Baseball may be the “great American pastime,” but football reigns supreme in the world of sports. Worth more than $1 billion on the average, a National Football League team proves to be more profitable than a Major League Baseball team (over $700 million), a team in the National Basketball Association (over $500 million) or in the National Hockey League (just shy of $300 million). This profitability, in large part, is due to increased profits, and these profits are directly attributed to having more wins than losses, which then leads to increased sponsorship. Of the 32 NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys is the most valuable.
“Show me the money!”
A hybrid of soccer and rugby, this lucrative sports juggernaut began building its reputation in 1892. On November 12th of that year, William (Pudge) Heffelfinger, a football player for the Allegheny Athletic Association, was paid $500 to play in a game versus the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. This was the first documented instance of a football player being paid for his services, and pro football was born. Up until that point, amateur players were “compensated” with trophies and watches. Oftentimes players’ expenses were paid at twice their value. Today the average salary for a football player exceeds $1 million for most positions.
But football is more than just about making money and being profitable. Vince Lombardi once said that “football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” Okay, so that may be why a person chooses to play football. What, then, accounts for our national obsession with the game? A Sports Business Journal writer revealed that residents of New York City opted to watch a New York Jets game one evening as opposed to a Yankee playoff game. What gives?
The game of football has certainly taken its fair share of lumps lately. Concerns regarding head injuries and players’ physical well-being in general, as well as reports of misconduct by players and coaching staff alike, may give football fans pause, but they have certainly not tarnished the popularity of the sport. Football is indeed physical, but it is also a game that compels people to work as a team and endeavor to attain a mutual goal. Football is also a mental game that requires classroom work and advanced preparation. And in the end, football brings us together with family and friends to celebrate a pastime that, while not wholly American, has certainly been adopted as one of America’s own.
Now is the time to prepare for the coming NFL season, by making sure that your game room reflects your football obsession and promotes your favorite team. And whether your favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys or the Jacksonville Jaguars, we have game tables and furniture to display your team spirit.