Take Me Out to the Gridiron

Sports nuts must be in seventh heaven (or perhaps on cloud nine) these days. The World Series is coming up, football season has begun and the Sydney Olympics are in full swing. But how many Americans are chronic sports fans? The chart, drawing on a survey by Rasmussen Research, indicates they amount to less than one-third of all adults. Football is the favorite pro sport, with 48 percent of TV sports fans saying it’s the one they’re most likely to watch at home and 35 percent saying it’s the sport they’re most likely to attend. Baseball was a distant second as a TV sport (19 percent) but a closer rival as a sport to watch in the flesh (28 percent). Basketball runs third in both categories, though it’s the sport folks are most likely to play (16 percent). Golf was the runner-up here (15 percent), trailed by baseball (10 percent) and tennis (8 percent). Soccer scarcely registers(3 percent), a finding to deepen the despair of those who feel the U.S. will never be a power in that sport. Along the same lines, just 3 percent cited the World Cup when asked to choose the “most exciting” sports championship. On that question, the Super Bowl drew 41 percent of the tally and the World Series pulled 19 percent. Without Michael Jordan on the court, the NBA championship lagged at 15 percent, though that’s still miles ahead of the 4 percentpicking hockey’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Are you in the market for a sports star to give an ad campaign some muscle? If so, note that basketball and football topped the list (23 percent each) when respondents were asked which sport has the “best athletes.”