Monday, November 2, 2009

Rising NFL viewership signals cultural shift for Hispanics

It's Monday night, at the St. Petersburg Ale House, and at the bend of the bar by the front are Nicole Correa and Diana Nieves-Oake. They're watching Monday Night Football on some of the roughly three dozen flat screens spread around this place on Martin Luther King Street N.

Nicole is 41. Her parents are Cuban, but she was born in Connecticut and now she lives in St. Petersburg. She's a Bucs fan.

Diana is 37. She has a Puerto Rican dad and a Panamanian mom, and she lived in Seattle before she moved here. She's a Seahawks fan.

They're loud-cheering, score-checking, motorcycle-riding, double-tall-Captain-and-Coke-drinking football fans.

They're also part of a large and getting larger portion of the population in this country: watchers of sports on TV. NFL ratings so far this season are the highest they've been in 20 years.

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