Football leaving baseball in the dust

Baseball is still called the national pastime, but football is by far the more popular sport in American society.

Originally Published: February 10, 2004
By Sean McAdam | Special to ESPN.com

More out of habit than anything else, we still refer to baseball as the national pastime.

In truth, the tag hasn't fit for some time. Football began making inroads as far back as the 1970s, and two decades later, it wasn't much of a contest anymore. If baseball still had the hearts and minds of the American sports fan, then football could lay claim to everything else.

By any measure -- TV viewership, merchandise sold, fan surveys -- football rules. The game may not be superior, but ...

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