When you hear that football is the most popular sport in the United States by far, it might not surprise you. However, the knowledge might question it, especially the why. In this article, I will dive into why American football is so popular, among many other interesting things.
American football is so popular because of pre-game rituals like tailgating, music, and spending time with friends. Fan culture like fan equipment, mascots, and ambiance is taken further than any sport. Football as a sport is fascinating and thrilling too, and Superbowl is highly anticipated by Americans.
When you combine all of the mentioned factors and traits, you will get the most popular sport in the United States as a result.
Personally, I love football, and it’s one of my favorite sports to watch. When it comes to playing the sport, it’s highly popular in the United States too, but it doesen’t have the easiest entry-level.
Anyways, let’s take our American football review further by examining the things making it so popular more in-depth. Keep reading, and interesting things will unveil themselves!
Why Is American Football So Popular?
Generally, four categories make football so popular in the United States. Note that the ones listed below certainly aren’t all, but they are the most significant ones. I’ll start with football as a sport itself.
1. Football as a sport
Considering all the reasons football is so popular, it wouldn’t be so if the sport wasn’t enjoyable, thrilling, and even rich. As it turns out, American football is extremely interesting as it’s a high contact sport with great tackles, fabulous runs, great throws, and unbelievable catches.
It’s human nature to have more focus and interest towards something even trich and highly contacted. Think about it, all the most popular sports are at least semi-contact sports, going from basketball to ice hockey, without forgetting football, baseball, and soccer.
Speaking of sports like basketball, even when both sports are very popular, there still are many differences between football and basketball that are important to acknowledge.
Anyways, individual sports with no contact or even speed, such as chess, darts, billiard, and many others, are great, but there is a reason they aren’t nearly as popular as football.
2. Pre-game rituals
I was in Finland attending an ice hockey game, and there weren’t any pre-game rituals except chugging beer in a bar. That can be considered a regular weekend night, so it wasn’t that special.
However, American football is loaded with pre-game rituals because it’s a much bigger deal for the fans, players, culture, and the United States.
One of the most popular pre-game festivities in football is tailgating before the game. This includes tailgating food such as sausages, burgers, and hot dogs, great music to turn up the vibes for the game, hanging out with friends, family, and even other fans, drinking some beer and sodas, and the list goes on.
It changes the whole culture of football to its core when something as basic but meaningful is implemented in the gameday. In many other sports, it’s tickets on the gates, matches, and out of there as fast as possible.
That said, I believe and know that pre-game festivities are a massive variable in why America is so popular.
3. Fan culture
I’m going to revisit the subject of that Finnish ice hockey game back in the day. The vibes and ambiance were good at the stadium, but I kept comparing my experience to other stadium experiences such as football and baseball. It simply wasn’t there.
Football, in particular, has an unbelievable fan culture, which reaches before, during, and after every game.
During the match, it’s difficult to find something to compare football gameday vibes because the roaring, fan crowd actions, cheers and chants, and fellowship is on the roof. Oh, and don’t forget about the mascots, cheerleaders, and snacks. Those bring everything to its peak.
After the game, the feelings often linger for hours to an afterparty, more tailgating outside the stadium, or a great time with family and friends!
If you have something more amazing and energizing in your knowledge than a football game, please let me and others know!
Check the video below to understand why American football is so popular!
There are various things to know before going to a football game as a fan. These include what you can and can’t bring, what age you can go there alone, and other valuable information. I highly recommend that you read my football match guide for the knowledge.
4. Super Bowl
Champions play as one, all I do is win; today’s forecast: a 100% chance of winning. Sound familiar? It should because when you hear those phrases amongst others, it’s Super Bowl time!
American football is very popular on ti’s own, but Super Bowl lifts it to the next level. The ultimate level.
Super Bowl is watched by hundreds of millions of people, and in the United States alone, over one in four households tunes in for the championships games. In fact, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the United States population watches the Super Bowl. If that doesen’t make something popular and keep it there, I don’t know what will.
Super Bowl is an incredible event, especially if you make it special with your loved ones, friends, or better half.
Common Super Bowl traditions include;
- A Super Sunday
- Pre-Game Show
- The Coin Toss
- Watching Commercials
These are just a few popular traditions, but you can always include others, remove some, and invent your own!
When Did American Football Become Popular?
Considering the massive popularity American football experiences daily, it might make you wonder when all of it started. Has football been popular since the founding of the United States, or did its popularity become so big in recent history?
American football became popular in the 1920s when the American Professional Football Association, currently the NFL, was founded. Football grew rapidly in popularity, and by the mid-1960s, it was the most popular sport in the United States.
However, American football was first played far before the events above, in 1869, so the real history is longer. Anyways, football has been the most popular sport in the United States for over half a century, and there are signs of seeing an end to that.
This brings us to the next subject, is American football becoming more popular?
Is American Football Becoming More Popular?
When I first heard that NFL and college football are the first and second most-watched sports in the United States, I was astonished. I immediately started to think about whether it’s rising or decreasing in popularity, which is what I think you should know too!
Generally, American football is decreasing in popularity by the number of NFL viewers and amount of participants in the United States. However, Super Bowl viewers are increasing by the year in the United States and globally, and NFL viewers are increasing globally.
That being said, it’s very difficult to say whether American football is growing or decreasing in popularity overall. Still, NFL and college football are the most popular sports in the United States, and viewers are increasing globally in the Super Bowl and the NFL. Thus, American football is growing more in popularity than decreasing!
To further state my point, check out the graphs below, and you will see the searches for NFL, football, and Super Bowl in the United States from the year 2004.
You can see a consistent year by year growth regarding a couple of years in between, but a slight dip in the recent years. However, NFL seems to do well, so an educated guess can be made that the graphs are naturally fluctuating, given that millions of searches are at play.
Now, check out the graph below for worldwide searches for the super bowl and NFL phrases. You can see a clear upward trend, which tells us that the popularity of American football is globally on the rise.
Why Isn’t American Football Popular Globally?
As a northern Finn myself, I recall when I first heard American football called football. It didn’t make sense because I had played soccer before, which is football practically anywhere than in the States. Considering the name difference and all, there must be a reason why American football isn’t popular around the world?
American football isn’t popular globally because it’s not culturally and traditionally as significant as other sports in respected countries. The sport also has difficulties growing because of more complicated rules, a high risk of injury, and similar sports such as rugby and soccer.
It isn’t imminent that American football won’t be significant in most countries because viewers for the NFL, Super Bowl, and other American football-related terms are rising.
In addition, American football is already quite popular and significant in certain countries other than the United States. To see the top five countries American football countries by popularity, check out the table below!
As you can see, countries close to the United States like Canada and Mexico are second and third in popularity. However, Germany is a surprising American football country for most, and Ireland is somewhere in between.
All in all, things are looking up for American football, and I believe we will see significant growth, especially globally!
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.