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This is writing explaining why football is USA's new pasttime.
         England has soccer, France has fencing, and Canada has hockey. These are all national pastimes for these countries. What pastime comes to mind when you think of America? There will be many who will say football or NASCAR, but most will nostalgically agree that America’s pastime is baseball. Thirty years ago, it would not have even been an argument. Baseball had always been our national pastime; but in the new age of heavy media, contract holdouts, and salary caps, baseball may have lost its throne in America to a much more fast paced and shorter seasoned sport. Football has overtaken baseball as America’s new pastime.

         Media has extinguished an awful lot of baseball’s old-time magic. There was once a time when baseball was innocent; but the media felt obliged to become the judge and jury and expose every imperfection in the Major Leagues. It seems when “Sportscenter” on ESPN is talking about baseball, it’s not what the Chicago Cubs can do to become a better team. The topic is about Sammy Sosa and his corked bat, or Jason Giambi and his steroid abuse. They aren’t talking about how the players play for the love of the game, but how Alex Rodriguez just signed a one-hundred and fifty-million dollar deal to become the richest player in the history of baseball. It’s awfully hard to enjoy the sport of baseball with every single corruption exposed in the media. The cameras need to know when to back off and let the administration do their jobs. Football, on the other hand, has just as much media, but not as much corruption that is exposed. It is not to say that there is not just as much corruption in football as in baseball, but if the fans do not know about it, it does not kill that magical essence of the game. Football players are, on average, the least paid of the three major American sports. Steroids may be used, but hard labor is the central factor of most players’ workouts. There are also no bats to cork; only an arm to throw and hands to catch.

         The administration of baseball does not do their job and maybe that is why the media decided to take on the role. The problem with steroids could be easily avoided. It would be as easy as having players submitted to drug tests once or twice a month. Bud Selig, who has been referred to as the Hitler of baseball, refuses to put this into action, though. This could be why after the Major Leagues has a homerun record for quite a few decades, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa both break it in one year. The following year, the new record is shattered by Barry Bonds. It is not easy to believe that these records are just now being crushed because a new technique in hitting was discovered.

         A main factor that defines the innocence and magic of baseball and football is the especially controversial salary cap. It is a very simple concept. Football has a salary cap, and baseball does not. This means that every football team in the National Football League can only spend up to the exact same amount on their team’s players. This gives each team an even opportunity, and will force teams to recruit carefully and well. Baseball teams in the Major League can spend as much money as they have. The New York Yankees are worth nearly two-hundred million dollars, while quite a few other teams don’t even break the century mark. The Boston Red Sox are worth almost one-hundred and fifty million themselves. The drama of injuries is obviously reduced, because when a key player is injured, a team can just shell out loads of cash and pick up another all-star player. It’s terribly hard to root for teams that throw around their money like it came out of a Monopoly box.

         If there is a doubt in your mind that football is America’s pastime, it is time to log onto the internet and buy tickets to each sporting event. Baseball games are loaded with fans, because they are indeed entertaining to watch. The fans come to watch the games, cheer a bit, eat their peanuts, and go home. The football games are an entirely different atmosphere. Hundreds of fans line the parking lots to cook their burgers and kick back their brew while they tailgate hours before the game even starts. Most tailgaters show up before the actual players on the football team. The fans deck themselves and their cars in the teams gear, showing the support they have for their team. There are often pick up games of football played right on the pavement with grown men pretending, if only for a minute, that they’re Peyton Manning throwing the football to Marvin Harrison for the game-winning touchdown. The insane tailgater atmosphere is something that isn’t experienced at a baseball game.

         Once inside the stadium, there is a game to watch. If you are watching baseball, the game is usually a slow-paced game. The score is often low, and there are very few possibilities of what can happen when a player steps to the plate. He can hit, he can homer, or he can strike out. There is little, if any, contact from players of opposite teams and each pitch in baseball does not include every player on the field. Football is much more quickly paced. High scores are common, and hard hits are even more common, which gets the crowd easily excited. When a quarterback takes a snap, there is almost an infinite amount of possibilities of what can occur. There could be a pass, a run, a kick, a broken play, a sack, an interception; each of these could happen during any play on the field. Every single play includes every single player as well. A quarterback can only pass if his receivers run their routs. The receivers can only run their routs if the linemen block for the quarterback. When the running back runs, the quarterback must hand off the ball perfectly, and the linemen and receivers are expected to block in order for the running back to gain his maximum yardage. Most fans will be pumped up over a fast-paced game such as football more than the sluggish game of baseball.

         A common reason for baseball fans converting to the sport of football is the season-length. The baseball season consists of practically two-hundred full-length games compared to the NFL’s much smaller sixteen game season. A loss in a baseball game is just a loss. There are dozens of other games to play and try and win. A loss early in the National Football League season could be the difference between the playoffs and packing your bags. The NFL having fewer games means that each game will mean so much more. Baseball is harder to follow for fans than football as well. While baseball games of a fan’s team can be played four times a week, a fan’s football team is only played once a week. This builds anticipation and the drama, as well as makes it easier to schedule around so that every game can be watched. It is next to impossible for a fan to watch a team’s every baseball game, but it’s much more plausible for a fan to watch his team’s football game every week.

         Hand in hand with the game-lengths is the each sport’s championship. Baseball has the beloved World Series and football has the dearly adored Superbowl. The World Series is seven games in length and the Superbowl is one game. It can obviously be argued, but one game is usually considered much more appealing and dramatic than a series of seven games. When a team is at the World Series, it can afford three losses before it has to worry about losing it all, while during the Superbowl losing one game means losing it all.

         Then there is the aspect of how a player will make it to the big leagues. College baseball does not have a very high following. The games are rarely played on television and are usually only attended by friends and family of the team. College football on the other hand is widely popular, and in some cases it can be disputed that it is more popular than the National Football League itself. It is also exciting to see a great college football player you love to watch go directly to the NFL after college. Baseball, on the other hand, once a player is out of college, they seldom go directly to the Major Leagues, but have to work their work up in the Minor Leagues. Since Minor League baseball is rarely televised, a fan of a certain player may lose interest when the player seems to vanish for a period of time.

         There are many reasons while football should be considered the new national pastime of America over baseball. There is less corruption in the National Football League because most of the players play for the love of the game. There are salary caps in football that prevent any certain team to become like the New York Yankees of baseball and buying themselves a championship. The fans are already much more intense about football, because it is a shorter season and much more faster paced game. The seven-game World Series lacks the excitement of the one and only Super Bowl as well. These factors alone should be enough to convince most that football is taking the throne away from baseball. It is a matter of opinion, of course, but it won’t be long until American’s rapidly change their opinions to the right choice. Football is America’s new pastime.
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