Top five popular sports in America
Published: Friday, December 12, 2003
Updated: Sunday, October 17, 2010 08:10
How many popular sports does America have? To justifiably pick the top five American sports in comparison to Russia's top five, we must understand that the American perspective of popular sports differs from popular sports in Russia. The top five sports in my opinion do not reflect the views of other sports fans in America. I believe it is important to note the history of these sports in America, the impact each sport has in our sporting culture and also some of the famous players that made these sports what they are today. Let's get started!
1. American football began in the mid-late 1800's when players represented their college or university. The American football birthdate in the United States is commonly regarded as Nov. 6, 1869, when teams from Rutgers and Princeton universities met in New Brunswick, New Jersey, for the first intercollegiate football game. American football is the most popular sport in America because it's exclusively played in America. American football's most famous tradition is the Super Bowl that started in 1935. The development of this nation-wide event brought Americans closer to the sport and arguably gave new meaning to the game. Today, the Super Bowl has the highest viewer ratings than any other television program in the country. There are many famous players and stadiums that have kept American football the most popular sport in America. Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts Johnny Unitas, better known as Johnny "U," is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Walter Payton, a running back who played for the Chicago Bears is one of the greatest running backs to play the game. Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers, is the longest continually occupied NFL stadium that held its first game in 1957.
2. Baseball is America's past time. It has been played longer than any other popular sport in America. This sport, which derived from the English game cricket, is centralized in America but is also played in other countries. Baseball is the backbone to America's hardships during racial differences and political strife. During times of war and racial prejudices in America, baseball overcame these issues and became a sport American's knew would never stop being played. Ted Williams, one of Baseball's greatest players, was the last player to hit .400 in 1941. He hit over 500 home runs and is known to have one of the sweetest swings in the history of baseball.
3. Basketball is a game that nearly 300 million people play worldwide today. In America, it is one of the most popular sports, but is also a very popular sport in other countries as well. Interestingly enough, America and Russia are two countries that hold basketball to a high level of popularity. Players from Russia and surrounding countries are playing in the NBA. It is a culturally diverse sport and opening up new doors for foreign athletes to excel in an American- based sport. Michael Jordan is probably the most recognized player in basketball. His athletic talent on the court along with his consumer appeal in advertising has broadened his image to fans across the world.
4. Hockey is not an American-based sport, but people in America understand that hockey is one of the most popular sports in America. The continent's first hockey league was supposedly launched in Kingston, Ontario, in 1885, and it included four teams. A sport richly influenced by Canadian athletes, the game of hockey has transcended into America and become a popular sport for teenagers and young adults that enjoy playing street hockey, a similar version to traditional hockey on ice. Similar to basketball, hockey is a very popular sport in Russia. Wayne Gretzkey is one of the most popular hockey players to ever play in the NHL.
5. Golf is one of America's most popular sport for one reason alone...Tiger Woods. He has taken over the world of golf and also advertising. His face is seen everywhere in the media and is arguably the most recognized athlete in the world today. His phenomenal talent has inspired many African American's to play the game today. His statement to America is that it doesn't matter what color you are when it comes to playing a sport. He's a quintessential role model for young teenagers and a sporting icon for golfers in America. Because golf originated in Scotland, it's played all around the world. But because Tiger Woods and other well-respected golfers are still playing and winning tournaments, golf will continue to be extensively covered in America's mainstream media.