The number of viewers of the 57th Super Bowl of the National Football League (NFL) between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, which was held on the 13th (Korean time), was 113.1 million, the third highest ever. About a third of the US population stayed in front of the TV. Among the four major North American sports (baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and football), the NFL is overwhelmingly popular. 

For domestic sports fans, the NFL is truly an ‘American sport’. Learning the rules is not as difficult as you might think, but it seems that the barrier to entry is high to have a fan heart. 메이저사이트

Since 2007, the NFL has been promoting the globalization of sports. It has consistently held matches in South American and European countries. Last year, the regular league was held in Germany (Allianz Arena, Munich) for the first time. However, it is difficult to see the NFL as a stage that still receives global attention. It is just that huge capital power is working in the support of Americans. 

For sports fans, the existence of national competitions is as important as their own leagues, and it is directly related to the globalization of sports. For that reason, baseball had a good time this year. This is because the World Baseball Classic (WBC), in which 20 countries participate, will be held next month. It has been 6 years since 2017, and it is the 5th tournament. Korea selected the best players in the domestic league, such as Lee Jeong-hoo and Park Byeong-ho. In Japan, where baseball is the national flag, Ohtani Shohei (LA Angels), who has emerged as an MLB icon, will participate in the tournament. 

However, it is unclear whether this WBC will have a positive impact on the globalization of baseball. Some countries, such as the Czech Republic, participated for the first time, but the main participating countries are the United States, Central and South America, and Asia, where baseball is still popular in their countries. It looks like a ‘feast of their own’. Compared to other international competitions, the power gap between countries is also large. 

Above all, there is still a dissonance between the MLB Secretariat (the Organizing Committee), which oversees the tournament, and each club. A prerequisite for the success of the tournament is the participation of star players. Fans want a scene where players playing in MLB, the world’s best league in name and reality, engrave their country’s flag on their chest. However, the club blocks some players from participating, and the secretariat is unable to take any action. In Korea, Choi Ji-man, who has a history of injury, was canceled due to opposition from his team (Pittsburgh Pirates). Choi Ji-man openly expressed his disappointment. ‘The championship candidate Dominican Republic also submitted 18 of the 50 preliminary entries for the national team submitted to the secretariat, but failed to participate due to opposition from the club. 

Just a few months ago, the World Cup was held in Qatar. Injured Korean national team ace Son Heung-min played wearing a mask. Major leagues such as the Premier League and Bundesliga will suspend their schedules.  

At least one more star must participate in order to arouse interest in the tournament and baseball. Is there any international competition that is so noisy over the participation of players? The New York Times pointed out, “The secretariat and the players’ union believe that the WBC will benefit the league in the long run, but clubs that start the regular season right after the end of the tournament are more interested in short-term profits.” 

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