The Importance Of Football In The United States

Superior Essays
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, LeBron James, and the Super Bowl all have something in common. they are all icons of great American sports. But which sport is the most American? While the World Series, March Madness, and the Super Bowl all have immense viewership and popularity in the United States, that is not enough to make it the most American sport. Football claims the title of the most American sport for several reasons. First of all, football is and has been a mechanism for achieving the American dream. Football has been used as a mechanism by many for achieving upward mobility that is signature to the American dream. Additionally, football has also been shaped by the American concept of capitalism. Capitalism saved the sport from extinction, …show more content…
When colleges were first introducing football to their campuses, many academics felt as if the brutality of football was not conducive to a proper institution. Despite these concerns, football remained on college campuses because it provided an opportunity for colleges to receive publicity from their football team. This publicity directly benefited the institution’s application rate and increased the number of students admitted who would be paying tuition. When the University of Nevada started to fiscally suffer, they hired top notch coaches to beef up the football team in the hopes it would attract attention to the university. It was so successful that soon other universities across the United States would be doing the same thing. In this case, American capitalism was the saving grace of college football. However, football has also used capitalism to shape the sport itself. During the TV era football was adapted to increase viewership by including passes and the two-point conversion to make the sport more enticing to viewers. The American concept of capitalism was used to shape the game for consumers and in this way, the sport became more American. To see more capitalism in football just wait till half-time when the commercials come on. The NFL makes more money from its Super Bowl half time …show more content…
During World War II, society started to glorify soldier like strength and strategy. Unlike other sports such as baseball, football allowed boys to express both these traits at the same time through strategic plays and firm defensive lines. The war like violence that is often seen in football plays caused several deaths in the early 1900s and the commander and chief, President Roosevelt, gave marching orders to colleges on reducing the number of football deaths. This is not unlike a President’s role in war time. Additionally, football has also taken on the political aspect of war. This can be seen when President Richard Nixon used the 1969 game between Arkansas and Texas to identify with the “silent majority” to gain their support after receiving great backlash from the draft of over 300,000 men. Furthermore, there is a large militaristic symbolism that has come to be expected at football games. Pregames often play the national anthem while fans enthusiastically wave flags around and, if you are lucky, fighter jets may pass over the stadium. It is not surprising that when a football player such as Colin Kaepernick defies the tradition of standing at attention for the flag that the media took notice. When Kaepernick knelt he also acted in a way that didn’t fit the way society thinks a

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