Where are the kids playing sports?

I was doing a bit of traveling around the beautiful Wisconsin landscape this past weekend (the fall colors are amazing and it was actually warm, too). As I drove by schools, ball fields and open lots, I noticed the lack of any kids playing outdoors, whether it be throwing a football, hitting baseballs or shooting hoops in the driveway.

When I was growing up, the local baseball field always had people playing on it (even if it was just a dad throwing balls to his son), and now when I visit the town again, the field always seems to be empty. I live close to an elementary school, with plenty of neighborhood kids running around – and yet I rarely find a game being played on the expansive school grounds on the weekends (these fields are filled with soccer players in the summer months).

So if these kids aren’t playing sports outside, what are they doing? Homework on a Saturday afternoon? I doubt it. Have video games taken up that much attention of kids? Are they all inside watching Texas take on Oklahoma?

And what does this mean for sports cards and other sports memorabilia? If kids aren’t playing sports on a leisurely basis, do they care about them at all? And if they don’t care about sports, surely they don’t card about collecting sports memorabilia.

So where does that leave the future of the hobby? Is soccer going to be the “hit” thing in years to come because that’s what sport seems to be growing the most? I would find that hard to believe, but those fields sure aren’t filled with playing baseballs and footballs.

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