By Daniela Paredez. sport. At Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 15:03:46 PM.
With the national-anthem controversy in full swing this past October, a Gallup poll indicated the NFL was taking a hit. Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they were fans of professional football, down 10 percentage points from the previous time the question was asked, in December 2012. Support for most other sports, including college football, had not changed meaningfully during the same five-year span.
To fully understand this you have to go back to the early 1990s. The league had just experienced its first full explosion into American society and pop culture. The 1980s had been great for the NBA, it added 5 new teams, and the Magic-Bird rivalry had driven fans to the arenas like nothing before.
The NBA in the 1980s and 1990s is often seen as an era of financial stability and expansion. The league saw money come in at a previously unprecedented rate, most of it coming for the new found television revenue. The NBA added 11 new teams from 1976 until 1996. The league also found three superstars to hang its image on in Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.