Fans and Fame: When Lesser Sports Steal the Show

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Association Football is, by and large, the most popular sport in the world. Its supremacy is undisputed: with more than 3 billion fans, it is the most followed sport in Europe, South America, many parts of Africa, and Asian countries, too. In North America, it is considered a lesser contender, with American Football (where players barely even touch the ball with their feet) seizing its name. It is a sport that’s only popular in its own country (American Football is barely played in other countries) but it is covered extensively by the media and featured in many films, which makes it well-known around the world. And it is not the only sport in a similar situation. Sports are like casino games – while slot machines and blackjack are the most played ones, most people wish to play roulette at when they first arrive because it is the better known one of them all. And the case of the following sports is similar to the one above.

Field Hockey vs. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is the biggest winter sport in the world. It is played in just a handful of countries – Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Canada, Russia, the USA – but it has a large number of fans because it is much more physical, fast-paced, and often brutal than its “big brother”, field hockey.

And this is the reason why it successfully stole the show from field hockey, once the third most popular game in the world, especially in Europe, Asia (mostly India), Africa, and Australia.

Cricket vs. Baseball

Baseball is another American game that steals the show. It is loosely based on cricket, a sport invented in and made popular by the British Empire back in the day. Cricket is the third most watched competition in the world, second only to rugby and association football. It is a dominating sport in India, several other Asian countries, and played in and followed by large numbers of fans in England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Baseball is popular in the United States and Japan, where it is huge, but it’s well-known all over the world thanks to Hollywood.

Rugby vs. American Football

Few Americans know that their favorite sport has nothing to do with kicking the ball – its name is derived from the footlong ball the players use during matches. Otherwise, it is a sport very much similar to Rugby – actually, it differs from the original in a few details and the extensive use of protective equipment.

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