Baseball is in every way perfect; there are no flaws in the sport. Everything flows together perfectly. It is built around God's favorite shape, a diamond, and the rest is covered by the most incredible grass on the planet.
Nothing beats sitting in your favorite ballpark, watching your favorite team on a hot, sunny day, with a hot dog smothered with all the goods in one hand and an ice cold beer in the other. This scene is symbolic to American culture.
It has gone through its share of changes, from the dead ball era, to the expansion era, to the long ball era. But the sport has always been popular, and it always will be. Football has been around for 60, 70 years tops. Baseball? Circa 1839, 172 years and more popular than ever.
Don't get me wrong. I love football; I think it is a great sport. But there's something about baseball, something magical, that will always make it America's sport, America's pastime.
Nothing is more beautiful than a homerun; not the Empire State Building, the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China. Even for the people who don't care about baseball, it is something that they can appreciate.
Every single touchdown is arguable; you've heard it before. "He was holding, call that, ref!"
"Look, his foot was out of bounds riiiight THERE! Challenge that coach!"
Baseball, it's crystal clear. If it goes over the yellow stripe on the outfield wall, it's a homerun; enough said.
In every sport, when it gets to crunch time, you have two opponents. One is the team you're facing, and the other is the clock. Except for baseball, that is.
Every team is equal when the game begins. The home team has 27 outs and the away team has 27 outs. There really is no home field advantage since stadiums very rarely get loud. It's up to you to put the best product on the field that can use your 27 outs wisely.
And if you're tied after 27 outs, no biggie; we'll just give you each three more outs to score.
Oh, so you're still tied? That's cool, here's three more outs for both of you guys; we're in no rush, just go ahead and play until you guys have the same amount of outs, but one team has more runs.
And really, who doesn't like spending more time at the ballpark?
There's nothing more tedious than a Wednesday afternoon during football season. It's almost torture. And the worst part is there's nothing you can do about it; you're just going to have to tough it out till Sunday.
But during baseball season, your favorite team plays almost every day, so all you have to do is tough out the school or workday, then come home to your favorite team. It almost becomes a routine.
If you want to attend a football game, you'll likely have to plan your trip years in advance for some teams. It's almost a once in a lifetime occasion.
But in baseball, you could wake up and say, "Hey, I've got nothing to do this afternoon. I'm pretty sure the Rangers are in town, why not take the family down to Arlington?"
And there's not a better way to bond than a father-son trip to the ballpark.
Few rivalries are more heated than Yankees-Red Sox, with two of the biggest powerhouses in the world going head to head. Sure, it may have lost some of its luster over the years, but it still remains a big draw.
In football, rivalries are almost always media-created. Rivarlies like Steelers-Ravens or Redskins-Eagles aren't as big as they seem. And since when was Cowboys vs. anybody a "rivalry" game?
There's nothing minor about it. These games are just as competitive as their major league counterparts; just in a cheaper, more relaxed atmosphere.
So if you feel like watching a ballgame, but don't want to go through the hassle of a major league game, take a trip down to your local minor league team for a fun-filled, less high-stake game.
In a way, baseball is everything America stands for. Everybody has a chance on a baseball field.
If you're old, maybe you can run a team like nobody's business. If you're young, maybe you're your favorite team's biggest fan. If you can't field, maybe you can hit. If you can't hit, maybe you can pitch. If you can't pitch, maybe you're the best dang bat-boy baseball's ever seen.
Baseball is always making room for all sorts of people; it doesn't hand-pick athletes. If you're not tall, you'll never make it in basketball. If you're built like a girl, you'll never make it in football.
Like baseball itself, stats flow together perfectly. There's a stat for every situation, What is your ERA during night games? If you're a switch-hitter, what's your batting average on the road righty? There's literally a never-ending stream of stats.
People love them as well, some a little bit too much; some people have been known to devote their lives to finding out things like what was Joe Dimmagio's batting average on 3-1 counts?
In football, most of the stats are pointless. Tell me how to calculate quarterback ratings? Didn't think you could.
Now tell me how to calculate batting averages, basic math.
In football, all you really know about the player is their name and there number. Their face is hidden by a facemask. For example, there are guys like Ladanian Tomlinson, who wear a dark visor. You don't get a real emotional connection to someone when you don't even know what they look like.
There have been talks of expanding playoff teams, which I personally hate, and I'm going to tell you why.
In the NFL, making the playoffs is cool and all, but it isn't remembered very long after. Unless you're the Yankees or Red Sox, you might make the playoffs once or twice in a decade.
Making the playoffs feels special after a grueling, 162 game season; you really made it. When the Pirates finally reach the playoffs, it'll be a feel good story in Pittsburgh.
Percentage of teams making MLB playoffs: roughly 25 percent
Percentage of teams making NFL playoffs: roughly 40 percent
In football, it's one and done. That has several flaws to it; the biggest being lady luck. If it had been a best two out of three series, do you think the Seahawks could have beaten the Saints again? In football, the best team does not always win.
In baseball, though, the playoff system seperates the boys from the men. You have at least four games to prove yourself worthy of advancing to the next round. If you don't, then you'll be packing up; simple as that.
In football, there is approximately 11 minutes when the ball is actually in play and something is going on. The other three hours are jam-packed full of...commercials.
There are far too many commercials breaks in football, possesion changes, timeouts, challenges, booth reviews, halftime; it completely destroys the flow of the game. Suddenly, commercials every half-inning and a few pitching swaps doesn't sound so bad, does it?
The MLB all-star game is not just a game; it is a weekend long event. Between the Homerun Derby, the Futures game ad the real deal all-star game; the MLB actually takes pride in this event.
The NFL could care less, They just shove it all the way in Hawaii, Don't bother promoting it at all. And make silly rules to make the game less competitive. No blitzing, no contact on special teams, no motion shifting, Are you sure this isn't flag football? And since when were fans allowed to call plays?
Ballparks in baseball come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. From the ivy at Wrigley Field, to those tacky orange seats at Sun Life stadium, to the Green Monster at Fenway, you'd know exactly what ballpark you were in if you were somehow randomly transported there.
Football, on the other hand, is different. The stadiums are almost clones of each other. They are all the exact same dimensions. In baseball, you have all sorts of wacky fence sizes that can significantly help or hurt a team. In football, it's one size only. Boring.
Besides the dimensions part, baseball ballparks are far more beautiful and friendly than football stadiums.
In football, there will always be controversy when it comes to penalties.
Thank god baseball doesn't have penalties. This means you can't point fingers if you lose. If you lost, you lost fair and square. Sure, the umpires might've blown a call or two during the course of the game, but not enough to completely decide the outcome of the game. It gives the game a final feel to it.
Here's a famous quote from a writing: "The game begins in Spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rain comes, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone."
If that's true, then football begins when everything is dying.
Baseball has "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".
Football has...well, football has nothing.
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is a time-honored tradition that is sung at every professional baseball game across the country. It is the most sung song in America except for "Happy Birthday." It really represents everything baseball stands for.
Wrigley Field does this tradition better than any other team. But still, it would be almost a sin to not sing this between the top and bottom half of the seventh inning.
Football is headed for a lockout in 2011; baseball isn't.
Sure, commisioner Bud Selig may not do everything right, but at least we can rest easy knowing there will be a season next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. In football, nothing is guaranteed nowadays. It sounds corny, but baseball has our back, no matter what.
Football can't match the illustrious history that baseball brings to the table. The players, the myths, the legends, the Hall of Famers, all larger than life.
You have players like Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe Dimaggio, Honus Wagner, all of them who don't seem human. Then you got the records, Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak, the shot heard round the world, Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Football can't say they have that.
There's something truly magical about baseball. Something that you can't lay a finger on, but it has always been there.
When you were young, little league ballgames were what you lived for. You'd be giddy all day in class, just waiting to hear that first pop of the glove as you made your way to the field.
You'll root for your team till the day you die. You welcome your team into your home every evening. The team almost becoming another member of the family.
Like I said, you can't explain it, but it's there, and that really is what seperates baseball from football.