"Biggest" sport in your country

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A little history timeout. If you go back 50 years in the US. Baseball was #1, the NFL was quickly growing, the NBA and NHL still fairly new. But boxing was huge, and had been for decades. From the days of Dempsey vs. Tunney, up through Muhammad Ali, it was one probably the second most popular sport in the US, and the world as well.


Someone once quipped that Muhammad Ali was the most well known person on the planet. Everyone, even in remote areas, at least knew who he was. And that says something in pre-internet days. Now, hardly anyone cares about boxing, the sport has very few heroes, and you'd be hard pressed to name more than 1-2 champions (even though there are about 100 "champions" today spread out over who knows how many weight divisions and organizations).

As many will know, track cycling was once very big in the US, some 100+ years ago. The days of Major Taylor.

 
Buffalo Soldier said:
That doesn't really matter, right? Until recently Belgium was far worse in football than Portugal (the national league still is), but it has always been the number 1 sport, and will always be. Both in terms of spectators and participants.
You can't compare soccer and handball. Soccer is big almost everywhere, handball is only big in a few countries. The Netherlands is far better than Portugal at handball, but I doubt it's among the ten most popular sport. On the other hand, I doubt (m)any countries (besides US) who are better than Belgium at soccer, who doesn't have it as a top sport.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
A little history timeout. If you go back 50 years in the US. Baseball was #1, the NFL was quickly growing, the NBA and NHL still fairly new. But boxing was huge, and had been for decades. From the days of Dempsey vs. Tunney, up through Muhammad Ali, it was one probably the second most popular sport in the US, and the world as well.


Someone once quipped that Muhammad Ali was the most well known person on the planet. Everyone, even in remote areas, at least knew who he was. And that says something in pre-internet days. Now, hardly anyone cares about boxing, the sport has very few heroes, and you'd be hard pressed to name more than 1-2 champions (even though there are about 100 "champions" today spread out over who knows how many weight divisions and organizations).

As many will know, track cycling was once very big in the US, some 100+ years ago. The days of Major Taylor.

Similar story in the UK. Pay per view has killed boxing. Without the big audience of Terrestrial television its now a minority sport. Cricket suffered a similar blip when it when onto subscription tv.
 
Mar 21, 2013
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The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2nd part) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
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The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair. It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
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Hugo87 said:
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
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The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
1,121
0
0
The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
1,121
0
0
The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
1,121
0
0
The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
1,121
0
0
The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
bobs your uncle

Alpe d'Huez said:
As to FIFA, the sad part in the US is that we have the ability through MLS to make some subtle rule changes to Football (soccer) to make the game more exciting - we in the US are good at that.
that's the spirit.................why not have your very own world series

world champions every year

Mark L
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Back in the 70's-90's Indy had CART (Champ Car) which was better run and had numerous road courses. It was comparable to F1, with many drivers moving back and forth, and quite driver centered as a sport. Everyone got greedy (welcome to the USA), the guy that owned the Indy 500 and some team owners didn't like CART and road courses, so they split in two, and that killed slowly CART and virtually all Indy (style) open wheel racing, and NASCAR got huge. Indy has new ownership and it is getting better, but still much behind NASCAR in fanbase, and F1 in car quality.
I watched (almost) every Cart race in 1993. I think it was the climax when Mansell, the defending F-1 champ was signed. In europe some said he was little talented, yet he won 9 of 16 races and had 14 of 16 poles (both records back then) in his last season. Either that shows how little impact driver talent had already back then in the F-1 (true), or Mansell was above everybody. OFC Mansell was not the best (Senna was), but was still a high skilled speed master (he broke records on street cars of other past champs). What was held against him, was what made him awesome in my eyes: He was "dead" after every race, gave it literally all. He had imense misfortune (once 6 poles, only that his rngine broke in every one of them races; lost the championship once on the last round with a wheel blow-out; run out of fuel 100 meters to the finish, etc.). It made him likeable. No robot, a peoples champion...
So I changed with him from F-1 to Cart. If I did only made it earlier. The Cart races was the most exciting auto races I ever saw (see my last post), including the good F-1 races in the 80s.... And Mansell got more competition in the "less talented" US circuit than in F-1. That just shows how amazing racing is if all drivers get the (almost) same material. It is actually sport, and no farce like F-1...
Then it got downhill with the idiotic "war" between IndyRacing and Cart. OTOH, competition is good (look at FIFA what happens without competition). They just should have made a compromise...

Alpe d'Huez said:
The F1 I watched as a kid (the movie Rush!), was much more interesting than when I see in F1 in recent years, and and I agree with all you say Foxxy. It must be living on past glory.
Yeah. It is beyond me how europeans can waste beautiful summer days, watching F-1 racers going in circles with zilch action. Every single flat cycling stage has more action...

Alpe d'Huez said:
As to FIFA, the sad part in the US is that we have the ability through MLS to make some subtle rule changes to Football (soccer) to make the game more exciting - we in the US are good at that - and I'd simply suggest changing offsides rules, making the clock count down, and changing overtime rules to get rid of awful penalty kicks, and more organized and hyped playoffs leading to a Superbowl of MLS. But MLS is overly afraid and respectful of FIFA, they fear if they change rules they won't get FIFA's support (who cares?). Won't get top players anymore (who cares? No one in the US can name the top world players! And I say if the money is there, the players will come), or US players won't be able to play on a global level (again, who cares? The US is never going to win the World Cup as is). Such potential exists in MLS, but when they look back at NASL's mistakes, they see rule changes as a flaw, when that wasn't the problem at all, NASL (and USL) didn't go far enough. MLS is otherwise well run and doing okay, but could be doing much better.

Don't get me wrong, I love the sport. It's beautiful, and I've been to numerous MLS matches, and USL matches before that. I just think the sport has the ability to double in size in the US, maybe much more, if they'd think on their own and not cower behind FIFA and their tradition.
Agree with all you said. Except the penalty kick competition. That is actually the good thing about soccer, the way it is played today. OTOH, shoot-outs the USFL way is also great. It is both exciting...

Nothing will change unless some US billionaires get together and do their own league. Giving a big phuck to Blatter and his FIFA gang. With enough money they would sign every big name they would want. If US teams could sign Pele in the 70s, they can do such things again. Bring back real soccer. US style. :)

Alpe d'Huez said:
But boxing was huge, and had been for decades....

Someone once quipped that Muhammad Ali was the most well known person on the planet.
True. Ali was even known in East Germany. I was too young to see him live, but heared, and saw stories of the "Rumble in the Jungle" and the "Thrilla in Manilla". Sports history... and then boxing killed itself slowly but steady.

Swifty's Cakes said:
Similar story in the UK. Pay per view has killed boxing. Without the big audience of Terrestrial television its now a minority sport. Cricket suffered a similar blip when it when onto subscription tv.
I love it when the greed backfires. Every pay per view sport shall die, until they realize that fans can take only so much...

ebandit said:
that's the spirit.................why not have your very own world series

world champions every year

Mark L
So what?
Would be still better than how soccer is ruled now. :p
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Back in the 70's-90's Indy had CART (Champ Car) which was better run and had numerous road courses. It was comparable to F1, with many drivers moving back and forth, and quite driver centered as a sport. Everyone got greedy (welcome to the USA), the guy that owned the Indy 500 and some team owners didn't like CART and road courses, so they split in two, and that killed slowly CART and virtually all Indy (style) open wheel racing, and NASCAR got huge. Indy has new ownership and it is getting better, but still much behind NASCAR in fanbase, and F1 in car quality.
I watched (almost) every Cart race in 1993. I think it was the climax when Mansell, the defending F-1 champ was signed. In europe some said he was little talented, yet he won 9 of 16 races and had 14 of 16 poles (both records back then) in his last season. Either that shows how little impact driver talent had already back then in the F-1 (true), or Mansell was above everybody. OFC Mansell wasn
 
Mar 25, 2013
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
I watched (almost) every Cart race in 1993. I think it was the climax when Mansell, the defending F-1 champ was signed. In europe some said he was little talented, yet he won 9 of 16 races and had 14 of 16 poles (both records back then) in his last season. Either that shows how little impact driver talent had already back then (and thus how boring the races already were) in the F-1 (true), or Mansell was above everybody. OFC Mansell was not the best (Senna was), but was still a high skilled speed master (he broke records on street cars of other past champs). What was held against him, was what made him awesome in my eyes: He was "dead" after every race, gave it literally all. He had imense misfortune (once 6 poles, only that his rngine broke in every one of them races; lost the championship once on the last round with a wheel blow-out; run out of fuel 100 meters to the finish, etc.). It made him likeable. No robot, a peoples champion...
So I changed with him from F-1 to Cart. If I did only made it earlier. The Cart races was the most exciting auto races I ever saw (see my last post), including the good F-1 races in the 80s.... And Mansell got more competition in the "less talented" US circuit than in F-1. That just shows how amazing racing is if all drivers get the (almost) same material. It is actually sport, and no farce like F-1...
Then it got downhill with the idiotic "war" between IndyRacing and Cart. OTOH, competition is good (look at FIFA what happens without competition). They just should have made a compromise...



Yeah. It is beyond me how europeans can waste beautiful summer days, watching F-1 racers going in circles with zilch action. Every single flat cycling stage has more action...



Agree with all you said...

Nothing will change unless some US billionaires get together and do their own league. Giving a big phuck to Blatter and his FIFA gang. With enough money they would sign every big name they would want. If US teams could sign Pele in the 70s, they can do such things again. Bring back real soccer. US style. :)



True. Ali was even known in East Germany. I was too young to see him live, but heared, and saw stories of the "Rumble in the Jungle" and the "Thrilla in Manilla". Sports history... and then boxing killed itself slowly but steady.



I love it when the greed backfires. Every pay per view sport shall die, until they realize that fans can take only so much...



So what?
Would be still better than how soccer is ruled now. :p
Same here. I was a big fan of Mansell and watched all the IndyCar season when he moved sticks to go over there after winning F1. There was some great drivers and characters back then, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jnr, Emerson Fittipaldi, and even Mario Andretti was still racing who was Mansell's team-mate on Paul Newman's team.

Still remember that great Indy500 race and the battle with Fittipaldi and Arie Luyendyk.

Those were the days.
 
Netserk said:
On the other hand, I doubt (m)any countries (besides US) who are better than Belgium at soccer, who doesn't have it as a top sport.
That's the most conservative sentence I've ever read.

Let me rework it for you

"I know with 100% certainty there is no country on the planet besides maybe the US, that is better than Belgium at soccer, where soccer isn't by far the most popular sport, the most widely read topic in all the press, and where soccer isn't the unofficial religion "


Really no need for all those qualifiers when you are talking about something so obvious;);)
 
Pricey_sky said:
I will try and find the link but I read last year that the top 5 in this country (England) went:

1. Football
2. Cricket
3. Rugby league/union
4. Horse racing
5. Motorsport (mainly F1)
It is actually difficult to work out the second most popular sport in the UK, not sure where golf fits into that list, in terms of participation cycling is becoming increasingly popular aswell.
 
Swifty's Cakes said:
Similar story in the UK. Pay per view has killed boxing. Without the big audience of Terrestrial television its now a minority sport. Cricket suffered a similar blip when it when onto subscription tv.
Although last weeks Froch/Groves fight seems to have really brought boxing back on the radar in this country. The problem is there just aren't that many big fights to grip the casual viewer anymore.
 
Mar 21, 2013
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The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to Jo
 
Mar 21, 2013
1,121
0
0
The Hitch said:
Rui Costa's worlds win really didn't get much fanfair.

It was seen as equal to some nobdoy winning a meaningless tennis event.
(1st part)Yes it did, maybe not for a normal sports country, but here was meaningful.

Just to get an ideia, facebook fans: Froome 107k Nibali 133k Rui Costa 239k
Before last Tour and Worlds, Costa had about 30/40k fans, media exposure here was enormous for a non football athlete.

(2ndpart) Partially you are correct, but that can be explained to João Sousa being the first Portuguese tennis player to reach top-50 rank, the first to beat a ATP No 4 at the time(David Ferrer) and the first to win ATP World Tour singles tournament. (that for a British fan doesn't mean ****, but for portuguese tennis fans were huge).
 
May 2, 2010
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pmcg76 said:
Having lived in Australia for a year, I would have guessed Aussie Rules was above Rugby League in popularity. League seems to be huge in Sydney whilst AFL is huge in Melbourne and a bit more nationwide so therefore bigger.

Again as an outsider I was surprised at how little interest there is in Rugby Union in comparison when I think most Union fans would consider Australia as one of the Top 3-4 teams in the world.
Well league is also the most popular sport in QLD, so it really depends on where people live. Overall, AFL would be more popular, though the State of Origin matches are the highest rating tv shows each year.

Union has typically been the upper-class game (League working class) which detracts from it's popularity somewhat. Union was a lot more popular in the 1990s when we had a top side with some popular personalities. These days the team isn't as good and they seem to spend their time complaining about the coach, punching teammates, spending overseas tours getting drunk before games and being all round knobs. Subsequently, the Wallabies (and union) just aren't that popular these days. less popular.
 
thrawn said:
Well league is also the most popular sport in QLD, so it really depends on where people live. Overall, AFL would be more popular, though the State of Origin matches are the highest rating tv shows each year.

Union has typically been the upper-class game (League working class) which detracts from it's popularity somewhat. Union was a lot more popular in the 1990s when we had a top side with some popular personalities. These days the team isn't as good and they seem to spend their time complaining about the coach, punching teammates, spending overseas tours getting drunk before games and being all round knobs. Subsequently, the Wallabies (and union) just aren't that popular these days. less popular.
Not too sure about that. The profile of Union here has grown with the creation of the Super rugby tournament, especially with the creation of the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force. League still has an advantage in NSW and QLD but it's getting slimmer and AFL has had a steadily growing presence there for a long time.

Nationally AFL still rules overall, shown by live crowd figures but League gets higher TV viewers (it works so well on TV and a lot of bogans can't be bothered driving to games - got to stay sober).

Since the A League restructure soccer is gradually making more inroads as well. Marquee signings such as Del Piero, Kewell, Gallas, Aloisi etc have helped along with the improved standard of play.

No argument when it comes to summer though - Cricket, cricket, cricket
 
42x16ss said:
Not too sure about that. The profile of Union here has grown with the creation of the Super rugby tournament, especially with the creation of the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force. League still has an advantage in NSW and QLD but it's getting slimmer and AFL has had a steadily growing presence there for a long time.

Nationally AFL still rules overall, shown by live crowd figures but League gets higher TV viewers (it works so well on TV and a lot of bogans can't be bothered driving to games - got to stay sober).

Since the A League restructure soccer is gradually making more inroads as well. Marquee signings such as Del Piero, Kewell, Gallas, Aloisi etc have helped along with the improved standard of play.

No argument when it comes to summer though - Cricket, cricket, cricket
That would be my impression as well. I attended games in all codes and the strangest experience was seeing a Rugby League club game in the Olympic stadium in Sydney, think it was the Bulldogs v Roosters whom are two of the biggest teams in Sydney yet the place was empty. I didn't understand why they played the game there when they must have known the place would be empty. The lack of atmosphere kind of took away from the actaul game. I saw Manly play on TV a few times and the place was always packed and it looked amazing. Surely its better to play at a smaller venue and get a good buzz rather than play in an big empty stadium.

I did enjoy the AFL and followed the Swans, seen them play in the SCG and the Olympic Stadium, SCG was better as like the Rugby Leage, the Olympic stadium is hard to fill but nowhere near as bad as the Rugby.
 

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