The other day, ESPN Radio Host Colin Cowherd was trying to explain why the NFL is killing MLB and the NBA in ratings. He brought up some good points, but I think he left a very vital point out of the debate, so . . .
Let me tell you why the NFL destroys MLB and the NBA in ratings and popularity. I'm not saying this is the end-all be-all to its success, but it's definitely one of the over-riding factors:
Look at the NFL Draft, go ahead, Look. How many of those players are you familiar with? How many have you watched for several years? Okay, now go look at the potential Players for the NBA Draft. How many of those players are you familiar with? How about MLB's Draft? Only HARDCORE College Baseball fans would know a handful of the Draftee's, ESPN doesn't even cover College Baseball. Go look at their website and try to find a link to College Baseball without having to go through several pages to find anything.
The NFL does a great job of making its upcoming Rookies household names before they ever play their first game. The NBA could do this, but they choose not to. By implementing a minimum age requirement, the NBA too, could grow in popularity. Sure, the Kobe Bryant's, Kevin Garnett's, and LeBron James' of the world would have to wait, but did either of them experience Championship esque success in their first 2-3 years of playing in the league? No. MLB is somewhat at a disadvantage in that, it's extremely rare for a college draftee to immediately see playing time on the Big League ball club.
I think this all stems from keeping athletes in college longer. Through my own experiences I watched RB Warrick Dunn play his college ball at FSU along with LB Derrick Brooks and it made it that more intriguing to watch how they turned out in the NFL. It's tougher for MLB, as I'm watching C Buster Posey of FSU begin his second professional season and he's only in Single-A for the Giants.
Again, I'm not saying this is the only reason for why the NFL is captivating its audiences, but I think it plays a major role in its success.