"He said the decline of football, which was once 'a cash machine,' is the most significant story in American sports."
The NFL and college football have been so monstrously popular for so long that it strains our credulity to contemplate the decline of the game, yet Costas may be right. The popularity of individual sports is cyclical:
- When I was a kid boxing was a really big deal, and we knew the history and lore of the great heavyweights. Now I can't tell you who the current heavyweight champion is.
- Both golf and tennis are looking at declining participation.
- There was a time when baseball dominated the talk and the dreams of every red-blooded American boy. Now it falls far behind football, video games and basketball.
Football will probably not stop being America's favorite game for many decades because these changes tend to be evolutionary, not revolutionary, but the handwriting seems to be on the wall.
And that kinda makes me sad. I understand the concerns, and I'm not usually one of those people who thinks we have to keep doing things the old way, but I've loved the traditions of autumn as much as anyone and I sorta wish everything would just stay about the same.