Several sports have served as American national pastimes over the course of the nation's history. Horse racing, hunting, prize fighting, baseball, football, and basketball have waxed and waned in a long series of debates over what constitutes true' national pastimes. Unlike some nations that have declared national pastimes by governmental fiat, US national games emerge from organic and sometimes chaotic cultural processes. An alternative history of sports that have become popular and widespread national habits but have not quite become national pastimes sheds important light on what national pastimes are and how they have developed in American history. A variety of pretenders to the title of national pastime have come and gone. These challengers can be categorised as fads and flashes-in-the-pan, nationwide and regional pastimes, the pastimes of other nations, and pan-national pastimes. An examination of why they have failed to become US national pastimes reveals important clues about why other sports have succeeded in that endeavour.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)