The Future Of Sports In The USA

Adithya RamaswamyContributor INovember 11, 2009

We’ve all done it before. On a Sunday morning we get up especially late, take in the sunshine, and get out of bed to make ourselves a cup of coffee. Then, like clockwork, the TV is turned on and we proceed to watch the staple of sports news in television: SportsCenter. Either that, or we watch a sports game while sipping from our mugs, be it football, tennis, baseball, basketball, or something else. This is the ideal Sunday for many people around the United States.

Sports have had a long and illustrious history, dating back to some of the earliest civilizations. But what is to become of sports in the future? How and why will it change, and what will remain the same? While it is certain that sports will continue to have high place in society, there will most certainly be aspects of the sports themselves and the way we watch sports that will change.

The reason that sports will still have a high bearing in society is because of the feeling one gets when they watch the sport. When a sport-watcher becomes a fan of a team or individual, they unlock a kind of feeling that is so rarely felt with enthusiasm in regular life: a feeling that they belong to a group that is non-binding; A group that does not have any credentials or responsibilities that need to be met before one can be considered a part of that group. All you need is a love of sports. This is a feeling that, through trials and tribulations, war and peace, will never change.

However, there will be changes in the way that sports are played and watched. With astounding technological advances on the horizon, all sports will continue to be more fast-paced and efficiently played.

In tennis, new racquet and string technology will provide faster tennis matches, and new stadium designs with retractable roofs will allow players to play through rain or shine. New clothing lines with more air-flowing cloths will allow players to have more stamina, with not as much heat trapped in one place.

In baseball, the advancement of saber-metrics will cause changes in the way the sports fan watches the game. Saber-Metrics, or the analysis of baseball statistics, will allow statisticians to cross eras and could answer questions that have eluded baseball analysts and fans for years. They could answer questions such as “who was faster, Micky Mantle or Willie Mays?” or “Who better at bat, Ichiro or Barry?” When Saber-metrics grows strong enough that it actually logically finds the answers to these questions, it is possible that many fans will lose their interest in baseball, because there would no longer be heated debates about “who is better?”

In football, new helmet and padding technologies will lower the risk of injury. With the “Revolution” helmet line already used by several players, concussion risks are much lower. But with whispers of the creation of a helmet with “pre-injury recognition technology”, the safety of the players could be at an all time high in the near future. Also, with many fields now turning to indoor stadiums or stadiums with AstroTurf, America’s Game will be increasingly fast-paced.

The viewer demographics of sports as a whole are also destined to change in the near future. With the minority-majority taking place in America soon, suggesting an increase in the Latino population, there will be an increased viewer base in soccer, a sport that is the most popular international sport, but does not get nearly the same amount of recognition in America. With a star-studded group of young guns in tennis, the viewer base for tennis should see an increase very soon. Football and baseball’s viewership have always been high and they will continue to be very popular. However, with the retiring of Tiger Woods on the horizon, golf will lose significant viewership.

All in all, sports will undergo many changes. Some will be for the better and some will be for worse. But one thing is for certain: sports will still remain among those Pantheonic venues of entertainment watched and loved by so many people in the United States.