Weekend Links with Jon Marthaler: Why so little football?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • September 14, 2013 - 7:09 PM

Football is unquestionably America's biggest sport; there's a pretty good argument to be made that the two most popular American sports leagues are the NFL and college football. In places like Texas, high school football might come it at #3.

Knowing this, though, why isn't there more football? I don't mean expanded seasons for the current leagues -- they're long and punishing enough. But it's strange that football is only an August-to-early February effort in America.

The Canadian Football League and Arena Football have variously been broadcast on TV, but neither has earned a particularly wide following, in part because they are weird and different from good old classic football. And various non-affiliated minor leagues -- the UFL, the XFL, even going back to the WLAF, the USFL, and the WFL -- have tried, and failed, either because they tried to take on the NFL (bad move) or seemed more like a carnival sideshow.

I suppose there's an argument to be made that Americans just don't like to watch a minor league, which a spring football league would definitely be. Still, it seems like there's room for another. It could be in college towns with no pro team, or maybe just in large non-NFL markets. Given the sport's popularity, surely there has to be a way to make it work - and end our long spring and summer without football.

*On with the links:

*Nick Nelson at TwinsCentric thinks the Twins have so much money to spend this offseason that they can't help but spend. Personally, I think the Twins are like that old geezer that remembers when hamburgers were a nickel and a pair of shoes cost $10, and so even though he knows prices have gone up, he just can't quite bring himself to head for the shoe store or the McDonald's drive-through, because things are just too darn spendy these days.

*The win, in baseball, is a stupid statistic. Here is more evidence of that.

*Bill Barnwell at Grantland breaks down Chip Kelly's awesome new Eagles offense.

*Also at Grantland, Zach Lowe makes a strong case for the 40-minute NBA game. (I would support both this and an NBA regular season with fewer games. Both would make the league more awesome.)

*The Economist says that women's sports are starting to make up some ground in the areas of TV viewership and commercial support. (I link to this partially - maybe mostly - because the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center, and its director, Mary Jo Kane, are heavily mentioned. Hey everyone! They're talking about us!)

*And finally: you may not be able to appreciate the genius of this old-timey-ified Arsenal roster in full, unless you're a soccer fan, but I think everyone can laugh at pictures of people with outstanding mustaches and/or funny hats.

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