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The student news site of iUniversity Prep in Grapevine, Texas


The student news site of iUniversity Prep in Grapevine, Texas



Assessing the Reasons Behind the Popularity of Sports
Danny Hall

     From football to baseball to just about everything in between, sports is an incredibly popular form of entertainment. Many find joy when they partake in sports, whether they’re the ones playing or if they’re just simply watching. At iUniversity Prep, our school’s student body contains not only fans of sports, but elite student athletes as well. With this in mind, there are plenty of questions that can be asked. What is the most popular sport amongst iUP students? Why are some sports more popular than others? Being such a unique school, there can be many answers to these from multiple different points of view, and in this article, those perspectives will be explored.


The Bigger Picture


     Across the United States, the most popular sport is unsurprisingly football. Whether it’s the fact that the Super Bowl Sunday is treated by many as a national holiday or NFL viewership increasing due to Taylor Swift’s presence at Kansas City Chiefs games (Yahoo Finance), the fact that football reigns supreme in America has been and is still clear to many. In fact, out of the 100 most viewed telecasts in 2023, 45 of them were NFL games and the highest viewed telecast of that year was none other than the Super Bowl (Variety Magazine). This proves that in America, the NFL is just as much of a cultural landmark as it is a professional football league. 


     Now that we know that football is America’s most popular sport, the question that now needs to be asked is why football is so popular. There is no singular answer to this question but rather there are multiple aspects that need to be accounted for. First, a significant reason why football is so popular is the Super Bowl, where it isn’t just about the game itself. Rather, things such as the halftime show and the humorous commercials make it to where the Super Bowl can be appealing to just about anybody in America by having something for everyone. In addition, the action of the sport itself makes it appealing to many, with exciting plays on both sides of the ball happening in just seconds. With so much happening so quickly, that adds a certain amount of suspense whenever play isn’t happening. 


     In addition, it was previously mentioned that the presence of Taylor Swift at NFL games has helped ratings tremendously in the past season. Since Taylor started dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, more eyes have been on the NFL than they have in the past few seasons. Thanks to Taylor Swift’s appearances at NFL games last season, viewership amongst women aged 18-24 increased by 24% in just the first 3 weeks of the season, and viewership amongst women aged 35 or older increasing by 34% in that same amount of time (Yahoo Finance). Being one of the most popular pop stars on the planet certainly has a major impact, and for the NFL, it’s one that the league is certainly thankful for. 


It’s Not Just Football


     Although football is easily the most popular sport in America, it isn’t the only sport in America with a significant following. To begin, baseball has long been considered America’s favorite pastime, and for good reason. An important part of American culture for many years, baseball has its appeal amongst many for the aspect of tradition. With teams such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers having long respective histories and reputations for being successful, baseball especially is a sport fit for those that don’t just follow one player, but rather an entire team. In addition, baseball has the advantage of being perfectly fit to watch live. From hot dogs to home runs and the major league to the minor leagues, being there at the games instead of watching from home still holds its own special appeal. 


     On the other side of things, basketball is a sport that is more popular because of its adaptation to the way fans nowadays want to consume sports. Even though basketball hasn’t been around as long as baseball, its popularity doesn’t suffer from it. In fact, amongst Americans aged 18-24, basketball is the most popular sport, even surpassing football in popularity (Statista). With the game of basketball itself being one that’s in constant movement and has high amounts of scoring, basketball is naturally appealing to a younger audience. Part of this is because of how well basketball is suited for social media such as YouTube and Instagram, where highlights from games are perfectly suited for said platforms, unlike other sports such as baseball and football. 


Not Everybody’s Cup Of Tea


     Unsurprisingly, most Americans don’t keep up with sports at all, with 62% of Americans claiming that they either don’t follow any sports closely or don’t follow sports at all (Pew Research Center). Along with that, only 7% of Americans claim to be sports superfans that follow sports closely and talk about them daily (Pew Research Center). This makes sense considering just how many other forms of entertainment there are for Americans to consume. It’s understandable that perhaps, somebody that prefers watching movies doesn’t want to watch or keep up with sports and vice versa. 


iUP Students Speak


     Now that it’s been mentioned what the most popular sports are across the entire country and why they’re so popular, it’s time for the lens to be narrowed down. At iUniversity Prep, there are students across all walks of life, including those that are athletes. As a matter of fact, every single student that I surveyed for this article plays sports, which further serves as a testament to how iUP allows student athletes to thrive by allowing them to have a flexible schedule and be able to do school anywhere. With that being said, here are some responses from individual students about what their favorite sports are.


     To begin, Anika Goswami, an 8th grader at iUP, said that her favorite sport is tennis. When asked why tennis is her favorite, she said that it’s because of how “simple yet fun the game is”. “Once you understand the general rules of playing a singles game of tennis, you can quickly start playing games with ease,” she explained. Autumn Friesenhahn, who is also an 8th grade student at iUP, said that women’s gymnastics is her favorite sport. As Autumn admits, she began to like women’s gymnastics at first “for the pretty leotards” that the gymnasts wore, but now, she says she has respect for the strength that comes with being a gymnast.




     In America, the most popular sport is definitively football, although other sports such as basketball have their fair share of popularity. As for iUP’s favorite sport, there is no easy answer to that question because of how many different perspectives each student has. With so many athletes at iUP, the sports that the students play is something to take into consideration, rather than just the sports they watch. 



“Taylor Swift Helped Boost NFL Ratings, but Her Power Extends Far beyond the League.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, Accessed 18 May 2024. 

Schneider, Michael. “The 100 Most-Watched Telecasts of 2023: NFL, Oscars, Gordon Ramsay, ‘NCIS’ and a Single ‘Yellowstone’ Episode.” Variety, Variety, 29 Dec. 2023,

Gramlich, John. “By a Wide Margin, Americans Say Football – Not Baseball – Is ‘America’s Sport.’” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 5 Feb. 2024,,%25)%20or%20hockey%20(1%25).

Richter, Felix. “Infographic: Fan Appeal: Could Basketball Kick Football off Its Throne?” Statista Daily Data, 7 Sept. 2023,


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About the Contributor
Danny Hall
Danny Hall, News Section Editor
My name is Danny Hall, and I will be the News Section Editor at iHoot. I am a sophomore at iUniversity Prep and this will be my third year at iUP and at iHoot. I do a lot of things in my free time that I can't even fully list, but most often you'll find me watching sports, writing books, listening to music, or learning random new things that I think are interesting. In addition, I enjoy spending time with animals, whether it be dogs, cats, or horses. I'm very excited to be a part of iHoot again this year and I hope for another amazing year here.

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