In Belgium, there are still many great Qualifier fans, but in the United States they have been fans of the system for more than 50 years. How can this difference be explained? We’ll find out about this in a new episode of Sporza @ School.
America’s size originated from the playoffs
Ten years ago, the first playoff matches were held in Belgium. A decade later, opponents of the regime still remain numerous. And that is while the playoffs in the United States are always the highlight of the season. Why are they excited about it in America?
The United States as a country is larger than all of Europe, with different time zones. It’s a logistical nightmare to play in Los Angeles one day and again in New York a few days later. Moreover, you gain or lose 3 hours during the time zones. To meet these practical and financial challenges, all sports competitions in the United States are divided into different conferences.
The NBA is divided into East and West. You play twice a year against a club from the other conference and 3 to 4 times against a club from your conference.
It is even the best in American football. There, 32 teams play barely 16 games every year. So some teams only meet every 4 years. Just imagine there will only be a match between Anderlecht and FC Brugge every 4 years!
Until recently, All Star was played between the best players from East and West.
Tradition, constructive excitement and interest in every sport
Since it was unfair to assign a champion after the regular season with this uneven schedule, the playoffs were created.
These qualifiers have been present in all American sports from the start. This is also the reason why no one in the United States questions this system. In other words, it is an imitation.
The advantage of the qualifiers is in any case that the competition grows to its climax. Just like in the video game, you can choose a heavier opponent for each level. And even though fewer teams are participating for awards, more and more Americans are starting to catch up. The Super Bowl, the annual NFL Final, is always the most watched sports of the year.
This brings us to the final difference between Europe and the United States. Here with us, football is king and other sports are being pushed into the background. In America, the four traditional sports (basketball, ice hockey, football and baseball) must strive to attract the attention of sports fans. By keeping the various qualifiers out of each other’s waters, each sport gets its place in the sun every year. These Americans looked at it smartly!
About 150 million people in the United States watch the Super Bowl every year.
Playoff matches in American sports
- Ice Hockey (NHL): April-June
- American Football (NFL): Janwarye Fiberware
- Basketball (NBA): April-June
- Soccer (MLS): Oct-Nov
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