Is Football America's Pastime?

Curt KolpCorrespondent IApril 20, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Steve Breaston #15 of the Arizona Cardinals returns a punt against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Steelers won 27-23. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Bottom of the ninth, two outs and the tying run on second...swing and a miss..STRUCK HIM OUT!!!! BALL GAME OVER!!!

Baseball has always been considered America's pastime.  What could be better than the smell of the freshly cut grass, the sweet sound of the crack of a bat, and the taste of a ballpark hot dog?

For many Americans, the answer to that question is football. 

The reason for this could be that the game of baseball is tarnished because of steroids, or maybe it is just because the game of football has become more popular.

We currently have three sports in season; hockey, baseball, and football.  Both hockey and basketball are in the most exciting part of their season, the playoffs, yet what are many people talking about? The NFL draft.

What other sport's annual draft attracts that much attention?  The answer to that is none.  The hype around the draft is simply incredible.  Many people watch the draft from the time it starts to the time it ends.

That right there shows how popular the game of football is.

What other sport draws as much attention as the NFL's preseason?  The answer to that is also none.  Spring training is the closest thing to the NFL in regards to excitement, but NFL preseason is like no other exhibition.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

How about the regular seasons of the major sports?

Baseball's regular season is exciting but it is 162 games.  It is hard to get excited about every single game.  If a team loses a game or two, its not a big deal because there are 162 games to play.

Basketball and Hockey have 82 regular season games and have the same problem as baseball does.

Football is a 17 game season, with each team getting a bye.  A loss means much more than a loss does in the other sports because the regular season has so many fewer games.  Two losses in a row and that could mean no playoffs.

Let's take a look at the playoffs.

For every sport, the playoffs are the most exciting time of the season.

In the MLB, the playoff format is a 5-7-7 game series and consists of a league division series, a league championship series, and a world series. Overall, the format makes the games very exciting to watch.

For the NBA and the NHL, the playoff format is a 7-7-7-7 game series.

The problem with both sports is too many teams get in the playoffs.  A team could get in the playoffs in both basketball and hockey with a below .500 record, making the first round of the playoffs a little more dull

In the NFL, the division winners, (North, South, East, West) and two wild-card teams from each conference get in the post-season.  There is a wild card round, a divisional round, a championship round, and the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is the most exciting championship game by far.  So much intensity goes into a 60 minute game.  So many people watch the big game.  So many media outlets cover before and after the game.

So the next time you watch an NFL football game, realize that you are watching America's new pastime!