The Corner

Super Bowl Winners

As I already suggested, I find it easier to remember prior Super Bowl winners than to remember the participants, let alone winners, of the World Series, or any other sport for that matter. Why is this? One reason is that football is one of the few sports that I will watch even when “my” team is not playing — it only requires a three hour game rather than a multi-game series — and I think this is true of many football fans. Indeed, DirectTV owes its tremendous success, in part, to the legions of football fans who want to be able to watch every game. (DirectTV is the only service to offer a viewing package of all pro football games, and football is the only major sport where there is a monopoly provider of this service.)

If, however, Super Bowl champions are harder to remember than in years past, I would suggest that this is true in other sports as well. That is, it is harder to remember the championship winners in all sports. I would offer two possible reasons for why this is, in addition to those Andrew suggested: 1) Professional sports do not dominate American culture as “national pastimes” the way that they used to, so they do not command our collective attention they way that they did in decades past; and 2) free agency has eroded the distinctive identities of individual teams and franchises.

Jonathan H. Adler is the Johan Verhiej Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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