Not too often I start a sports thread, but there has been a question bothering me for the past week and I'm not really satisfied with the answers I've heard.
I stopped by my father's place the other day and he and his 70-something neighbor were out on the back patio reminiscing about how great baseball was back in the day. 'The day' in this context I guess was anytime prior to the mid-1960's. Kids idolized baseball players and all dreamed they'd make it to the big leagues one day; whole families would gather around the radio and listen to big games; entire offices/factory floors would experience significant slow downs during the Series as everyone had half their mind on baseball. Relatively few people followed professional football and even fewer had heard of basketball. Part of me would like to say that's a bunch of Norman Rockwell, but I guess the sport wouldn't have acquired the moniker 'America's pastime' were there not more than a mere nugget of truth to these claims.
What then caused (or is causing) the demise of professional baseball? Baseball was the General Motors of the American sports scene 45 years ago but has become, well, the General Motors of the sports scene! () Okay so television viewership of baseball has been ceded to the likes of football and basketball....why? Both of those sports have existed in professional form for almost a century - did baseball suddenly get boring? Is there something about either the game itself or the American public that changed? And if Americans have simply broadened their tastes for other sports how come we still see soccer getting the 'metric treatment'?