Sports Claims

Football will never replace baseball as America’s sport. (Reason: Marching bands at half time.)

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com Robert Martin

    Actually, as a brother of a band geek and a father of a band geek, I beg to differ. Those half-time marching band shows are amazing pieces of musical and visual performance art NOT to be dissed in favor of a bunch of guys standing around in a field scratching various parts of their anatomy. ;-)

  • Kenton

    Does it need to be either/or? Can it be both/and? (And why do I feel a George Carlin routine coming on?)

  • scotmcknight

    Robert, I’ve never been to a concert when at intermission they had a short football game.

  • Blake

    Baseball was only ever America’s sport to begin with because it’s uniquely suited to be presented accurately by a radio broadcaster. Most other sports don’t work so well over radio. You really need to see them to figure out what’s going on. Baseball would already be dead if it weren’t ingrained in the memories of the last 6+ generations. As other sports grow and the demographics continue to change in this country baseball will shrink into obscurity.

  • metanoia

    Marching bands will forever be popular as long as former marching band members continue to have children and there are grandparents around. :-) P.S. Wife was in marching band and one son was in marching band. Parents, siblings, and grandparents attended all gigs as a result. It was mandatory for me under threat of divorce court or the menacing whisper in my ear “You’ll have to sleep sometime.” ;-)

  • scotmcknight

    Blake, learn your history — baseball flourished long before radio.

  • Larry Barber

    Football, at least in anything like its current form, is as good as dead. In 20 years they won’t have anybody who can play the game. What parent would let there child play football, given what we know about it now? So no Pop Warner leagues feeding players to the high schools, no high school players to supply the colleges, …

  • kent

    If baseball would have only 100 rather than 162 games and institute replay you may be right, but I believe that change has already come. Football now occupies the leading position.

  • Rick

    Kent #8-

    Well said. They need to shorten the season.

    In regards to halftime, the reason is that football involves stenuous and exhausting physical activity, which requires a break that includes other aspects of celebrating the given institution. Baseball does not require such a physical “break”.

    I like baseball, but as polls show, it is slipping into becoming simply white noise.

  • Paul D.

    To quote George Will, political pundit and ardent baseball afficianado: “Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings.”

  • kent

    I won’t quote George Carlin, but his take on football and baseball is humorously on target. It is in youtube. Just another George to consider.

  • Blake

    Scott, basbeball flourished before radio like Ultimate Frisbee does today. Lots of amateur club teams, very little money and very little serious notoriety in the media. Radio allowed baseball to reach far more people than it could and further encouraged the professionalization of the sport for the sake of listeners and spectators at newly constructed stadiums. Between 1920 and 1946 the average worth of a baseball franchise tripled. Through the course of the Great Depression and World War 2 a baseball team’s value tripled! That’s due to broadcast contracts and the rise in interest and popularity for a growing fanbase because they were introduced to a vision of what baseball could be through their radios.

    Football, was still in the process of getting its feet under itself in this period. Rules, equipment, and strategy changed more back then and since then for football than it ever has for baseball. The “action” of the game of baseball has more or less remained consistent through time. Football has lived a very different story that is more consistent with the development of up and coming sports like Lacrosse, Women’s Pro Football, Ultimate, and others.


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