Southern students prefer the pig skin


Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

As the National Football League enters week number four and as Major League Baseball nears its post-season, students and sports fans alike will most likely be watching a first down instead of a first inning.

Many children in America grew up playing one of these two pillars of Americana. Some, like secondary education history major Derek Pearson, a senior, played both. Pearson, who favors football, said his opinion was formed through experiencing both sports.

“I played baseball quite a lot as a kid; I also played football,” said Pearson. “Out of the two sports to play, I just preferred football over baseball, and I think that lead into me wanting to watch football more than baseball, because I just felt like baseball was really slow.”

Some baseball fans believe that the MLB might be living in the NFL’s shadow now, like recreation and leisure major Justin Dean, a senior, who said he thinks football is recruiting the younger audience.

“I think kids nowadays, not kids, but teenagers and twenty-year-old’s, I think they like the fast-paced game,” said Dean. “Baseball is very slow, and it takes more concentration and situational awareness. Football is more fastpaced; there’s always something going on. I think that’s what kids like nowadays.”

While the NFL and the MLB are the only two major sports in the United States to overlap at this point and time of the year, giving people the opportunity to pay attention to both sports, a survey conducted on campus this week has shown that students favor football over baseball.

According to a small survey of students conducted at the academic quad, about 65 percent follow the NFL more often than they follow the MLB. The survey also showed that about 95 percent think the NFL is more popular in the U.S., and only
about 43 percent think that baseball still is, or should be considered, America’s pastime.

Charles Dowd, deputy athletic director at Sacred Heart University and adjunct sports management professor at Southern, said the difference in preference could be regional, at least on the collegiate level.

“College baseball in the northeast is — if we draw a hundred people, that’s crazy. Whereas [Sacred Heart’s] football program is fairly successful, so we get five, six thousand people,” said Dowd. “At most universities that have both, football gets a little preferential treatment.”

Dowd also said that, on the professional level, the NFL has created a system that draws fans attention most days of the week.

“The NFL is definitely more media savvy,” said Dowd. “The NFL has basically got us now, Sunday, on at four, Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night, so it’s almost like your body rhythms are kind of geared towards the NFL season.”

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