In the USA the two leagues with the most supporters are the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Football League (NFL). The games are totally different, and if you are wondering is basketball overtaking football? Well probably not yet, but as the two games are so popular we will take a look at the differences and the reasons why NFL is more popular than the NBA, and is this changing?
National Basketball Association
Basketball is such a fun game and is played in most countries. However, NFL is a much more physical game and takes its toll on the player’s bodies, and if this is your game, you will have a much shorter playing life than you will when playing NBA.https://thesportjournal.org/article/age-requirement-in-professional-sport. Although there is no official age limit, retirement can depend on head knocks, and other injuries leading many footballers to retire at 30. Basketball players don’t normally have the same level of injury and many can continue playing until they are 40, interest in the NBA is growing among younger people.
Football Attracts Huge Crowds
Given the size of the stadiums, NFL attracts a huge crowd, and it is much more exciting to be there rather than watching it on Television or on the big screen at the club. Given the entertainment that goes with the NFL, it makes a terrific day out for the fans, and the sport can be enjoyed by fans of all ages, from kids to grandparents, as there is something for everyone in NFL.
NBA is still growing in popularity and is well promoted as a sport in the schools and every year more young people take it up, hoping to be the next Kobe Bryant. To play basketball being tall is essential, the average weight of a basketball player is 222 lbs, whereas an NFL player is heavier at 247 lbs. Many young people see basketball as less damaging to their bodies and feel that basketball overtaking football is inevitable.
Having the height to play NBA is necessary, and young people seem to be taller than they were 30 years ago. The average height of an NBA player is 6 ft 7 inches. The NBA is continuing to gain popularity.https://www.breezejmu.org/sports/opinion
Evidence that the NBA is Rising in Popularity
Over the years the NBA’s focus has shifted from its teams to the player’s brand, and there is ongoing drama as to where a player will sign at the end of the season. Because the NBA doesn’t wear helmets the players are more easily recognized by the young fans, and seeing their expressions during play, makes them more popular with the fans. Many of the NBA players have become fashion trailblazers, making them even more popular with the young who are searching for role models in their favorite sports.
In the USA most NFL games are played on Sundays, and there is a 16-game season. If you are watching on TV it is only one day a week viewing.
The NBA actually has a game nearly every night, keeping the fans engaged. In the 2018-2019 season the NBA set a record with a total attendance of 22 million, and the games were sold out.
Training for NBA
All over the country, NBA is capturing the imagination of young players, and now you will find a basketball net set up in every second driveway so that the young can hone their skills, and if you ask a teenager they will tell you that basketball overtaking football is highly likely.
With Christmas coming, the requests from the teens will most likely be for NBA-related merchandise, or if you haven’t already got the right shoes you may need to fulfill that request, as the shoes are important.
The NBA is 75 Years Old
The original NBA was founded in 1946, and in North America it is the third wealthiest professional sports league. Back in 1946, it was known as the
Basketball Association of America. In 1949, the remaining NBL teams merged to form one group, and over the years it expanded (from 1966 to 1968), and the league expanded from 9-14 teams. Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, raising a lot more interest in the NBL and lifting the profile of the sport as a whole. In 1983, the NBA started its drug-testing program, which was done to stamp out performance-enhancing drugs, a move applauded by many.
100 Years of NFL
The NFL was formed in 1920, and after merging with the AFL (American Football League), the Super Bowl was first held in 1967 to determine a champion between the best teams from the two leagues. The NFL has the highest attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the USA. The Super Bowl is highly watched on TV and rates in the top 5 of the Nielsen Polls. The NFL is among the wealthiest codes in the world, and by the 1950s the NFL had an effective monopoly.
In 1960 a new American Football Code emerged (AFL), and it began to challenge the NFL by gaining lucrative television contracts and entering into a bidding war. In 1966 a merger of the two codes was announced, but they didn’t complete the merger until 1970. Today the NFL is the most popular sports league in North America and when asked is basketball overtaking football? It looks like a gradual process at the moment.
Following the addition of the former AFL teams into the NFL in 1970, the NFL expanded into 26 teams, and since then it has continued to expand.
Is Basketball Overtaking Football?
In 2015 the NFL gave up its tax-exempt status, with the commissioner labeling it a distraction. Every dollar now earned is taxable, putting it on a more even footing with other sports clubs. Both the NBA and the NFL appear to be wealthy clubs, and both are very popular with fans. However, generational change may ensure that basketball overtaking football in the next 25 years, becomes a reality, as teenagers grow up with a passion for NBA.