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The Rising Popularity of the NFL

Steve Shoup

The NFL is almost synonymous with American football. The key is in the name, many would argue. If we’re talking of American football, then surely the American league is all that matters. Hardly anyone outside the States watches it, perhaps maybe Canadians, some might think.

And in the past it was even less popular. Baseball was the most popular sport in the US before and in the first decades after the Second World War, and football was seen more as a college sport, not a professional sport in the strong sense of the world.


The Greatest Game Every Played

The history of the NFL, especially the last few decades are a history of growth and rising popularity. The sport that was seen as a college sport in just one country, now is internationally popular and the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the whole world, it is watched even in countries that have no tradition in American football or any links to it.

The NFL Championship Game of 1958 is often cited as the greatest game ever played. The fact that it was watched by about 45 million on TV, was a clear indication that television will play a huge role in sports popularisation in the future. At the time many still didn’t believe just how popular NFL will become, but that game marked the beginning of a new era in NFL and American football as a whole.


The Super Bowl

The American Football League was formed just a year later and later merged with the NFL. With the establishment of the current format the league gained popularity throughout the country as many cities are represented by a team. When the first Super Bowl was played in 1967, it was clear that the NFL is here to stay and American football steadily established its reputation as the most popular sport in the US.


International Prominence

Fast forward to today, and you come faced with the fact that there are now 80 countries which have organisations that govern the game and where American football matches are played. The NFL intends on staging a game in China in 2018 and if it manages to win the Chinese market, it is more than certain that it could aim to become the most popular sport in the world and surpass the popularity of association football.

The influence of the American culture is a key element here. Everybody watches American movies and shows and the NFL and the Super Bowl are frequently referenced. Thus, even people who haven’t watched a single match are aware how popular the NFL is. If they are into sports, it is clear that, sooner or later, they will want to watch at least one game. And many would actually become fans of the game.

Many sports betting operators offer betting on the NFL, check, for example this 5dimes sportsbook review and you’ll see how many options there are and that is another clear testament that the NFL is here to stay.



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