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The State Of Baseball Is Not Good, But The State Of Football Is Worse

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Here's two things I read today:

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Baseball attendance dropped again this year - only by 446,000, but it's now at its lowest since 2004, and we also saw poor viewing figures for the World Series. Is this is a problem? - Source,  AZ Snakepit.com

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and:

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Nine NFL game telecasts this season have been watched by 25 million viewers - up 125 percent from this point last year (four) and matching the total for  the full 2009 season, according to The Nielsen Company. NFL games are the *only fall programs* on television to reach 25 million viewers since Nov. 16, 2008.  - Source, NFL Press Release

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This really comes as no surprise, but it certainly isn't a good thing. Baseball is fading for a lot of reasons, including the pace of the game and the ridiculously long 162-game season.

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But is football really the direction our sports viewing habits should be going towards? A violent game that's biggest redeeming value for the casual fan is its pure simplicity. Run. Throw. Kick. Score. Repeat.

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Obviously, football is more complicated than that and our dear fans who are "dedicated" and "hardcore" and "die hards" understand the complexities of the various zone coverage options and defensive line twists and stunts (thanks in large part to Madden Football video games).

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What makes football SO popular isn't the nuance of the game; it's the lack of nuance required to understand the game.

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Baseball is the exact opposite. The basic rules are complex enough, but to really appreciate America's former pastime, you have to invest and commit and focus. Those are not exactly traits we are known for anymore.