May

6

AliIn terms of the attention of Americans who own plasma TVs, baseball has gotten comparatively smaller when measured against football; but, then, football has gotten smaller when measured against NASCAR. But measured by world attention, baseball is far bigger than it was when NBC broadcast a single "Game of the Week". Korea, Japan, and Taiwan now have professional leagues with players who are most assuredly the equal of American ones; and the explosion in the quality and quantity of Latin American baseball is amazing. The College World Series has grown from an embarrassingly impoverished sideshow into a Big Deal that gets start-to-finish TV coverage of every game in the double-elimination tournament.

If you want to be sad about the real decline of a sport, try boxing. The Friday Night Fights used to be among the top five TV shows. Cities as small as Akron, Ohio used to have weekly fight cards, and the largest indoor arena in a town had been built for boxing, not basketball. Boxing was the #1 sport in the country for the first half of the 20th century; now it is nearly as extinct as vaudeville.


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