February 03, 2013

Why Do We Like Football

I really enjoyed this post by Seth Godin about football.
For someone outside the US, the visceral connection with football seems mysterious. You can understand a lot about the future (and past) of marketing once you understand how the sport turned into a cultural touchstone.
Tribes -> TV -> Money -> Mass -> TV -> Tribes
Football as we know it started in colleges. It was an epic muddy battle, pitting one alma mater against another, a war-like, non-balletic battle that united (at a pretty elemental level) the tribes on each side. As it grew as a college sport, it became as much of a social event as a sporting one, with alumni and students finding connection around a game.
But if that's all it was, today wouldn't be the biggest day of the year for several industries. If that's all it was, you wouldn't be able to pick a fight merely by challenging the hegemony of football or the local team. We'd be spending as much time and energy on soccer or lacrosse or basketball, but we don't.
No, it turns out that, quite accidentally, football, more than any other sport, is
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Go '49ers!

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