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American Sports Going Global – Good Thing or Bad Thing?

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Late March when spring training comes to a close, the Major League players are excited in playing the real games. This year just a few selected teams are included in the opening day games. These are the Dodgers, Red Sox, Athletics and Padres. Aside from the clubs playing on opening day, they will be playing their series overseas. The Dodgers versus Padres will be played in China and the Red Sox and Oakland will square off in Japan. That’s the hometown of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston’s ace pitcher.

The games are held overseas to align with the trend of taking America’s sports to foreign locations. For example, NFL’s last season held their regular season in London. NBA held various exhibition games in China. And the MLS participated and hosted several international tournaments and friendlies.

Is there an impact in taking these games overseas? Would NBA be the same without the likes of Steve Nash, Pau Gasol or Dirk Nowitski? Will Major League Baseball be the same without Albert Pujols or David Ortiz? In fact, taking American sport to an international area brings foreign talent to our land that makes these competitions more exciting and competitive. Right now you can match the 5 best American NBA players versus 5 international best players and it will be a very competitive game.

Taking sports to an foreign country is also good for the business. It attracts a bigger audience around the world and all these leagues can make more money. Royalties and clothing sales from the televised games reach an all-time high. By making a lot more money, the leagues could plan the future, invest money wisely and improve the situation of the teams. Going global marks a great improvement.

What about naysayers who say foreigners influence American games we grew up with? There are people who feel that sports have changed so much that it’s no longer American sports. There is some truth to it but the changes were brought about by evolution and not by foreign influences. For example, there were changes that occurred in the NBA. During the early days of basketball, textbook bounce and granny shots were common. Nowadays, the league is ruled by crossovers and dunks. These changes were brought about by players themselves like Allen Iverson and Lebron James.

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