Is every NFL city a football town?
A column today in the Buffalo News peaked my interest and got me thinking about the state of popular sports in cities with more than one professional sports franchise, particularly if one of those franchises in an NFL team.
Buffalo News columnist Bob DiCesare took exception with a statement in a Sports Business Journal article about the Buffalo Sabres being named Professional Sports Team of the Year. The article quoted someone from a Buffalo-based PR company saying that the Sabres had turned Buffalo from a football town into a hockey town.
DiCesare had the following to stay in response to that claim:
“Buffalo is a football town before it’s a hockey town, always has been, always will be so long as the Bills are around, and may even if they’re not. We’re not an exemplary football town on a par with the likes of Green Bay, Denver and Dallas. But we’re a football town the same way Boston is first and foremost a baseball town. New England’s primary passion is the Red Sox no matter what the Patriots, Celtics or Bruins achieve.”
Boston being the major exception (and maybe Detroit), isn’t every city that has an NFL franchise a football town? Basketball reigns supreme in Indiana but no team dominates the public consciousness of the entire state, let alone the city of Indianapolis, the way the Colts do. It doesn’t hurt that the Pacers roster currently looks like the 2004 College Basketball All-Star team (thanks for that by the way, Larry Legend) but still, Indianapolis is a football city.
As I run through the lists of NFL cities in my mind and evaluate what kind of sports town they are, I can’t help but think that this somehow speaks to the overwhelming popularity and downright domination of the national sports consciousness by football and specifically by the NFL.