One game. Seriously? A 16-week schedule of pounding, collisions, broken limbs, and disformed joints comes down to a single game.
A game with advertisements that cost millions of dollars for seconds of exposure, observed by many who have little interest in the outcome who are looking for something to talk about at the water cooler.
A game with two weeks worth of hype and an entire day, “Media Day”, where journalists from around the world try to trap players into saying something stupid. This year’s winner: Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers for saying he wouldn’t want to play with a homosexual.
A game where a player can make himself millions of dollars by making a single play, like David Tyree pinning the ball to his helmet for the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42 and getting a book deal, or Larry Brown intercepting two terrible Neil O’Donnell passes in Super Bowl 30 for the Dallas Cowboys and making millions by signing with the Oakland Raiders in the offseason.
A game where a nipple being flashed defines how people can now be entertained at halftime for nine years, finally getting Beyonce to have a decent, modern performance this year for those of us under the age of 60.
A game where a man who was an accomplice to the murder of two people can redefine his image, getting cleats with “Psalms”, apparently a new book of the bible, printed on his shoes by Under Armour. A man who can be featured as a man of God on the cover of Sports Illustrated, yet, hasn’t answered questions about using steroids to get his arm “healthy” enough to play again this season.
The World Series is, potentially, a seven game exclamation on a long season. While some people complain about a 162-game season in baseball, are those people taking into account the 140 days involved in a 20-week NFL season, when counting the preseason, and the five weeks of the postseason that comes down to the single game championship, adding up 25 weeks and 175 days of a season, roughly the same number of games that a MLB team plays including the postseason…and that doesn’t include an offseason that never ends that has ESPN and the NFL Network cramming the NFL Combine, Draft, and fantastic analysts like Mel Kiper, Jr. ruining your life.
Every day that the NFL exists, I get more and more tired of it. I enjoyed watching college football until it literally became the minor leagues for the NFL, where conferences and schools became more interested in the money being thrown at them by ESPN and the creation of their own network than the fact that the schools are institutions of higher learning. Now, football has become a game of thugs, even more than the NBA, where acting like a clown and screaming obscenities and fighting with one another, which doesn’t go unnoticed to the children watching, seems to be the norm.
Certainly, a lot of baseball players are trying to escape their situations. The opportunity for 16-year-old kids to sign contracts in the world of International free agency helps the extremely poor from the Dominican Republic to provide an opportunity for their family, but the number of players signed from there to go on to make millions is few and far between. However, baseball continues to be a game with very few examples of idiocy.
Baseball is and always has been a game appreciated by the patient. Baseball is a game where fans go to watch a game, not party in the parking lot and get hammered every Sunday home game. Baseball is a long season, a long career, and a game of character, which is why Pete Rose, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds are outside of Cooperstown, while Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, and O.J. Simpson are enshrined in Canton.
The World Series is a tradition like no other, no matter how many times you hear Jim Nantz talk about The Masters golf championship on CBS in the coming weeks. The Super Bowl is fine entertainment, but careers in all sports are defined by more than a single game. No one cares about David Tyree anymore and no one cares about Stanford Jennings kickoff return anymore. However, baseball fans remember what David Freese did for the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series, what Billy Hatcher did for the Reds in the 1990 World Series, Don Larsen and his perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series for the Yankees, Kirk Gibson and his home run trot in Game One of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers, Willie Mays and “the catch” in 1954, and Jack Morris and his 10-inning shutout in Game Seven of the 1991 World Series. Those moments live forever and always have and will.
Seven games are greater than one. Passion and character overcome whatever this is: