Football Is Still Americans’ Favorite Sport But It Is Losing Ground

Baseball might have the nickname as America’s Pastime, but a Gallup poll says that does not mean it is the most popular sport in the country. According to the poll, football is and has been America’s favorite sport for the last fifty years.

Football Is Still Americans’ Favorite Sport But It Is Losing Ground

Although football has taken plenty of heat over the past decade, it is still extremely popular across the country. Baseball was the perennial favorite for decades until 1972 when football took the top spot. It has not relinquished the title since. 37 percent of American adults chose football as their favorite sport to watch in a poll of 1,049 adults across the US. Basketball came in second at 11 percent, and baseball followed it with nine percent.

Football Is Still Americans’ Favorite Sport But It Is Losing Ground

Both football and baseball fans should worry about their favorite games for different reasons. Baseball’s decline has been well-documented, so it should be no shock to see it have such a low favorability. Nine percent is the lowest percentage baseball has received since the start of the poll in 1937. Soccer, at seven percent, is nearly as popular as baseball, a shocking statement twenty years ago.

As for football, it might hold the top spot, but it is not nearly as strong as it used to be. It has dropped six percentage points since 2006. A few factors likely played into this dropoff. Since a video surfaced of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his wife, the NFL has taken heat for its treatment of players connected to domestic assault. In addition, much has been written about the connection between football and brain injuries, specifically CTE. Many fans have become turned off by the violence knowing it can lead to difficult lives and possibly death for the players. Lastly, many have criticized the game for its national anthem protests.

Football Is Still Americans’ Favorite Sport But It Is Losing Ground

With basketball’s popularity rising domestically and internationally, could we see a changing of the guard in the US? Will basketball ever overtake football the way football did to baseball? It’s too early to tell, but we will certainly keep an eye out.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame Will Not Have Any New Inductees in 2021

In a rare turn of events, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will not have any new inductees in 2021. This has happened for the first time since 1960 and only the seventh time since the first elections were held back in 1936. Still, there is yet a chance for some of the MLB players to enter the Hall of Fame later this summer.

None of the 25 MLB Players Reached the 75% Voting Threshold to Enter the Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Building While none of the MLB players managed to get 75% of the vote for the Hall of Fame, some were quite close. Starting pitcher Curt Schilling came closest with 71%, getting just sixteen votes shy of an admission. He then asked the Hall of Fame to remove him from next year’s vote. The next induction day is scheduled for July 25.

Experts Say Curt Schilling’s Inflammatory Social Media Rhetoric Affected the Vote

While Schilling had a very compelling case for entering the Hall of Fame, it seems his history of posting intolerant comments on social media cost him some votes, and ultimately, the spot. The MLB star responded with a letter to the Hall of Fame officials, declaring that he will not participate in the 2022 vote. Schilling also released the letter to the public, noting that he had often stated he was not Hall of Fame material but would accept such an honor if former players thought he was.

Curt Schilling

The votes for Schilling have steadily increased over the years, rising from 51% in 2018 to almost 61% in 2019 and 70% in 2020. Despite that, he gained just four new votes this year and was not elected. This is the ninth time the Baseball Writers’ Association of America did not elect players to enter the Hall of Fame. Previous years with such an outcome were 1945, 1950, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1971, 1996, and 2013. Still, the BBWAA elected some twenty-two players from 2014 to 2020. Other players who got a big percentage of the vote were Scott Rolen with 52.9%, Todd Helton with 44.9%, Billy Wagner with 46.4%, and Gary Sheffield with 40.6%.