Last Thursday at the bowling alley, they had the NFL’s equivalent of “Opening Day”, i.e. Titans/Steelers on all the tubes, and I found myself nauseated by all of the non-football crap before the game. Nothing against the Blackeyed Peas or Tim McGraw, but if I want to see a concert, I’ll buy tickets to one, rent a DVD, or check out the local music scene…and at my age, option #2 would be the likely choice.
When football is on, well, I’ll probably opt to watch the Texas Longhorns pummel Northwest Central Lousiana Institute of Crawfish Technology before I get excited about NFL football. I’ve become pretty disgusted with the NFL and all the “Me-me-me!” BS of it’s overpaid prima donnas. I was going to post something on the subject, but stumbled upon Larry Dobrow’s blurb on his CBS Sports Power Rankings for this week:
As I ingested the pomp and pageantry of the NFL’s opening night last Thursday, as I listened to the 13-man studio crew conduct seven conversations at once and strained two ocular nerves watching the Black Eyed Peas do everything to rouse an indifferent crowd short of administering Red Bull intravenously, I couldn’t help but be deeply thankful that baseball isn’t more like football.
Yes, baseball has its issues, starting with that whole unfixable salary-disparity thing. Also, Wednesday night’s Giants-Rockies game could well be the last truly meaningful contest until the first week of October, which will leave 18 full days for everyone to get hysterical about the possibility that Scott Feldman will net a few Cy Young votes.
On the other hand, baseball isn’t sold as anything it’s not. The NFL presents itself as America’s Game, the only one in which any team can beat any other on (yup) Any Given Sunday. Of course, no fewer than 20 of its 32 franchises exist in a perpetual haze of mediocrity, and the in-stadium experience has been watered down to the extent that a couch/TV combo trumps seats on the 50-yard-line.
I applaud baseball for staying true to itself, for preserving its pace-of-life rhythms even as it works new thinking and technology into the mix. The game’s the thing, as it always has been. Please keep it that way.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.