America Has a New National Pastime

Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

( – The iconic status of baseball as “America’s pastime” has been overtaken by football, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The study, which aimed to gauge the nation’s sporting preferences, revealed a significant tilt towards football as the quintessential American sport.

In this extensive survey, 12,000 adults were posed with a thought-provoking question: if they had to select one sport that epitomizes America, even if it wasn’t their personal favorite, which would it be? The results were telling, with 53% of respondents casting their vote for football, leaving baseball a distant second at 27%.

Basketball, soccer, auto racing, and hockey trailed behind, capturing 8%, 3%, 3%, and 1% of the vote respectively, while 2% opted for “something else,” a category that permitted participants to nominate other sports such as golf, boxing, and rodeo.

The survey underscored football’s broad appeal across various demographics, including different age groups, genders, and racial and ethnic backgrounds, underscoring its widespread acceptance as the sport that best represents the United States.

Despite football’s dominance in the survey, it’s noteworthy that this preference doesn’t necessarily translate to avid viewership of the NFL or college football. A significant 62% of respondents admitted to not closely following professional or collegiate sports. Moreover, casual sports conversations among 63% of these individuals occurred only a few times a month or even less frequently.

A mere 7% of those surveyed identified as “superfans,” defined as individuals who frequently engage in sports discussions and closely follow major leagues, highlighting a distinction between recognizing a sport as emblematic of the nation and actively participating in its fan culture.

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