If you're like every other American male (and plenty of females too), you probably spend a lotta time watching sports. I know, though, that some times definitely seem better than others. Right about now, for example, is definitely a time of plenty. Heck, I’ve got March Madness, soccer, and spring training (and hockey and the NBA – if I was actually interested in those). Other times, though, I feel like I’m kind of twiddling my thumbs. I know I always have a real letdown when the Super Bowl’s over, or when the last game of the World Series has been played.
So, what I was wondering is whether there was anything behind those feelings. How often do American sports fans’ cups runneth over? How often do they run dry? Some sports have seasons that just seem to last forever (NBA, NHL, MLB …). Some, though, seem to be much more reasonable (football, namely).
So, the first thing I looked at was how long the seasons are for the different sports. By the way, I eliminated golf, tennis, and Formula 1. Those have interest world-wide and, consequently, seem to go on all year. For everything else a red-blooded American would want to watch, though, here’s what we have:
Well, I was right about the NBA, NHL, MLB, and football, right? And I guess college sports need to have shorter seasons to fit into the school year. But look at NASCAR! I guess having so many races in the sunny South lets them get away with that.
What is UEFA? It’s basically the European soccer season. I debated including that, as soccer is not generally considered terribly Murcan. It’s one of my favorite sports, though, and does seem to be finally getting an audience over here, so … (Note that I did not count MLS however! Neither did I count curling or badminton or croquet. Hey, I’m interested in sports that people actually watch on TV.)
And here’s what you get if you superimpose those seasons on top of each other:
Or in a slightly different form:
And this tells me that I was correct about there being particularly fertile and infertile time periods for sports. As you’ll notice, the summer’s rather poor, and the winter’s rather rich. I’m guessing that people may have better things to do when the weather’s nice rather than just sit inside and watch other people get exercise – something I can heartily agree with.