigative report of a Ravens cover-up:

http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=11551518&src=desktop

They've been telling us for years how great the NFL is, and the public has eaten it up. If they start to shift their focus to basketball or soccer and ram it down the public's throat, it could be felt down the road. Perhaps not to the extent that it did when the NFL and ESPN's rise went hand in hand. But enough to make an impact. I think the NHL and MLB have been in recent years. Not sure why on the latter, as they still hold rights.

After today's performance I think the best thing the NFL can do is get Goodell out of there before the next important speech.

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If more people would not think of lacrosse as a snobby, Northeastern prep school sport, they'd see it should be one of the top sports in the country.

Lacrosse is an extremely fun sport to watch. The only problem is that if it wants to shoot up the list of popular sports, it's gotta spread out. Other then the Triangle schools and Northwestern, I can't recall any big colleges with teams that aren't in the BosWash megapolis (there probably are a few, I just can't recall them). If you build the youth leagues, then the high schools, then the colleges, it could be really big. Not totally unlike soccer, I guess?

The only thing is, if lacrosse starts gaining popularity, which pro league benifits more: outdoor MLL or indoor NLL? NLL's more fast paced and telegenic, but MLL plays a more familiar kind of lacrosse.

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After today's performance I think the best thing the NFL can do is get Goodell out of there before the next important speech.

Yeah, he's done.

Won't change the problems the sports faces, though. There's an existential crisis right around the corner that nobody seems willing to face.

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Most of the owners are scum bags too, but the only way for the league to really save face here would be for them to convince Goodell to "fall on the sword" for them, and for him to allow them to turn on him and say that they always wnted the league to reflect certain values and be wholesome and all kinds of other BS, but Goodell cared only about the bottom line and didn't act the way they wanted him to, then fire him.

Obviously it would all be garbage, but at least it would pin it all on one person who wouldn't be there anymore, and the owners could at least publically look good*, especially if they each got on camera in their local markets and did some political-style ad talking about how they stand for certain core values, blah blah blah.

*The Ravens owner isn't going to look good no matter what. Neither will Jerry Jones. I'm sure there's one or two others who are just too evil to ever look good no matter how good the PR department is, but 28/32 ain't bad.

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I really don't see any way the NFL can rebuild its image with Goodell still in charge.

The owners are already meeting in early October...

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Youth soccer is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States. The Hispanic population is growing rapidly, and the african-american soccer demographic is definitely growing compared to 10 years ago. More athletes are realizing there are plenty of opportunities pursuing soccer as a career. All signs point to soccer taking over here in the US.

The growth of the MLS and the youth/collegiate level is what will determine how far soccer can go here.

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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.

Really... Chicago? When Northwestern draws the smallest crowds in the Big Ten? (Unless Indiana has fallen back below them again.)

You'd have to reach and include Notre Dame to make Chicago out to be a big college football market. But even then, Notre Dame probably has the least localized fan base in all of college football.

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If more people would not think of lacrosse as a snobby, Northeastern prep school sport, they'd see it should be one of the top sports in the country.

Lacrosse is an extremely fun sport to watch. The only problem is that if it wants to shoot up the list of popular sports, it's gotta spread out. Other then the Triangle schools and Northwestern, I can't recall any big colleges with teams that aren't in the BosWash megapolis (there probably are a few, I just can't recall them). If you build the youth leagues, then the high schools, then the colleges, it could be really big. Not totally unlike soccer, I guess?

The only thing is, if lacrosse starts gaining popularity, which pro league benifits more: outdoor MLL or indoor NLL? NLL's more fast paced and telegenic, but MLL plays a more familiar kind of lacrosse.

University of Denver has a great program. The Big ten schools of Ohio State and Michigan have powerful teams as well. The sport needs to get full varsity status at schools in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma first. If football does begin to desinigate at the pro and college levels, then we'll see Big Eight and Pac-12 schools elevate their club teams.

Both pro leagues would benefit from more schools at the varsity level.

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The only thing wrong with lacrosse is the overwhelming percentage of the people who play it. I've known too many.

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Only you can prevent LAX bros!

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Being that the sport is more than "Just a game" to my grandmother's family, I don't understand how people can denigrate it.

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Don't take it personally. I'm not denigrating it. It's a great sport. But its current culture attracts some pretty scummy people.

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The problem with lacrosse is that it is a club sport in most high schools and universities. Therefor you need money to play it. Which is why the culture of it seems "snobby", which is ironic since it is the one actual true American sport IMO.

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Isn't this thread about a sport that could hypothetically surpass the NFL? If so, why is lacrosse being discussed? Are you talking about 200 years in the future?

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Really... Chicago? When Northwestern draws the smallest crowds in the Big Ten? (Unless Indiana has fallen back below them again.)

You'd have to reach and include Notre Dame to make Chicago out to be a big college football market. But even then, Notre Dame probably has the least localized fan base in all of college football.

There are big pockets of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Notre Dame fans, but still none big enough to count as any meaningful contingent vis-a-vis the pro teams. Chicago somehow ranks near the top when it comes to college football ratings by media market without any one team ever having any presence in the local consciousness, or indeed without you even knowing anyone who'd be watching. It's sort of like how they show the top ten markets for Olympic/Stanley Cup hockey and West Palm Beach is always in there.

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Youth soccer is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States. The Hispanic population is growing rapidly, and the african-american soccer demographic is definitely growing compared to 10 years ago. More athletes are realizing there are plenty of opportunities pursuing soccer as a career. All signs point to soccer taking over here in the US.

The growth of the MLS and the youth/collegiate level is what will determine how far soccer can go here.

It's still generations away from happening. As fast as it's growing, it'll take for a generation who was part of the surge to be in the demographic that buys tickets and buys sponsor products for it to "take over". Basically when today's kids' children or maybe even grandchildren are in their 30s. Remember we're talking about it becoming the #1 sport here - it might certainly happen, it's just ways away. You are correct that everything is in place and the train is moving in the right direction.

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If MLS can continue to build on its successes, I'd give it a decade or two. They'll be in their third generation of fans at that point, with even more generations who grew up playing the sport, and the demographic trends are definitely in soccer's favor.

I think it's very close to surpassing hockey even right now. A new television contract, along with new major market teams including NYCFC and LAFC, ought to give soccer the final boost it needs to move into fourth.

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I think it's very close to surpassing hockey even right now. A new television contract, along with new major market teams including NYCFC and LAFC, ought to give soccer the final boost it needs to move into fourth.

The Galaxy have been around since day one. I don't see how a renamed Chivas USA will change how networks view MLS' LA presence.

As for it overtaking the NHL? It would depend on the market. Would the Sounders be more popular then the rumoured NHL expansion team in Seattle? Yeah. Would the Crew be more popular then the Blue Jackets? Probably not. I don't see the Union overtaking the Flyers either. The New England Revolution still seem like an afterthought compared to the Bruins.

And once you get into Canada? It's not even a contest.

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