Average American is so ill-informed on tennis

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by psYcon, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. psYcon

    psYcon Semi-Pro

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    It's fairly irritating. Sometime back while in office I saw a co-worker of mine, a guy in his late 30s rambling about some football match to another. He then asks me if I saw such and such match, and I told him I am more of a tennis fan. He had this look on his face :confused: like he had almost never heard of that sport before. I asked him if he knew about Roger Federer or Nadal , and he gave me this blank stare. He had not even heard of Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi. The only guy he had 'heard' about was McEnroe.

    Honestly, after that exchange, I started distancing myself from that guy. I don't care how unpopular a sport tennis is in the US now. How can someone not even have heard of these legendary players?? :evil:
     
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  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Gee, that example of one person really proves your point about the "Average American"!!
     
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  3. psYcon

    psYcon Semi-Pro

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    More or less what I have noticed. This was an extreme example I agree but there are others out there who haven't heard of Federer or Nadal at all but at least can remember US greats like Agassi or Sampras.
     
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  4. Golden

    Golden Semi-Pro

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    Welcome to the United States buddy.

    In all seriousness, I'd say don't let it bother you. People will have certain tastes, and apparently tennis isn't his. How would you feel if a friend who is also a basketball fan distanced himself because you didn't know a thing about basketball?

    And isn't this in the wrong section?
     
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  5. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Ignorance among people is common in this day and age.
     
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  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    If you live in the US and wont socialize with people who dont know much about tennis, i hope you already have a GF because that will be some tough sledding..lol.
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Whenever you see a tennis racquet in popular culture there's a rich dude holding it. Its just not NASCAR so the average dude's not going to like it.
     
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  8. Antonio Puente

    Antonio Puente Hall of Fame

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    So, you knew nothing about the football game, yet decided to judge him for his lack of tennis knowledge?

    Here's an idea: when you meet someone, search for things you have in common with that person instead of focusing on your differences.
     
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  9. JustBob

    JustBob Hall of Fame

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    Must be a Giants or Eagles fan. They are usually not very bright. ;)
     
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  10. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    It is simply a less popular sport in the U.S, tennis history or the history of any sport for that matter is "required reading". Folks in the U.S don't know a lick about soccer either because it is not popular. You only see a problem because you cannot put yourself in their shoes.
     
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  11. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    You're saying tennis isn't advertised to everybody like every other sport in existence?
     
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  12. psYcon

    psYcon Semi-Pro

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    actually I do know the basics of Football and followed it on and off at the college football level. That guy almost hadn't heard of the sport itself which is a deal-breaker.
     
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  13. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    You're giving tennis a bad name.
     
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  14. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea what he's talking about, from back home to my current university almost every single person I know has some decent knowledge of tennis. Federer and Agassi are the names that most of them know.
     
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  15. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I'm a citizen of USA and I live in USA. I don't know what country in The America's you're talking about. North? South? Central? Guatemala? Canada? Faulkland Islands?
    I don't think it's a bad thing if the average person in any country of The America's can't name any current tennis players. Or players in any sport, members of a band, or actors on TV. I'd never "distance myself" from people for such a silly reason.
    I can't name any current professional football (soccer) players. From the past I know of only Pele, Best, Chastain, (sp?) and Maradona. That's all. I even had to google Maradona and Chastain to spell them correctly.
    I can't name more than 5 current NFL players, but I can name about 40 from 1972.
    Basketball? Maybe 4 current players. 2 of them have tennis connections. Noah, who's first name I forgot and that Sasha (Sharapova's ex bf) guy who's last name I don't know. I've read 4 basketball biographies on older players.
    I have read about 120 tennis biographies and I know a few hundred names.
    The only ignorant thing about tennis that might have ever bothered me is when people who don't play but love baseball, boxing, basketball or football (the kind played in NFL), real football (soccer), hockey, etc., say that tennis is a sissy sport.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
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  16. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    Stupid thread, the "average american" probably knows more about tennis than the "average (insert country here)" minus maybe Serbia and Switzerland and that's just because of devotion to one player.
     
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  17. JustBob

    JustBob Hall of Fame

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    Well... no. In countries such as France and Spain for example, tennis is a first tier sport.
     
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  18. luvly

    luvly Professional

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    I think it depends on what we as tennis fans do. I talk tennis to anyone who will listen and plenty of my friends and family members know who roger and nadal are thanks to me.

    Now most of this consist of them teasing me when roger loses but they pay enough attention to know he lost :)
     
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  19. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I'm a tennis guy. I enjoy reading most tennis publishing. Lately I've started to embrace (soccer) football beyond the once-every-four-years World Cup. Now I've started to read soccer histories beginning with a scholarly yet breezily written tome the size of a phonebook. A bit like "Soccer: A History by Anthony Beevor", if Anthony Beevor were to write about soccer.

    I can't understand the American obsession with college sports, and statistics in American sports.
     
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  20. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Ehh... Leave us alone.. The best player we have had for the past 10-12 years has been freakin Hole riddened game RODDICK. :(

    Its no wonder we are so ill-informed anymore. I get nauseated any time I see an american on the court anymore unless its the Bryan Bros.
     
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  21. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    At school (a few years back), my daughter's class was asked who the #1 male tennis player was. Total silence. And then who won RG that year. Total silence. My daughter was the only one who knew the answers. She got a lollipop for her pain :) Most Americans I know know Fed's name though. They may not have seen him play but they know who he is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
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  22. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    Federer has Gillette and Rolex ads here on network TV. Even non-sports fans know who he is. They might not know Murray or Djoker but who cares.
     
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  23. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    btw, keep us posted on the goings on with this co-worker of yours. For example, try to find out if he authored a post on some random website ripping a co-worker for calling a football game a "football match".
     
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  24. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Well for a number of years college sports were bigger than pro sports......college basketball and football until only a few years ago dominated the sports pages along with baseball. It was a regional thing but with TV and cable pro sports exploded in he 60s. The exception is Baseball that WAS THE sport in the states for decades and it's a game based on statistics - in fact all of the big 3 sports American football, Basketball and Baseball are statistics driven.

    And the REAL reason for all that is the gambling aspect - even though it's illegal in the states to bet (except Vegas) its a HUGE reason Football has become the no.1 sport in the states. The betting lines are posted and discussed everywhere as are the injury reports daily in the papers and talked about on radio and TV -

    Folks gamble on college and pro football/ basketball and it takes in billions of dollars weekly........
     
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  25. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    so you told a guy you aren't into football and he said he knows nothing of tennis ?
     
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  26. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Look the only way your going to make tennis a more popular sport in America is if you start using the sport in beer advertisements with huge gutted guys and scantily clad cheerleaders.
     
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  27. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Most people I know (age 18-25) have at least heard of Federer, a lot have heard of Nadal, and quite a few know Djokovic and Murray. After that, you'll probably need someone to sort of like the game to know Del Potro, Ferrer, Tsonga.
     
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  28. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Some areas in the US just have very little exposure to tennis. Simple as that. You have to be in a middle class suburb or above to experience tennis, I think, or live in a tennis town, or live in a city that hosts a tennis tournament. I'm fairly well versed in all sports but for example if you asked me about the NHL I would be able to name about 2/3 of the teams, some past greats and maybe 5 current players but that is about it.
     
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  29. Rhino

    Rhino Legend

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    I was in Honolulu the other day, in a clothes shop that had loads of sports polo's. I asked if they had any Roger Federer gear. He said "who's Roger Federer? Does he play golf?".
     
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  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    American only care if their players dominated the sport. It's too bad that other countries have caught up and surpassed them, just like Australian use to dominate the sport but now have to take the back seat. The US has to put much more of an effort than in the 80s and 90s in order to have a great players like Sampras or McEnroe. In fact, every countries has to continuously improve or else they will be out of the picture.
     
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  31. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

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    About 3/4 of the people I know recognize who Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are, Murray a little less. However, nobody knows who Ferrer and co are.
     
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  32. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Seriously?

    That's like not knowing who Jordan or Maradona is.
     
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hawaii has PGA and LPGA events, and for such a wonderful place, a woeful lack of ATP or WTA events. Golf is much bigger in Hawaii.
     
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  34. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Why are Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and South Africaners so ill informed on tennis?

    Why are French so ill informed on Basketball?
     
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  35. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Same deal with voting, it's the middle "Undecideds", you know the ones that have never studies monetary policy, even basic economics that the candidates have to pander to.

    I hate talking bad about my country, but I believe we are spoiled. Our fathers built a great nation for us, too great! Too easy! My foreign distributors CRUSH my American distributors, not because they are smarter, but they act like if they don't do everything they won't eat.

    Same deal with Tennis, we have a great Amateur program, why are we dominated by guys in Switzerland or Serbia? Spain? I think they are hungrier. I saw a great study that tracked American sports success to the level of money involved, it was fascinating, the golden age of boxing came as Ali started getting bigger purses, not guaranteed $20m for one fight, but it showed if you gave 100% you could do great, same deal with Tennis, Conners, Mac, Sampras, Aggassi, where have they all gone? Where is the next American legend? I've seen some of these kids, I don't mean at school, but at the centers where they get private lessons with the pros and they are AMAZING, just incredible, this one kid Justin Bower said was like one in the country, don't know what level, but he said "This kid moves us around". I saw another study that showed guys like, oh what is their names, Donald Youngs of the world, have all the talent in the world, get a good payday and the hunger stops. I'm not saying this is what is going on, but look at America's population, Tennis is very popular and a great amateur program and trainers, yet no stars. The last was Roddick, and while incredible certainly no legend.

    Sorry about my mini rant, it just seems America is different, everyone is an expert on things they know nothing of, and will argue with you to death over their point.

    Don't get mad at me, just one mans opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
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  36. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    The only reason fed is somewhat known is due to sponsorships and connection with woods lol. Sad really
     
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  37. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    Right, because Fed doesn't have a huge following in the states. He didn't just play an exhibition at Madison Square Garden this year and he doesn't have at least 4 national commercials here - Lindt, Rolex, Mercedes and Gillette. Sure you need to be great to be widely known. Just like every other country. Maybe tennis players as a whole aren't as widely known here as in most European countries, but that's because we have a lot more pro sports whereas it's just soccer, tennis, golf maybe F1 in western Europe and some low revenue fringe sports. I'd venture to say right now Fed is every bit as popular here as Sampras or Roddick. Maybe not McEnroe but that's as the result of him being more well known than just a tennis player. He's a celebrity not just an athlete. I suspect if Nadal spoke better English, didn't always carry a snarl on his face when he plays, and said something relevant once and awhile he wouldn't be far behind either. I'd also bet large quantities of cash that the average American would recognize Fed and Nadal in a lineup before Messi and Ronaldo or Beckham. Beckham has a Burger King ad here and I suspect (since there is no mention of soccer) that most people think he's Jason Statham or something.
     
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  38. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    Fed and Tiger were never friends. That was just their shared agency marketing. And in fairness you're in TX where every sport other than football is a fringe sport. Where creepy Texans go to watch children they aren't related to play football at the youth level like Canadians who pay to watch children they aren't related to play hockey. For some reason this widely accepted there.
     
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  39. kaku

    kaku Professional

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    #39
  40. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    Op don't worry about it. Canadian's are just as bad.
     
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  41. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    No, most people in USA knew who Anna Kournikova was when she was playing. What about that?
     
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  42. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Why can't we put Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and South Africaners in the same boat as Americans? Why always berate Americans?
     
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  43. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    and Sharapova who has been a presenter at ESPN's ESPY Awards and...I believe she pitched some digital camera here too. So yeah, be great and/or be hot...then we know thy foreigners.
     
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  44. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    because we're the only country that has rich, obese, violent, self-absorbed peoples, silly.
     
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  45. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    I think a truly average american would know McEnroe, Agassi (he was more of a commercial success here than Sampras), and Pwnerer, and would definitely know the Williams sisters.
     
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  46. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    I think the USA is overloaded with Football (American - not the real one!), basketball and Baseball. With very little coverage given to other sports such as Tennis or Football (the real one!).

    So I can see people not knowing anything about Tennis or any other sport than the big 3. For example who's the best Rugy or Cricket player in the world....I don't know....but I'm sure millions of people do.
     
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  47. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I'd hazard a guess that a much higher percentage of people on average everywhere outside the US knows more about most sports and current events in general. It's just how it is.
     
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  48. Huanita99

    Huanita99 Rookie

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    lol, I understand. Canadian here, Canadians know only one sport - hockey. however all of my coworkers do know who Fed, Nole and Nadal are. they just don't give a ****. they'll watch the final of Wimbledon if they are not busy and that's it. :(
     
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  49. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    current events, maybe...but there are a lot of variables there. Sports though, highly unlikely. I don't think anyone obsesses about sports (in general) quite like we do. Again we just have more variety, more options. Most countries have on average 2 widely followed sports. Soccer and....maybe tennis, maybe golf, maybe auto racing depending on which country we're talking about. We have 2 widely followed sports at the college level before even getting to the pros. Besides, I'm not seeing many sites/blogs etc devoted to hardcore statistical analysis like American sports. Soccer and tennis are just now getting involved in statistical analysis to the basic levels baseball or football had 15 years ago. How has range factor not been an analyzed stat in soccer yet? When I look at a friend's soccer site, I see a bunch of basic level analysis that any random person could regurgitate. Go to baseballprospectus or fangraphs or baseballreference and you'll see what I mean.

    When it comes down to it, soccer is just boring to a lot of people..and a lot of players play a boring style of tennis these days for the average fan. It's just the way it is. If the ATP is going to keep the courts slow enabling all these pushers and grinders, it's just going to continue to circle the drain in popularity. I have a difficult time believing that the world's youth, in this age of time intensive video games and social media and hundreds of channels and various electronic devices, is going to sit there and watch a 4 hour Djoker vs Murray grindfest no matter what country you're from. Like boxing is dead, and baseball is slowly dying with our youth in America, tennis is already there. Like hockey, it's not a great television product, and when you consider football - it requires one 3 hour commitment per week to watch your favorite team in a short 16 game season that means every game carries some significance. Even for me it's tough to watch tennis daily for 2 weeks during a grand slam with the defense first sludgefest that most players drop these days.

    All that said, I don't think there is any question that more Americans follow European soccer leagues than Europeans that follow baseball or football or basketball here. And I'm saying that fully aware that basketball has become more and more popular in Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, and some of the Eastern European countries. But they still have a ways to go to catch up to China and the Philippines who are rapidly exploding as major revenue streams for the NBA.
     
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  50. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    by the "real one" you're talking about the one where greasy haired dudes get tripped and rive around in pain until the World War 2 stretcher is wheeled out, correct? Not the one where Hall of Fame safeties lop off fingers so they can stay in the game, or Hall of Fame linebackers reset their own separated shoulders, right?
     
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