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America's Love Affair With Football Keeps Getting Stronger

Seattle Seahawks fans, perhaps in a moment of reflection, before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 19.
Seattle Seahawks fans, perhaps in a moment of reflection, before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 19.

Football fandom simply overwhelms all other sports in America, growing not just merely super, but superior, from high school right on up to this Sunday's quasi-religious festival — which celebrates our adoration of the sport as much as the sport itself.

There are multiple reasons to account for this increased devotion to football, but curiously, there's no balancing diminution in interest in other sports. Baseball may no longer be the national pastime, but it's doing quite well. Sports fandom is not necessarily a zero-sum game. It's just that football's popularity grows and grows, funguslike.

And starting next year, when the colleges have a real football playoff, a whiff of January Madness, the interest in football is bound to rise to even higher heights.

But there may also be something of a counterintuitive aspect at play here, for whereas all we hear is about how rapidly things move today — how the news cycle never ends, how it's a turnover, throw-away world — the fact that football teams only play once a week sort of slows everything down.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.

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