Ohhh, the joy of November. The weather is really starting to cool off and we can start to taste fall and winter (not in Miami!). It is a month where the season transitions, both weather-wise and sports-wise. This time of year is when we begin to get over the hump of football season and we march into stuffy gymnasiums on darker evenings and listen to the popcorn popping and shoes squeaking on the wooden floors of a basketball arena.
For casual sports fans, both football and basketball seem sort of alike, and even for more serious sports fans like me, it can be time-consuming to divide my time between the two sports as they have their moment of overlap this time of year. Here is a guide to the differences between the two pastimes, from the more serious fan to the more casual fan.
1. The action in football is condensed, while in basketball it is dispersed.
As much as I love the game of football, if you pay close attention to the game you'll notice that little time is actually devoted to action, while commercials and pre-play huddles take forever. In basketball, the action is near-constant, with the only stops being for timeouts. However, in my opinion, any given second of action in football is more highly important than any given second is basketball.
2. Players are either offensive or defensive in football, while they must play both ends in basketball.
Yep, if you only feel like playing on one side of the ball in basketball, you won't be playing basketball for long...
3. More games in basketball.
Just like basketball has a greater number of actual minutes of action, there are also more games to be played. Which leads to my last point...
4. Fewer moments and fewer games leave much less margin of error in football, leading to increased urgency.
This high sense of urgency, along with the economics of supply and demand, explain the simple fact about why football games are more highly attended than basketball games. Even at basketball schools like IU and Kentucky where basketball dominates the headlines and football lags behind, football attendance still more than doubles basketball attendance because of the laws of economics and mathematics rule.
When each game counts more, when each possession counts more, and each moment just means more, people flock to football, regardless of what sport you like better. In addition, we must also celebrate that both sports are great and that the University of Miami excels at making basketball players into greats of the gridiron and sending them to the NFL in players such as Erik Swoope and Jimmy Graham.