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Whats the main reason that makes football the most popular sport in England? watch

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    Watching it(spectator) or playing it(participation)?
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    Originally = ease of participation

    Now = popularity + money

    Originally it caught on to a level that many sports didn't just due to its sheer ease. Any boy could pick up any ball, a couple of jumpers, find a local field, or even just a space in the street, and play the exact same game as the professionals.

    Other popular sports just cant quite match that level of ease. Cricket is more complicated, requires larger areas, and bats etc. Tennis requires bats and a net. Rugby needs posts to kick over, and has marginally more complicated rules. etc. etc. There is very little that matches the basics of footballs: kick the ball in the goal more times then the other guys.

    --

    Now though this does not quite ring as true as it used to, as with our increased societal wealth, most people have access to most sports. I worked for 10 months in a school in a very poor part of the north, where previously kids would have had little access to many sports. Now though there was a trampolining + gymnastic place around the corner, that did special deals for locals to keep it very affordable.. the local cricket club had a great entry level program to increase participation in working class kids, the swimming pool had reduced-price times, and accessible sessions etc.

    The simple argument that its easier, does not hugely apply any more.

    I would say that now, it is popularity is maintained by its popularity itself. Its fairly self serving, the more popular it gets.. the more enticing it is for others to join. If everyone at work is talking about football, its very tempting to join in.. if all of your mates at school are playing, your going to play.. not sit quietly trying to play cricket by yourself. The more popular it gets, the more money is brought into the sport, and as a result the more it can pay for marketing/facilities to make it even more popular..

    Its a self-serving cycle which whilst it has pretty much reached saturation, still is highly effective at maintaining its place as the nations sport.

    --

    A good example of a country where football is not very popular, is china. When I first came here I wondered why.. but now its pretty clear. Football took off in england partly due to our geography/time of development. There is a lot of green space/parks in england, a lot of countryside. Here in china though, after the cultrual revolution, when the large cities were devloping and young people were starting to experiance what the rest of the world had to offer.. it was not football they turned to, but basketball.

    The reason is simple geography. You have millions of people living in crowded cities, where the norm is hard-ground and not grass.. most schools have no grass at all. Why would a school put in 1 football pitch, which would be expensive, and only accomodate a small number of people playing.. when they can put in many smaller basketball areas. They require no groundwork, as the ground surface is perfect, and they can accomodate far more students, in a far smaller space.

    In a country where inner-city space is key, basketball rules. As a result here american basketball is far far more popular then english football. Football was never easier, as it was in old england.. so the cycle of popularity gaining more popularity never started.

    --

    Anyway, thats just my thoughts on the matter.
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    History and Culture.
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    The question mentions England but I think it's enough to ask why football is so popular period.

    First of all the competition for most popular sport isn't that great I submit.

    Cricket? Rugby ?Basketball? Ice Hockey? At least ice hockey is exciting I suppose.

    One reason why football is a superior sport is the very reason it's taken time to become popular in the States.

    The scoring system.

    There are so few 'points' in a game of football that it usually takes a significant amount of time for the superior team to gain the lead.

    And often it never does. Many games ,almost uniquely among sports,end in draws!

    Draws!!

    The team that plays worse or the team that has the less technically gifted players can win a game of football more often than occurs in other sports.

    And that makes many games more exciting than they otherwise would have been.

    But it also makes the scoring of a goal a very significant event. Each goal is usually (unless a team is already well ahead) a cause for great celebration or great heartache or great relief among fans and bettors.

    And this release of great emotion two or three times during a game together with the anticipation of such release every time the ball gets near the penalty area helps make soccer so easily superior to any other sport .

    But of course this only touches on the whole answer.

    After the scoring method comes the tribal allegiances,the kits,the stadiums,the tactics the atmosphere at games and the camaraderie among fans.

    Sure other sports have at least some of those.But not the scoring method.The combination of the scoring method and everything else puts soccer out of reach.

    But never mind all that.

    The very first time a boy (it's usually a boy of course and I don't know the affect on a girl) goes to a league soccer stadium to see a game and looks down on that great big luscious green pitch is a sight they don't forget for many many years..if ever.
    In rugby and cricket the pitch is just as big and the grass just as green(greener in cricket) but the sense of anticipation just isn't there.


    I still remember my first time. Craven Cottage.
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    (Original post by moggis)
    The question mentions England but I think it's enough to ask why football is so popular period.

    First of all the competition for most popular sport isn't that great I submit.

    Cricket? Rugby ?Basketball? Ice Hockey? At least ice hockey is exciting I suppose.

    One reason why football is a superior sport is the very reason it's taken time to become popular in the States.

    The scoring system.

    There are so few 'points' in a game of football that it usually takes a significant amount of time for the superior team to gain the lead.

    And often it never does. Many games ,almost uniquely among sports,end in draws!

    Draws!!

    The team that plays worse or the team that has the less technically gifted players can win a game of football more often than occurs in other sports.

    And that makes many games more exciting than they otherwise would have been.

    But it also makes the scoring of a goal a very significant event. Each goal is usually (unless a team is already well ahead) a cause for great celebration or great heartache or great relief among fans and bettors.

    And this release of great emotion two or three times during a game together with the anticipation of such release every time the ball gets near the penalty area helps make soccer so easily superior to any other sport .

    But of course this only touches on the whole answer.

    After the scoring method comes the tribal allegiances,the kits,the stadiums,the tactics the atmosphere at games and the camaraderie among fans.

    Sure other sports have at least some of those.But not the scoring method.The combination of the scoring method and everything else puts soccer out of reach.

    But never mind all that.

    The very first time a boy (it's usually a boy of course and I don't know the affect on a girl) goes to a league soccer stadium to see a game and looks down on that great big luscious green pitch is a sight they don't forget for many many years..if ever.
    In rugby and cricket the pitch is just as big and the grass just as green(greener in cricket) but the sense of anticipation just isn't there.


    I still remember my first time. Craven Cottage.


    I've just been accused by someone of only ever posting about gambling.

    Well here's a very long post all about how wonderful football is with no mention (I think) of betting.In case anyone missed it.

    Cheers


    I probably should have mentioned the gambling aspect
 
 
 
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