What I have noticed in the past 10 year is that sports anime are not that popular in Western culture. I have seen The Prince of Tennis, Slam Dunk, Eyeshield 21, and Captain Tsubasa. However, they were a little boring. I mean there were some exciting parts to it but still did not do anything for me.
I'm going on a limb, but most people who watch anime are probably not into sports. Anime is a great median to escape reality from but if you are presented with a realistic sports anime, you will be bored. You can easily turn your TV on and watch any random basketball or baseball game and get the same result as its animated counter part.
Even non-animated sports movies are in the decline. The only sports films that have been coming out are based on a true story. One can go and do a quick Wikipedia search and learn the story of said film and simply save yourself $10 dollars. The last successful Sports film I can remember is Rudy.
We as a society crave for something unrealistic and/or exotic like for example Air Gear and Bamboo Blade. Maybe if we lived in a different era, realistic sports anime would be the hot and cool thing that everyone likes. So, what are your opinions on sports anime?