Friday, March 26, 2010

Baseball vs. football-an apples and oranges comparison

I never quite understand the people who dump on baseball by saying it's slow, and then turn and around and tell us that football is a fast, action-packed game. Here I demolish (haha) those arguments.

First, pro football isn't a "game" at all- it's a strikingly successful TV show. NFL teams no more compete with each other (due to the enormous, evenly-split pile of national network cash) than my blog competes with Elmore Leonard's books. Of course, they need to appear to compete. So you have the weekly TV "event."

That lack of actual competition is exactly why the NFL union has so little pull-why would an NFL team owner hike salaries, make the money guaranteed, etc., when an NFL franchise is a money-printing machine even if you go 0-16? The financial incentives just aren't there-and the people who run football are, believe me, all about the money.

It's interesting to note, by the by, just how many NFL teams still can't sell out consistently. Baseball fans pay money and go to games...including spring training games-the Phillies have sold out nearly every meaningless spring training game this year. Football fans, even if there are more of them, watch on TV. There's a big difference in intensity of interest, I'd say.

And I really wouldn't want to argue football is faster than baseball. Time an NFL game, and see how much of the three hours is actually consumed by play. It's about 15 minutes...of three yards and a cloud of dust, over and over again. Exciting plays are few and far between. But I guess it's like NASCAR-their fans will wait endlessly for a crash, football fans will wait endlessly for that five yard TD pass, to be followed by guys strutting around in their ridiculously over-tight unis as if they'd just cured cancer. A huge number of them are fat, too..especially linemen. Only football players, of any major sport's participants, die younger than the population, on average. Wonder why that is?

If you want a continuous action sport, flip on soccer and see how thrilling that is.

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