In engaging in this process of writing for a sports blog, I’ve taken the approach of fully immersing myself in the sports media world– starting my days with ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike, reading all of the websites that are linked in the left-hand column of our homepage, following athletes and sports media personalities on twitter, listening to podcasts, and taking in as many games as possible– for better and worse. I know more about sports and the issues surrounding sports than at any point in my life. Just like any other area of interest, though, immersion in the context of today’s myriad media offerings also can lead to a lack of perspective.
One of the steadiest mantras in all of sports chatter is that football is king. I’m not here to question that tenet– wondering, for example, whether it’s most popular because it is in fact more amenable to Americans’ true love, television, than other sports, or whether that amenability is a convenient coincidental characteristic of the inherently popular game– but to confirm it, which I did last night at the grocery store, where I happily was adding to my Fat Tire new state label collection.
I was doing so at a store in West Michigan, which is neither especially near nor in any way a recognized hotbed for Ohio or Iowa sports teams; indeed, it’s much the opposite. Still, within five minutes I saw a man in his late 60s wearing a new, nice Cleveland Browns polo shirt, and a man in his early 60s wearing a new, tacky Iowa Hawkeyes visor with (hopefully) fake, neon yellow hair:
Outside of their peculiar accessories, these men did not appear to be football fanatics. And yet, the season is this week upon us. The above-cited evidence of football’s popular status is unassailably conclusive. Our previewing rolls on, validated by these two unwitting ALDLAND nationwide poll participants.