A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.

Did TV hurt baseball?

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  It is possible …

That baseball’s popularity will ebb and football’s will grow as TV continues to do its work on us.  TV and football are tactile.  Baseball is visual.

Me (December, 2010, age 58).  Really?

This is one of those predictions by McLuhan that at first strike me as crackers, but then when I look for evidence I’m surprised by how much the facts support him.  Have a look at the results of this Gallup poll, which shows that since the coming of TV in the late 1940s the popularity of baseball in America has fallen and football has risen.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture is Our Business, 1970, p. 118.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Communication, Technology 1 Comment

1 Comment to Did TV hurt baseball?

  • Michael Edmunds says:

    McLuhan had a POV on Canadian football. American and Canadian fields are very different in size and aspect ratio. American fields are amenable to TV and Canadian fields are not, he said. (My personal recollections @1978) An interesting study might be whether or not the move from traditional TV 4×3 ratio to the ‘wide screen ratios currently used 16×9 or 16×10 yielded a change to that situation. These subtle things are what interested McLuhan and he spoke about them all the time. Now, broadcasters are reinventing TV as a 3D experience and this will again result in unconscious consequences. ‘Marshallandme’ what do you say?
    me

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