Americans’ interest in sports seems excessive to many foreign visitors. Television networks spend millions of dollars arranging to telecast sports events. Publications about sports sell widely. In the US professional athletes can become national heroes.
Sports are associated with educational institutions in a way is unique. High schools have coaches as faculty members, and school teams compete with each other. Nowhere else in the world are sports associated with colleges and universities in the way they are in the States. College sports, especially football, are conducted in an atmosphere of intense excitement and pageantry. Games between teams attract nationwide television audiences. The sport that is most popular in most parts of the world – soccer – is not well known in the US. The most popular sports are American football and baseball, games that are not played in large number of countries. Sports play such an important role in American life that the sociology of sports, sports medicine, and sports psychology have become respectable specializations. Many Americans jog every day, or play tennis or bridge two or three times a week. They go on ski tri/ps and hunting expeditions that require weeks of planning and organizing. In the Americans’ view, all these activities are worth the discomfort they may cause because they contribute to health and physical fitness. That is probably why Americans are known as a healthy nation.