America's Pastime: 20 Reasons Why Baseball Will Always Hail over Football

Micah Chen@thechensterAnalyst IIIApril 26, 2011

America's Pastime: 20 Reasons Why Baseball Will Always Hail over Football

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    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. 

The Home Run vs the Touchdown

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 24:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants hits a two run home run in the fourth inning outfield their game against the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park on April 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    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.

No Time Limit

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    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? 

Longer Schedule

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 24:  Second baseman Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers makes the out against Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    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. 

Convenience

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Fans of the Texas Rangers watch batting practice prior to the Rangers playing against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas
    Elsa/Getty Images

    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. 

Rivalries

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    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?

Minor Leagues

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  San Francisco Giants prospect Ryan Verdugo #68 playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions pitches against the Phoenix Desert Dogs during the AZ Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Ph
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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. 

Equal Opportunity

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 24: Starter Jake Westbrook #35 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on April 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    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. 

Stats

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 31:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the Houston Astros season's statistics are lit up on the board during the game against the San Diego Padres during their Opening Day Game at Petco Park March 31, 2008 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Don
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    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. 

Personality

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 02:  Designated hitter Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Baltimore Orioles just before the start of the game at Tropicana Field on April 2, 2011 in St. Petersburg,
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Baseball features some of the biggest larger-than-life personalities in sports.  Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Brian Wilson, Jose Cancesco, Alex Rodriguez, Tim Lincecum; the list goes on and on. 

    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.

Playoff System

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23:  The San Francisco Giants celebrate defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 and winning the pennant in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    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

Playoff Series

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a double in fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylv
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    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.

Commercials

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    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?

All-Star Game

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 13:  (L) National League All-Star pitcher Evan Meek stands with his teammates prior to the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    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

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    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.

No Penalty Flags

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 23:  A penalty flag lies on the field during the Seattle Seahawks game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qwest Field on September 23, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won 24-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    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.   

Baseball Starts in the Spring

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 18:  Ryan Vogelsong #32 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Scottsdale Stadium on March 18, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    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. 

"Take Me out to the Ball Game"

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    CHICAGO - JUNE 15:  A closeup view of the distance number (355 feet from home plate) and ivy covered leftfield wall at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    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. 

Baeball Will Always Be There for Us

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 24: Reliever Mitchell Boggs #41 and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate defeating the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on April 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    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. 

History

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 07:  Seven year old Coleman Colucci, from Half Moon Bay, California, looks to get his ball signed by San Francisco Giants baseball players prior to the start of the spring training baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Scottsda
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    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.

The Magic

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    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.