God bless America! I finally got my fix of real NFL football. It was the Hall of Fame game, a pre-season tradition that started I donâ€™t know how many years ago but theyâ€™ve been broadcasting it for maybe a decade now, maybe less, but it has always been this early. As much as I love baseball, it has definitely lost the title of Americaâ€™s game to football.
There is now a 24-hour NFL Network on cable; the NFL draft has become a huge media event; the Madden NFL football video game is a phenomenal success, far outselling itâ€™s baseball counterparts, which, again, builds generations of fans. The NFL also does a far better job of marketing itself–especially to black youth. Major League Baseball has seen a steady decline in the number of black players. Finally, the NFL has structured their economics and draft so that at the beginning of any given season, any team has a legitimate chance of making it to the Super Bowl. Thatâ€™s in glaring contrast to MLB, where teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox with their massive payrolls that allow them to buy all the talent they need to win a championship. That leave fans like those of the Twins despairing when they have to face large-market teams in the playoffs and their pitchers have to face All Star after All Star up and down their lineups.
So thereâ€™s just as much as a reason why the Yankees and the Red Sox are always in the playoffs as there is that I always feel the Vikings have decent chance of making the playoffs year in and year out.