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Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse?

Have professional sports evolved for the better or worse? Our forum members have shown some great investigative skills by sharing some history of sports in the USA and how they have evolved! Learn more...

By: Athletes Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse?

The Question:

We constantly hear the old-timers say, "If it was only like the old days." Some people believe that sports have evolved into a commercialized business, where the players are overpaid and the fans are overcharged. Others believe that sports have evolved into exciting entertainment.

Have professional sports evolved for the better or worse? Why?

What changes in sports do you like? Which do you dislike? Why?

Which sport do you think has been changed the most? Why?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - MeadeJ9
Contact This Author Here.

Every story has two sides, yes professional sports have evolved for the better, but at the same time they have also evolved for the worse. However, in order to display this and make a good assumption as to which side out weighs the other we must look back at the origins of certain sports and compare them to now.

To display the vast amount of change, I pick three: Baseball, Basketball and Football. These are arguably the most preferred and talked about sports in America and withhold a large amount of change within just the past half century.


How Much Do They Make?

Now a days seeing how much a professional ball player makes has a jaw dropping affect upon us. It's outrageous! Currently the highest paid baseball player, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, makes slightly over 21.6 million dollars. I don't know about you, but as I sit here and add up all the money I've made in a lifetime, I'm pretty confident that I haven't even come close to 21.6 million dollars.

As we move on to looking at some of the highest paid athletes in basketball and football we notice similar results. Shaquille O'Neal, powerhouse of the Miami Heat pulled in a whopping 20 million for the 05-06 season and even worse, Michael Vick QB for the Atlanta Falcons, made 23.1 million dollars in 05'.

Often times we see athletic interviews and the question, "Why do you play the game?" arises. The typical answer is most commonly, "For the love of the game," my question is, if they love the game so much why are these outlandish salaries demanded by them?

Just briefly comparing older salaries to the new, in 76' baseball great, Hank Aaron made $250,000 a season for the Milwaukee Brewers. The average salary of a Brewers player now is 775,000 a season. Not to mention Alex Rodriguez is making nearly 87 times more than Aaron in 30 years time.


How Much Do We Pay?

The price the players make just so happens to go hand in hand with the price we pay to see them. Year after year the prices to attend these games sky rocket in efforts to afford their exorbitant salaries. The price of a ticket to Super bowl XLI, now on sale, can be obtained for the low, low cost of $2,600-$5,995 depending on desired location of seat. I personally, think I'll be watching this one at home!

RELATED POLL
What Do You Think Of Ticket Prices To Pro Sporting Events?

Worth Every Penny!
Outrageously Overpriced.

Hopefully for you, your wife and kids aren't nagging you to take them to the NBA All Star Game in Las Vegas this upcoming year, if they are you'll be put out around $1000-$6500 depending on location of seat yet again. Your best bet, although still expensive would probably be taking them to the MLB All Star Game, tickets ranging from $550-$2200 a piece and yes, you guessed it, once again based on location of seat.

In 1969 tickets to the World Series were a mere $4-$15! I'd say there is definitely a bit of price difference there, at this rate in 10 years none of us will be able to afford to watch sports that aren't on TV.


Are Athletes Actually Getting That Much Better?

For the most part, yes! Athletes are consistently breaking through barriers we didn't believe to be possible, take for instance the time it takes to run a mile. For quite some time it was said running a mile in less than 4 minutes was conceivably out of reach. However, in '99 a Moroccan by the name of Hicham El Guerrouj shattered this barrier with his 3:43:13 time which still holds the record.

In 1927, Babe Ruth hit 60 homeruns in a season, at that time it was seen as amazing! Nevertheless, 74 years and a couple steroids later Barry Bonds hit 73 raising the bar on this record in 2001. Day after day, training session after training session athletes are slowly but surely making themselves bigger stronger and more physically, or mentally for that matter, capable of displaying their adaptations and readiness to compete and overcome in their designated sport of choice.

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In essence they are leaving behind the records and standards set by the generations prior to them and raising them to new highs to be broken by those to come.

So What You're Trying To Say Is?

    What I'm trying to say is yes Professional Sports have evolved for the better as far as what they are capable of doing and displaying during an "in game" situation. They're flat out amazing! The various things these athletes do and put themselves through to produce these outcomes are by far greater than the generations before, however everything playing into and around these Professional Sports has evolved for the worse.

    Ticket Pricing:

      Our ticket pricing is, as I mentioned above, outrageous - your everyday average Joe is more than likely not going to go out and pay $5,000 to watch a 3 hour sporting event when he only makes $50,000 a year. Before taxes that's 10% of his annual income and unless he's just a diehard fan, as many of us are, he's more than likely not going to be able to pull the string in his wallet around to afford going.

      Also, take into consideration that's "just" the ticket, what about the flight there if it's not in your home town? Did you factor in the expenses for food and a room if you're planning on spending the night there? Before its over with you spent $5500-$6000 to watch the Titans lose to the Rams.

      If these athletes love the game so much why are they demanding they make so much to play? Ever tell somebody, "Man I sure do hate my job." If so you probably got back the response "Its work you're not supposed to like it." Do you have to like your job to demand making more money? If so, maybe that what I've been doing wrong all these years!

    Sportsmanship:

      Sportsmanship for instance is still evolving for the worse in my opinion, in 2004 the Pacers and the Pistons got into a full team-on-team confrontation over Ron Artest's foul on Ben Wallace. To top it off, Piston's fan John Green threw a cup of beer at Artest's Chest leading to an infuriated Ron Artest charging into the stands breaking out a riot.

      At this time Artest was making 6.1 million dollars a season and couldn't control his anger long enough to keep from attacking a fan? Yes, I agree the man should not have thrown this at him, but as an athlete and member of that team he is supposed to hold a higher standard for himself and control himself better in those types of situations.

      If I knew I was making 6.1 million to play basketball it'd take a lot to put me in a bad mood, especially one great enough to feel the need to attack a fan that paid $100-$400 for his regular season game ticket!

    Sports Training & Medicine:

      One thing playing into the evolution of sports that I strongly believe has evolved for the better is sports training and medicine. We know much more about the body, how it works, what it needs and what outcomes certain drugs will have upon us.

      Steroids, in my opinion, are not the answer, however they help, a lot! They can take an average baseball player and turn him into a homerun king and powerhouse like no other. However, on a more legal note, knowledge and understood usage on things such as creatine, glutamine and overall good nutrition have made athletes healthier, stronger, and more equipped to perform on a higher level.

      Sports medicine allows the athletes to get back out and play faster than most of us see possible. I have watched Eddie George of the Tennessee Titans dislocate his shoulder, go to the sideline, have it relocated, put on a special brace and be back out playing in 10 minutes. I've dislocated my shoulder playing football many times, I however, did not return to the game, but due to the advances in modern medicine and these braces and supports he was able to play through this and to me that's phenomenal!


What Changes Do You Like?

The research and intelligence people have put into sports medicine and training methods to make the athletes better have in my opinion the biggest role in the game and is what I truly like most. Without modern medicine and methods of training the athletes would not be of such a high caliber and competing on such a high level in comparison to those that came before.

That's part of the fun of this, watching as new and improved ways of training, recovering through medical means and incorporating better nutrition allow us, the athletes, to continually out do our previous times and records. Without this new improved and gathered knowledge of training for athletics we'd all probably still be either overtraining or sticking to a workout program consisting of flat bench for 3 sets of 10 along with an array of abdominal exercises everyday, because they are "different" than our other muscle groups.

We have found there are many various ways to train for things such as improvement in speed, greater endurance, or overall strength, without this where would we be? We now have supplements that can increase endurance, up testosterone, and help to melt fat away allowing athletics to reach new heights in fitness levels and overall athletic output.

Nutrition, well that's just a given. With our expanded amount of knowledge on what our bodies do and don't need we've, along with increasing our physique and sports performance levels, increased our life expectancy. So my most liked and appreciated sports evolvement definitely is our expansion in knowledge over these few things because without them we'd in my opinion be competing on no where near the level we are now in professional athletics.


What Changes Don't You Like?

I don't enjoy seeing athletes take advantage of modern medicine and use it in bad ways such as steroids. How is it fair for a baseball player to take steroids, get gigantic, seize the homerun record, and say it was "all him." To me that's just plain wrong and unfair to the people that bust their @ss everyday in the gym getting what little gains they can to give them an advantage over the other guy. They are suddenly sent to the bottom of the food chain because another guy chooses to "cheat" themselves and the sport by taking steroids to enhance their performance.

I also hate the price tag we place on these players, why did we ever let them keep demanding more and more money to play these sports? Making 20 million dollars to attend practice, workout sessions, training and games is astronomical! How in h*ll can you possibly deserve that much for something so simple?

If we wouldn't have let them demand more they would have had to play for less, if we simply put a 5 million dollar cap on all athletes of every level and sport we'd be a lot better off. What are they possibly going to do, refuse to play for 5 million dollars and go work at McDonalds for $5.15 an hour instead?

Even at a 5 million dollar cap they'd still be highly over paid, but don't they all say it's not about the money its about the love for the game, if we want to get that technical about it why not tell them we'll pay them $50,000 a piece? Maybe then it'll be less expensive to actually attend a game, practically the only way a normal everyday guy is going to get to go to a professional game is if he wins his tickets off the radio.

The audacity we see in these players is pathetic, they know they make more money than half the world and regardless they don't see it necessary to carry themselves on a higher level. Attacking a fan in the bleachers is ridiculous. Picking a fight with another player over a tackle is idiotic.

Yes there have always been discrepancies on the field, the diamond, and the court, but these athletes need to recognize they are not only paid to play these sports, they are role models for children. Ask an 8 year old child what he wants to be when he grows up or "if you could be anybody in the world who would you be?"

His or her answer is probably going to be some type of pro ball player and the name of a highly regarded athlete such as Michael Jordan. Do they think showing these children that truly adore them and their physical capabilities that these actions and ways of life are alright?


What Sport Has Changed The Most?

Football has, simply put, changed more than any sport, it originated in the 1800's as a game basically, where they beat the living h*ll out of one another with no pads, into a much less dangerous game we know and watch now a day. The whole basis, rules, ball and nearly everything about football has changed.

In the beginning it was just several colleges, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and Yale, each had representatives meet in Massachusetts and together they adopted the rules of rugby to play by. Later they reduced the team size from 15 to 11 players, dropped field goal value from 4 points to 3 and devised a rule stating that if 5 yards was not gained in 3 downs the ball was forfeited to the opposing team, sound a bit different?

At this time football embellished intense rivalry and being paid to play was considered to be dishonorable. However the first paid player was William "Pudge" Heffelfinger on November 12, 1892 who was given an exorbitant amount at the time, $500, to play in a game for Allegheny against Pittsburgh, however his pay was not known about until several years later.

Not only were a lot of these rules and beliefs different than now, it was much more dangerous, in 1905, 18 players were killed during games, nearly forcing Teddy Roosevelt to outlaw the game. Due to this in 1905 and 06' 19 colleges met to ratify the rules of the game in efforts to increase safety.

Unfortunately, the changes did little to support safer ball play and in 1908, 33 players were killed due to the dangerous interlocking formations that took place. In 1912, the field width was reduced by 35 yards, touchdowns were upped to a value of 6 points and a 4th down was added before turn over.

Due to player injury, in 1927 the collegiate goal posts were moved from the goal line to the rear of the end zone and later widened to 23'4" in 1959. By the mid 60's football passed baseball as American's favorite spectator sport. The AFC and NFL were devised and stole majority of the attention from college football and along with this the Super Bowl was created to declare a world champion of pro football.

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Throughout the course of these years other changes took place such as the change of the balls shape. Originally, it was a spheroid elliptical rugby ball, but was later changed into an elliptical ball slightly pointed on the ends that we know and play with today.

In 74' the Pros finally moved their goal posts to the rear of the end zone just like the collegiate league had in 27'. Later in 91' the collegiate adopted 18'6" widths for their goal posts as used in the Pros. Overall, no sport has changed as much as football, it's a relatively new game as compared to other sports, because it's only about 200 years old, but it has certainly made many changes in efforts to improve game play, fairness and safety.

References:

  1. Salary information:
    asp.usatoday.com

  2. Ticket Pricing Information:
    www.tickco.com
    hypertextbook.com

  3. Football History:
    en.wikipedia.org


2nd Place - BurningHeart
Contact This Author Here.

We constantly hear the old-timers say, "If it was only like the old days." Some people believe that sports have evolved into a commercialized business, where the players are overpaid and the fans are overcharged. Others believe that sports have evolved into exciting entertainment.


Part 1:
Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse? Why?

Sports have been changing since the beginning of time when they were first developed, and they are still evolving. The definition of evolution is, "A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form." This definition absolutely applies to professional sports. These changes include:

    1. Greater Safety Regulations

    • Decreases injuries
    • Some contests last longer
    • Attracts a wider pool of competitors

    2. Advanced Training Techniques

    • Athletes can achieve a better physique sorted for their sport
    • Decreases injuries
    • The sport is played better and in a more entertaining fashion

    3. Advanced Nutrition

    • Healthier players
    • Better competitions

1. Greater Safety Regulations:

    An example of greater safety regulations would be the evolution of boxing. In boxing 150 years ago, there were no gloves. People fought bare-knuckled until someone could not go on any longer. There was no point system after a certain number of rounds; the fight did not stop until someone was incapacitated.

    In fact, the longest boxing match ever recorded was 114 rounds, which makes the current limit of 12 rounds pale in comparison. Moves that would get someone instantly disqualified in even mixed martial arts such as eye gouging and grinding a boot to the opponent's shin were legal.


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    Needless to say injuries were common, especially broken hands from not using gloves, and they even punched differently back then to protect their hands. This is where boxing took a major evolutionary change and introduced gloves. Gloves allowed boxers to better protect their hands and punch with more force, hence the decrease in injuries by these greater safety regulations.

    With more safety regulations, a sport becomes less brutal, and often attracts many more competitors to it. When a sport has a wider pool of competitors, the companies can use stricter regulations on selecting the players. This makes the sport better played. It is a continuous cycle that better improves professional sports.

2. Advanced Nutrition:

    In terms of new training techniques, our world has made outstanding progress in the past 50 years. These new training techniques have allowed us to maximize our potential in training and make the most out of every workout. Bodybuilders' physiques from the 1950's, while still good, are achieved by many casual weightlifters these days.

    With these ever-growing bodies, sports are becoming more and more competitive in terms of entering the professional ranks and becoming well known as a player.

3. Advanced Training Techniques:

    Nutrition plays its part in professional sports too, with new supplements that are becoming the staple of athletes' routines. New research with protein and amino acid timing, continuing research with creatine, and the latest news on nitric oxide are just some of the huge advances we are making in terms of sports nutrition.

    It is amazing to think how far we've come in terms of nutrition just in the past 50 years, many times more than the progress than what was made in thousands of years.


Part 2:
What Changes In Sports Do You Like? Which Do You Dislike? Why?

I Like And Agree With:

    1. Shortening The Game In Various Ways.

    • Soccer, for instance, was once limited to a maximum of 200 yards across and 100 yards wide. Shortening the field allowed for players to not spend as much energy running that extra distance, thus putting on a better competition.

    • Another way of shortening a competition was put into effect when on November 13, 1982, boxer Duk Koo Kim died in the 14th round on a televised bout for the WBA Lightweight title. Shortly after, boxing rounds were changed to a maximum of 12, instead of 15. This change had a few good effects, first it allowed boxers to exert more effort in bouts, it benefited the health of the fighters, and it provided for more exciting matchups.

    • In the beginning of the UFC Mixed Martial Arts fighting, bouts would last an unlimited number of straight 5 minute rounds, with no breaks. This often wore fighters out quickly, and matches would become stale. Now non title bouts consist of 3... 5 minute rounds and title bouts are 5 -5 minute rounds, both with a 1 minute rest period between rounds. This encouraged fighters to spend more energy during the bouts, making them entertaining to watch, and helping catapult the UFC and MMA into the mainstream.

    2. The Advances In The Science Of Nutrition & Training:

    • While sports figures have generally always had the best physiques that people look up to, the advances in nutrition and training has vaulted their excellent bodies up even further.

    3. Sports Medicine Advancements:

    • Medical treatment has come extremely far these days. Injuries that used to keep athletes out for months, years, or permanently can be treated quickly these days. An example would be a back injury. Just 50 years ago, a back injury could be considered a career-ending injury. With the advanced sports medical field of today, the same injury that would end a person's career 50 years ago can be healed up and ready for competition in a matter of weeks now.

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I Dislike And Do Not Agree With:

    1. The Decline Of The Popularity Of Professional Sports:

    • The decline of professional sports was brought on by many ways. Some of the most notable that could have been avoided are the scandals and money of the sport. Even though sports players have always made good money for the time, players keep asking for more. Since when do you stop playing your sport because you want to make more money a year, when you already make more than most of the population?

    • Scandals have brought down professional sports also. Steroids are a frequent issue in the news today, often always paired when talking about sports in the media. More people these days are more concerned with the behind-the-scenes drama of sports than the actual sport.

    2. The Corporation Of Professional Sports:

    • Sports are considered a money maker these days. The owners are leaning more and more towards making the biggest profit from the fans. This leaks onto the managers wanting the biggest profits, the players wanting the biggest profit, and the stadium wanting the biggest profit. As the prices rise, the "recreational Sunday" seems to be dying out.


Part 3:
Which Sport Do You Think Has Been Changed The Most? Why?

The sport that has changed not only the most, but the fastest is the mixed martial arts fighting (MMA) of the UFC. While sports such as football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and wrestling have been around for hundreds or thousands of years, the recent organized version of MMA fighting has taken a front seat with those popular sports.

The UFC first organized the sport of MMA fighting in 1993 when it held its first Ultimate Fighting Championship. It started as a single eight man tournament of any type of fighter to see whose style was superior. It was a competition where hair pulling, groin strikes, and headbutts were actually allowed.

Footwear and gloves were optional, but it was against the rules to kick with footwear on. No judges were present for the first UFC, thus a bout could only be won with a submission, knockout, or throwing in the towel. Referees had little play in the fights, as they were there to just enforce the rules and call a match ending.

Bouts consisted of an unlimited number of five minute rounds, thus a fight could go on for tens of minutes on the ground without much action. Rules on attire were almost non existent, as fighters often wore shirts, pants, and GI's to the ring.

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In only 4 years, at UFC 12, the UFC went from having no weight classes to two weight classes, Lightweight (199 lbs. and under) and Heavyweight (200 lbs. and over) Then only months later at UFC 14, gloves became mandatory. Three months later at UFC 15, stricter rules were placed on permissible striking areas.

These rules banned headbutts, groin stikes, strikes to the back of the neck and head, kicks to a downed opponent, small joint manipulation, pressure point strikes, and hair pulling. The sport even evolved further two years later, when at UFC 22, the five minute rounds with a minute break between were introduced.

Today pants, shirts, and GI's are no longer allowed, 4-6 oz. gloves are mandatory, footwear is no longer allowed, and grabbing the cage is no longer allowed. Referees today have more responsilbities, as they can intervene in the match to stand two fighters to their feet if they are at a stalemate on the ground, and they have the ability to pause a match and restart it in the same positions where the fighters left off at.

There are also now five weight classes:

  1. Lightweight (146-155 lbs.)
  2. Welterweight (156-170 lbs.)
  3. Middleweight (171-185)
  4. Light Heavyweight (186-205)
  5. Heavyweight (206-265)

The MMA of the UFC is steadily growing in fan base and evolving for the better. What was once a near extinct and banned sport has become bigger as the years pass. Buyrates for Pay Per Views have been on a constant rise, from 86,592 for the first UFC all the way to over 600,000 for UFC 60. Fighters are evolving themselves by becoming better trained in mixed martial arts, as opposed to the earlier UFC where each fighter had a single fighting style.

These changes in the world of UFC MMA fighting ranks it far ahead of other sports in terms of evolving itself. The future of MMA looks extremely bright, never before has a sport taken off and become mainstream so quickly.

Flex Wheeler Fighting Richard Everage
At The 2005 Arnold Classic:


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References:

  1. en.wikipedia.org
  2. www.nononsenseselfdefense.com
  3. sportsvl.com
  4. en.wikipedia.org
  5. en.wikipedia.org
  6. en.wikipedia.org


3rd Place - Backa53
The Evolution Of Sport
Contact This Author Here.


Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse?

Professional sports have evolved because they had to evolve. The substance may not be as pure as it once was, but in order to compete with the rest of the entertainment, sports had to become flashier. Some of the newer aspects of pro sports, like the gigantic salaries the players get makes some people sick, but these changes had to be made as sports became such a gigantic industry.

For better or worse, drastic changes happen on their own (or should happen). They don't just happen because someone says they should change. Many things go in to one small change. Small changes sometimes snow-ball into a total make-over, but most of the time, the sport stays basically the same.


Good And Bad Changes To Sport

Sports have changed in many ways. The subtle changes in the sport of baseball alone could fill up this whole article. The changes are usually meant to be good for the game, but don't always turn out that way. Sometimes the changes are necessary based on independent circumstance.

Some changes to the game make little sense and quickly get changed back. Can you imagine if they had permanently made dunking the ball an illegal play in basketball? It was meant to slow down Wilt Chamberlain, but eventually was removed.

Changes For The Best:

    The NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement:

      The NFL was miles ahead of other professional sports when in 1961, lead by Pete Roselle, the league had Congress grant them an exemption so that they could package all the television rights into one deal and share it amongst the teams.

      Who Was Pete Roselle?
      Named commissioner of The NFL in 1960, he doubled the league's size, helped create the Super Bowl, and negotiated lucrative television deals with the networks. In 1966 Rozelle secured an agreement to merge the NFL with the rival American Football League. In 1970 he persuaded ABC to broadcast Monday Night Football, which proved a huge success. NFL attendance more than tripled during his tenure, which lasted until 1989.

      Each team now gets about $100 million from the fund each year, but more importantly to the sport itself, the league now has the most equal and competitive game there is.

    Drug Policies In Sport:

      Steroids aside, sport should never be ridden with drugs like it once was. I think it was dark times when players like Lawrence Taylor would snort cocaine and be high during games. LT was a great player, but that didn't need to be in the game.

    Television:

      Because of the advancements in television, great moments are seldom forgotten and future generations will be able to share the same moments that we did. I am not aged enough to have seen plays of yesteryear such as the Immaculate reception, but thanks to television, I can see it.

THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION
Audio player
Click Play To Listen.
The Immaculate Reception

"Twenty-two seconds remaining - and Bradshaw is back and looking again - Bradshaw running out of the pocket - looking for somebody to throw to - fires it downfield - and there's a collision - and it's caught out of the air - the ball is pulled in by Franco Harris."

Audio Courtesy Of SteelersFever.com
Learn More Here.

      Television coverage in sports is evolving every time we turn around. The immaculate reception is also an example of a play that could have benefited from today's television coverage, as there is no footage where we can see the whole play at once.

      The reason I feel so strongly about this is that I wish I could have seen Babe Ruth play baseball. The footage we have is not good enough to really see what he could do. I would pay a large sum to be able to have seen for myself how tremendous the Babe really was.

    Injury Prevention:

      Because drastically improved equipment and medical science, the amount of players who have had their lives ruined because of injuries they sustained on the playing surface has been drastically reduced. Injuries still exist and always will, but every measure is now being taken to diagnose injuries correctly and prevent them as much as possible.

      In the 1940's Hockey and Football players were running around and bashing heads in with little to no protection at all. If you had told the players at the time that a few decades from then, players would be wearing helmets made with NASA-developed padding, they'd have told you that's not the way men play the game. But the families of every player, that play's today's games, can rest assured that the best measures are being taken to insure their safety when they step out on the field.

    Phys. Ed:

      Physical Education was first established in 1944 to be introduced into the curriculum. It is now very much a part of every young athlete's early development. Before sports become so competitive that only the best can participate, growing up, there is always Phys ED.

Changes For The Worst:

    Class Acts Are An Endangered Species:

      These days kids grow up more commonly than not, idolizing guys that at times can be cocky jerks. The Ted Williams of his era has become Terrell Owens. Boxing only seems to be popular if the best one in the world is a Mike Tyson.

      Lennox Lewis reached the peak of his sport; the sport had reached a low in popularity. Many attribute this to the fact that although he had the talent of an all time great, he was too humble and didn't provide enough quotes for the media. Sports are entertainment, and in this hip-hop generation, it is the Chad Johnsons that provide it.

    Violence In Sports:

      Certain amounts of violence has always existed in sport, but recently there have been some truly defamatory incidents that have risen above the others. The most outrageous incident was the Malace at the Palace, when Ron Artest went after a spectator in the crowd after he threw a cup at Artest.

      These incidents leave a bad taste in the mouths of fans. I googled the name of Ron Artest, Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorley and even though all three of these players have had great careers from a sports point of view, all three of them had most of the results come up as accounts of their acts of tremendous violence.

    Ticket Prices:

      Ticket prices continue to rise exponentially. If a team knows they can make a bit more money by raising ticket prices, they will do it. After the Patriots won the Super bowl, they immediately raised ticket prices because they could do so with the new popularity they had achieved through winning a Super bowl.

      In 1967, Super bowl tickets only cost six dollars. This year it will be near impossible to find a ticket for under $1,500.

    Less Individuality:

      Some individuality has been sucked out of sports of this era. Watch an old baseball game and without fail, you are going to see some very entertaining leg kicks and goofy swings you just don't see very often any more. Kids grow up learning the same fundamentals and individual techniques are becoming extinct.

      There was a time when each hockey goalie had their own unique ways to keep the puck out of the net. Now the only thing young goalies ever learn is how to be a butterfly style goalie. These changes are impossible to stop because coaches realize a technique that is more efficient or accurate than the other ones and they pass it on.

      Sports have been around long enough that there is less experimenting. And because it is so easy for people to watch sports and learn the techniques, the Dominique Haseks and the Dontrelle Willis' of the world may disappear all together.

    Costs To Play:

      Depending on the sport, the cost for kids to play can get up into hundreds or even thousands of dollars for sports where players need to buy their own gear. Though there are funds to help kids get into sports, there is only so much these funds can provide and there are thousands of children that won't be able to play the sports they love.

      If a player joins a sport that is not for them, they are under a lot of pressure to stick with it because of how much it cost for them to get the chance to play.

Overall:

    All together, I think sports are changing for the best. Any popular sport has far too many people playing it for the entire population to just let a bad change happen. If someone decided they wanted to outlaw the dunk again, I don't think this person would have much support behind them.

    It is amazing how many sports have been able to stay basically the same. .300 is still .300 in baseball. Pitching and hitting have evolved together. There are cycles when the pitching is better and there are cycles when hitters outperform, but nothing drastic has happened and I don't think ever will. I believe that is one of the defining aspects of a well put-together sport.


Which Sport Has Been Changed The Most?

NASCAR has changed full-circle since it's inception in 1948 after World War II. The first races were run on dirt tracks with cars that look nothing like what we see today. NASCAR received sponsorship from the Winston tobacco company in 1970, which really commercialized the sport.

Now watching a race is like watching the infomercial or shopping channel, but at speeds of over 200 mph. Considering the sport has only been around half a century, it has gone through some major changes both to the sport itself and to the way it is perceived. Once thought of as a sport loved solely by those in rural areas of the United States, it now draws audiences from all walks of life. Today NASCAR is the second highest rating sport in America behind the NFL.

RELATED POLL
Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse?

Better.
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No Real Change.


Have Professional Sports Evolved For The Better Or Worse?
will@athletes.com

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