The Future of MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL: Which Sports Will Become an Afterthought?

Boris GodzinevskiCorrespondent IIFebruary 16, 2012

Takraw.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The so called "now generation" rarely heeds caution from the old-timers, but I must offer some consideration on our own future.

Today the NFL is the biggest league in North America—in terms of profits and media exposure—it is king. Meanwhile, the battle for second seems to be between MLB and NBA.

NHL is still tagging along, and as the sport I grew up watching, it strikes me hard that in just 20 years time the sport has changed tremendously.

Anyone here remember when nearly every team had at least one player without a helmet?

How about when video games were a distant second option to actually watching a game? The world has changed, and I fear that maybe the future won't be so friendly.

Immigration and collective bargaining agreements will surely be the downfall of every major sports league.

The NHL lost games in 1994 and a whole season in 2004-05. The NBA has had two strike-shortened seasons in less than 15 years, and MLB has been overshadowed by the 'roids.

Boxing is slowly rotting away from notable existence, and as a big fan of that sport, it pains me.

Like the old-timers who refuse to acknowledge most present-day greats as anything but spoon-fed babies, I cringe at the thought of a world where cricket is the most watched sport in North America, and anyone under 30 doesn't even know what NFL stands for.

Note, I'm not saying particular sports are destined to die. But on a continent with two immigration-tolerant countries with capitalist ideals—it is only natural for sports and all facets of life to evolve or change.

Don't believe me? Go ahead, ask an 80-year-old what they think of today's NFL or NHL. It's not even the same sport anymore as it was 60 years ago.

I'll be 25 in a few months, and perhaps in this world I still have 75 percent of my life left. Yet in just 15 years I've seen several QBs eclipse everything Dan Marino did. And Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are known as cheating steroid junkies rather than all-time legends.

Would you have expected Pete Sampras to be completely overshadowed in less than a decade after retirement?

If Tom Brady had won this year's Super Bowl he'd have been named GOAT over Joe Montana.

What would you say to your great-grandchildren about the World Takra League? What would you tell them of skiing without rocket attachments? And what would you tell them when they asked you why you didn't tell their parents to opt for the genetic alteration to make them 7-feet-tall?

Think fast—someone comes up to you in the street and asks when the Tokyo Thunder are playing their next match and you ask them, "What sport does this team play?" and the individual gives you a puzzled look and exclaims, "They are two-time IFH champions, old man."

What do you say?