On these posts I’ve complained, whined and kvetched about how America’s major television networks and the media overall are obsessed with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
Super Bowl XLVI is upon us, and we have another Boston-New York matchup with the Patriots and Giants. The network executives must be mighty pleased that those two big northeastern markets are reprented, but NFL execs are always pleased with whatever teams are playing.
The Super Bowl is the biggest thing in sports – in this country, anyway – and it will draw monster ratings even if Tennessee is playing Tampa Bay. The big game rules regardless of the market size of the competing teams.
In the NFL, talent is dispersed, dynasties are rare and most teams have at least a strong hope every few years at getting a shot at glory. Except maybe the Cleveland Browns.
There’s a lesson for Major League Baseball in the NFL’s universal success. Football has unified national appeal. Baseball, while enjoying broad appeal nationwide, is at heart a region-by-region, market-by-market affair. And the game pays a price for that.