Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and other American Football issues


I never stated otherwise to any of your points. It might reach hockey or soccer level of interest in the US, but even that is ambitious.

My point was more to the fact that Rym dismissed the game out of hand. I played it as a co-ed intramural sport in high school. The school provided all of the equipment and everything was pretty informal, but is was fun.


Sure. But soccer is already the biggest sport in the world, and I think it’s possible that it might increase in popularity in the USA as football decreases in popularity until it’s one of the major sports alongside basketball and baseball and ice hockey. Probably it won’t be as big as football, but I think that has more to do with the entire economical setup of the USA for the last 60 years or so, fueled in part by mass advertising of drinks, cars and insurance at live sporting events. Football caught that wave perfectly and I don’t see another wave like that in the horizon.


I’d say it depends. Many a sports fan was made long before they had a concept of playing sports. I was a fan of baseball and american football when I was very very young because my dad liked watching sports with his child who could barely talk.

By the time I could go to school I was able to recite the batting order of the the Yankees, and while I didn’t understand football at all, (I mean I guess it was fun to watch people get hit) I was still a Jets fan. Actually doing anything that resembled any of these sports came way later.

It could happen with lacrosse. Get a fanbase from all the people who played in school and keep it because many of them have kids.


I think it’s a totally fine sport, but considering how difficult it’s been to even get soccer into a higher tier of mainstream awareness in the US, I will literally eat a hat if lacross is ever as commercially successful as soccer or ice hockey in the US.

I further think that esports are going to drastically reduce the regular sports market within a decade.


I was saying the level of popularity soccer enjoys in the States now would likely not be attainable for lacrosse. Soccer has been poised to break through to a wider audience in the US for decades, but has failed to do so. I doubt Lacrosse would ever even be in that position. I still don’t quite get if you are trying to address my statements directly or start a divergent topic. It seems like a divergent topic.


Well, I’ll go further and say that baseball is going to decline sharply after a couple more generations.

I suspect hockey is growing (more immediately exciting, better able to compete with esports and short attention spans, huge non-male fanbase, etc…).

Football will die the death we keep discussing in these threads.

Soccer will probably hold steady due to world interest.

Basketball, as much as I personally don’t care for it, is entrenched in culture, and there are some movements with that 3v3 league coming up in New York

Stupid poorly researched gut guess 10 years from now? The top ten sports in the US in 2027

  1. Some esport
  2. Some other esport
  3. Basketball
  4. Ice Hockey
  5. Soccer
  6. Some esport
  7. Some form of evolved martial arts (post-MMA)
  8. Baseball
  9. Some esport
  10. A particularly niche esport


I like the take that esports take over the sports but I do wonder what will happen involving the ever changing nature of the esports world.

Things come and go in esports. CS 1.6 was a thing until Source, Source was a thing until Go, which will probably be a thing until it isn’t. Even giant titans like League of legends will probably go the way of Starcraft.

Baseball has been around since forever.

So how we square that circle? Is it the end of the era where the sports parents watched as kids are still on the air? I mean will my buddies’ kids care that their parents were at MSG for the league of legends superbowl equivalent in a wold where league doesn’t exist anymore? The way I care that my 94 year old grandpa got to see legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris?

It’s an interesting question.


You need to change the structure of esports such that they aren’t about a specific game controlled by a specific company. Instead of the Street Fighter world championship, we need the 2D fighting game world championship. The actual software, its code, and its rules need to be universal, stable, tightly controlled, and optimized for fair and interesting competition. Just like the rules of any other pro sport. Existing video games are coded with other competing commercial interests in mind, and this is why they can’t last forever. It’s also how you get problems like people abusing glitches, etc.


So my hot take then, is that that’s not going to happen.

And that when/if Rym’s vision comes to pass it will the streetfighter and league of legends rather than 2D fighting game and dota-like game.

Given that, I return to my query: how do we square that circle?


My first reply began with “I have no opinion on lacrosse one way or the other” so I’m not trying to rebut any point or trying to be adversarial. I’m analysing a sport by its main features to determine what I imagine its peak popularity might be.

My conclusion: niche sport for rich white kids who want to be violent but don’t want poor black kids being violent back.


There will probably be esports leagues that are also game companies. The company makes the game and also administers the league.

There will be entirely separate esports leagues that play general commercially available games.


There probably will but my argument is that they will come and go. So when in 20 years league of legends is no longer played or watched because some other dota-like dethrones it. What happens to your list of esports?

Is the new normal that sports on the top 10 in the country regularly stop being games at all and everyone just adjusts to non sports fans not even knowing what the biggest sport in the country is?

Right now, you can ask anyone who speaks english (and lives in the states) and probably get them to name 3 of the top 4 sports in the usa in response to “what are the biggest 4 sports in the USA?” My usual test for these things is my broken english-speaking nonna. Who last I asked was able to get all 4 without any guidance.


The rise of esports will go hand in hand with a change of economics. At the moment the NFL is only sustainable by:

  1. ESPN paying huge fees for the right to show games, funded by subscribers.
  2. Broadcast networks paying huge fees for the rights to show games, funded by drinks, car and insurance commercials.
  3. Scarcity of teams and games per teams.
  4. Ultimate scarcity of the yearly final, the Superbowl.

Point 1 is fading: see cable cutters and massive falloff in ESPN subscriber numbers.
Point 2 will fade as brand advertising goes mostly online…

Oh shit, Amazon bought Twitch? Turns out Jeff Bezos is cleverer than everyone. No need for brand awareness if you buy all consumer goods from Amazon. No need for insurance adverts if algorithms take care of all that shit… running on AWS. No need for car adverts if everyone is taking Uber, etc.

Esports is perfectly decentralised, and can have any kind of brand or product advertising running against it. The players don’t have to travel to games and audiences, the audiences come to them. Any number of tournaments can be held, and there’s a constant supply of new games and events and new esports.

And then the advertising is based on volume, not scarcity. There’s no point wondering what the NFL of esports is going to be. That’s not how the future will work. It’ll be about 10,000 niche games blooming.


If there’s 10,000 niche games blooming (or heaven, as I’d call it) wouldn’t it stand to reason that as long as baseball, hockey, basketball, and american football are still around, each one of them will remain bigger than any one of the 10,000 niche esports?


Arguably more people watched that one Moba championship than watched the superbowl online. LoL probably has a larger following than baseball.

The numbers drop off shockingly fast for “major” sports. And, unlike TV/cable, esports streams have actual numbers.


Probably. But then it comes down to different metrics on deciding what is “bigger”.

If it’s in-person live ticketed attendance? No esport will get near the top of the list.

If it’s live viewing figures via streaming and broadcast? Some esport events might get close to some live sporting events, but probably none will ever come close to Superbowl figures, or other sports finals like the Wimbledon mens final in the UK.

If it’s overall participation where the normal participants are playing by the same rules and with the same equipment as the top-level professional athletic team sports? I think we’re already at the place where esports are bigger.


It’s hard to compare League of Legends, which is an international esport, with the Superbowl, which is so painfully American that it’s a running joke in the rest of the world.

You’d have to compare the world championship of LoL with the world championship of a truly global sporting event like the Olympics or the FIFA world cup… and then the numbers aren’t looking so good for LoL just yet:

“2014 FIFA World Cup reached 3.2 billion viewers, one billion watched final”


I mean that’s true but after league of legends the esport numbers drop arguably faster. Also Luke’s point.


Well since we’re in a capitalist society let’s go by the only numbers that really matter: $, € and, £. In terms of total monetary value the sport generates. I’d say those big traditional sports will always lead there, if for no other reason than they already have infrastructure and have been at this a while.


Again, the current capitalist order is changing a lot, and in the future the same rules won’t apply. No single esport will match any single traditional athletic sport in terms of dollar “bigness” but that’s not going to be the point, is it?

I predict that once brand advertising and ESPN subscription money starts drying up, athletic sports will be able to tap into the same advertising money that esports will have. Lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee will stream on platforms like Twitch and YouTube and be able to offer the same kinds of prize pools and return for investors. I can’t wait!