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Cartoon by Jasmine Raghunandan / The Mirror.

People today will look at you in America like you’re crazy if you tell them you don’t watch football.  I mean come on, you don’t watch the most popular sport in the country?  You don’t dedicate entire Sundays to sitting in front of a TV?  Come on, there are sold out stadiums every single week in every city… that is unless you’re Jacksonville, of course.  Football is “America’s favorite sport,” but it sure isn’t mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Jets, but with the Yankees in a heated wildcard race, I couldn’t care less about the start of the National Football League season.  What’s that?  The Jets are playing the Bucs Sunday at 1 p.m.?  No thank you, I’ll take the greatest rivalry in sports history instead: Yankees vs. Red Sox.

I get that the tailgate scene is fun, but for me it’s always been hot dogs at a ballpark, and I’ll bleed pinstripes long after I’m dead and six feet deep.  So here are five reasons why baseball is better than football:

NFL junkies boast that quarterback is the hardest position to play in any sport. I agree with that, but the hardest thing to do in any sport is to hit a baseball, and that’s why the hall of fame is filled with guys who were able to only fail seven out of ten times.

Only one player on the team can play Quarter Back at a time.  Every player in the MLB has to hit, except American League pitchers and National League pitchers when they play in an AL ballpark.  In fact, since April 6 of 1973, the AL has had a designated hitter, a position like the QB, that is primarily offensive and exists solely to create scoring opportunities.

Defense, defense, defense: Watching a good defense in football is fun, but lets be honest, we would much rather see a lot of touchdowns, a Quarter Back that can pick apart a secondary, and 100-yard days.  It’s like how a lot of people like Tim Tebow, but then again, a lot of people wouldn’t want him on their team.

Don’t get me wrong, I love high-scoring baseball games as much as the next guy, and I’m a huge fan of the long ball, but nothing beats a pitchers duel, or a complete game shutout, or a no-hitter.  And nothing in sports compares to a perfect game.  How great is that, another person reaching perfection, even if only for one day?

It’s easy to be a “dedicated” fan in the NFL when you only have to show up once a week. One hundred sixty-two games is a marriage in the sports world; 16 games is just the affair you had in the winter while baseball was away.  Sure it was fun, but now that it’s over, baseball will still be there for you in the summer, unlike your wife.

You know what’s exciting to watch?  100-yard kickoff returns for TDs.  You know why its exciting to watch?  Because it’s an instant score and because everything needs to go right for it to happen.  Now, do you know what’s more fun to watch?  Miguel Cabrera crushing 400-foot home runs.

In 2012 the NFL only had nine kickoff returns of that genre, and they were by seven different teams. Miguel Cabrera hit 44 home runs last year alone, and by the way, became the first triple-crown winner in 45 years.  America loves the long ball so much, they have a home-run competition every year during All-Star weekend. Who even watches the Pro Bowl?

Playoffs.  In baseball, that means post-season: best of fives and best of sevens.  Sure elimination games are exciting, but I like to see teams fight to earn them, not getting byes in the first round to avoid them.  Furthermore, incase you think baseball playoffs are long and drawn out, MLB added a second wildcard team to each league and now everybody gets to enjoy at least one, one-game playoff each year.

Winning the Super Bowl is an accomplishment, no doubt, but epic heroes are born from journeys.  Homer didn’t write about Odysseus’ last minute errand, and Mr. October didn’t win the World Series in 1977 by helping the Yankees only win three or four games.  In baseball, fans are given the gift of a post-season; in football you just kind of do a lot of waiting, and then your team loses one game and you have to do a lot more waiting.

But let’s be honest, once the Yankees are out of playoff/world series contention, I’ll be on the same level as every other football-crazed nut.  Cheering on my Jets … mainly not to embarrass themselves.

 

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