alternate sports what if: American football banned in 1903

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by kinnikuniverse, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    hey there sports fans!

    so many timelines involving the USA being more interested in sports like soccer and rugby have almost the same POD: American football being banned by teddy Roosevelt in 1903.

    while it's all fun and dandy, not to mention very cliche...this time, let's ask ourselves the question for real!

    now, as many hardcore American sports fan know, IRL, teddy only forced rule changes to make the sport safer after his son suffered serious injuries during a game.

    ...but what if the worst possible outcome happens, and teddy's son dies along with more players, which forces Congress and teddy to ban American football? which sport do you think will take its place as America's #1 sport?

    would soccer and rugby rise to fill the spot, especially rugby?

    would baseball have stayed no.1? or would basketball take over instead?

    how about ice hockey? and even more niche sports like handball, futsal, field hockey, lacrosse and volleyball? can these sports somehow manage to establish themselves in the land of the free and the home of the brave now that gridiron is gone? what would the landscape of college sports be like?

    let's share our opinions on this question!
     
  2. Somedevil Well-Known Member

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    Soccer and Rugby for sure would fill in the gap.. I also feel Ice Hockey might be helped more by this then Basketball . one other thing could maybe Lacrosse get a boost being a true American sport and all that it's typically a spring sport but easily could be a fall sport.
     
  3. TheReal_McChicken Well-Known Member

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    Baseball would easily remain the most popular
     
  4. Somedevil Well-Known Member

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    Up until the late 80's/Early 90's that would be true I feel as tech grew and people want more fast pace I could see Basketball and Soccer both taken it over.
     
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  5. Somedevil Well-Known Member

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    by the way I feel a no American football timeline I think Soccer in America would be played with a style that's a hybrid of Europe style and South American style. It would be played more athletically , rougher and higher scoring.
     
  6. Corjomc Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Lacrosse makes the leap forward
     
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  7. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    That is a cliche, here baseball would be eternal, maybe people consider basketball too gimmick and soccer too fast?

    And i don't like basketball i try to liked it but fail
     
  8. Somedevil Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about that. Baseball's biggest problem is it happens when the weather is nice and people are doing other stuff. the fall and winter sports people are inside more often also Basketball is more star driving etc then the other sports. You can buy a pair of basketball sneakers that your favorite star wears you can't do that with baseball cleats
     
  9. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    doesn't help that only a handful of baseball stadiums are domes or have closed roofs, the rest are outdoors. not to mention no time limits, games starting and finishing late, the slow pace of play, ETC...

    soccer and rugby stadiums in the northern states ITTL would also have to be in domes and closed roof stadiums too if they want to play the same schedule as the European ones...the only exception, of course, being the southern states, due to the constantly warm weather there...except that #^#^#^ Florida rain!


    also, soccer is star-driven, too, what with the huge endorsements deals and the massive number of messi and ronaldo jerseys being sold. if rugby takes football's place as the USA's contact-ball sport ITTL, especially in the very early 20th century, this could potentially put more pressure on the old boys club that is the IRB to allow professionalism in the sport far earlier than OTL.
     
  10. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    A single sport can not replace football. It is physically demanding enough to be confined to one event per week. It is full of lively action. It overtook baseball on television for that reason. Basketball offers the action and scoring, but its court size limits attendance. But if Americans never “got used to” football, other sports, especially soccer, would fill the gap.

    As for the shoes and shirts, remember, the star endorsements are relatively recent compared to the history of the sports.
     
  11. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    people here seems to constantly mention soccer as the sport to fill the gap.

    honestly, I see it taking a big place in American hearts, but I feel like rugby fits them more. Americans generally prefer something violent, manly and flashy. sure, soccer and basketball are fast-paced and flashy, but not violent like rugby can be. plus, the spectacle of seeing a whole rugby team passing the ball in a free-flowing symphony of coordination, speed and teamwork can provide the flashiness:

     
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  12. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    Rugby is even worse, players in france are dying like flies
     
  13. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    at first, I was like "Wtf are you talking about?"

    then, I searched on Google and found out four youth players died in the span of eight months! holy crap! :frown:

    i thought rugby was relatively safer due to no tackle with the shoulder or around the neck being allowed and the only person you're allowed to tackle is the ball carrier...damn.
     
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  14. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    Not pads and Helmet...that shit is lethal as hell
     
  15. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    ...so, if rugby is adopted by Americans ITTL, this would mean that they would push for the IRB to change the rules to make it safer... which, knowing them, the IRB would tell them that they are pussies or something because they asked for better protection of the players...i can see huge, heated debates between the world's rugby unions over the safety issues ITTL...

    now, judging by the suggestions, it appears that,in this football-less TL, that the big 4 sports would be,in no particular order, soccer, basket ball, baseball and rugby.

    now, what would be the rest of the top ten sports be? ice hockey would be up there in 5th and, as someone suggested, lacrosse would be up there, as well.

    ...but is there any sport that would break through in America now with football gone? my pick would be handball:


    its like the perfect mix between soccer and basketball! I can see the more athletic basketball players and baseball infielders and outfielders be very good at handball.

    i also suggest futsal:


    IOTL, most Americans play indoor soccer. maybe ITTL, there would be a more serious effort in developing futsal in the US?
     
  16. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    Why 4? scrath rugby is not that good and overrated, with Baseball and Soccer you've all what you need
     
  17. Will Ritson Member

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    Feb 25, 2004
    American football was already professional at this time. If rugby as a sport was to thrive, it would be the League code due to the strict amateurism of the RFU, essentially the governing body of the Union code at the time. Under no circumstances would they tolerate the paying of players.

    Combined with a willing playing base of professional players transferring from American Football, the scene is ripe for rugby league - just as it was in Australia and New Zealand at roughly the same period.

    Handball as the current indoor 7 v 7 sport didn't exist until much later in the century.
     
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  18. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    rugby league, eh? that would be a good compromise. not only that, but maybe with the US's eventually considerable influence across the world, maybe league would catch on in other parts of the world, thus increasing the global profile of the game? perhaps the US might even be a big enough player to unite the big rugby league organisations in order to overthrow the rugby league ban in France during the 40s?

    as for handball, of course, I meant when the modern version is born!
     
  19. Will Ritson Member

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    Feb 25, 2004
    Having US involvement from the 1900s would certainly strengthen the international side of rugby league.

    However, butterflies ignored, I don't think they'd hold much sway over preventing the Vichy regime from banning rugby league and redistributing its assets.
     
  20. kinnikuniverse Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2018
    maybe after the war, when Vichy gets dethroned and imprisoned, rugby league would be brought back in France thanks to the efforts of the major rugby league organisations?

    also, which country do you think would play rugby league thanks to the US's influence? Canada and Germany are definitely there, what with historically being their best partners, but what about south America, Korea and Japan?