View single post by PeteF3
 Posted: Mon Jun 28th, 2010 04:27 am
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Joined: Thu Dec 6th, 2007
Posts: 1475
Famous Mortimer wrote: Back to the point, changing allegiance in sports teams is incredibly rare. Size of country may make a difference, as people can move to the other side of the country and it's still only a few hours journey to see your team.
This, right here.

Let's all keep this in perspective: the country of England is roughly the same size as Alabama.  Looking at a map, I see almost every Premier League team is based either in London or Manchester--about 4 or 5 are isolated.  There just isn't the amount of large regional variation and distance that there is in the U.S., and--to my knowledge--almost no such thing as regional TV/radio coverage, either.

Shrink everything down to an Alabama-sized sports system--think high school or small college sports--and you're not going to see any allegiance shifts there, either. 

As someone else said, Americans are more transient, and only in the last ten years have satellite dishes and high-speed Internet made it feasible to regularly watch a team that's "out of market."  Before then, if you moved to LA but wanted to remain a fan of a Cleveland team, regardless of which sport, your only hope to watch them on TV was if they were on a national telecast or playing a SoCal team.

The size of the country also led to things like franchising back when sports (or baseball, specifically) first went professional around the 1880's.  Even though the major teams only stretched from New England to St. Louis, that's still a territory far bigger than any country in Europe.  Owners wanted to monopolize their control of a city--something you could do when you had lots of big, spread-out cities to choose from.  That's why you have franchise movement that continues today and why there never would have been a relegation system developed in the U.S.

Last edited on Mon Jun 28th, 2010 04:29 am by PeteF3