Football or Baseball: Part I

 

 

Super Bowl XLIV is looming

With the National Football League playoffs in full force and the championship teams ready to play the final round before Super Bowl XLIV, I noticed some banter among some of my friends. There are some people who are bringing up the argument of which sport is better: baseball or football?

 

As a die-hard fan of both sports, it’s hard for me to say which sport is better. Baseball was the first sport I’ve ever loved, but in recent years football has captured my attention and interest.

 

I went to Google to find out what other people have to say about this argument and I found an interesting blog someone wrote for CBS. The author listed 25 reasons why football is better than baseball.

 

Although the blog brought up several excellent points, I’m just torn with this argument.

 

What I figured I would do was analyze each of his points objectively to determine which sport is better. I’ll list his points and give you my take on them. Since there are 25, I’ll break up the blog into two sections.

 

 


Baseball or Football??? 

Why Football is Better than Baseball, Part I:

 

1) Football is the ultimate team sport. All 11 players are involved in every play.

 

This one I have to agree with, to a certain extent. Yes, all players on the field need to be moving and participating, but there are still players off the field. If your team is on defense, the offense isn’t playing and vice versa. I do see where he’s coming from here; every player on the baseball diamond isn’t involved in every play.

 

A centerfielder can catch a high-fly ball for an out…and what was the first baseman doing? Whereas a quarterback takes a snap and his offensive line is blocking the defensive line, the wide receivers are sprinting out to catch the ball while the cornerbacks are guarding them to interrupt the pass…and there’s so much happening all at once!

 

2) Football can be played by anyone, anywhere. All it takes is at least two players, and a $15 dollar ball. Baseball requires two $40 gloves, a $7 ball, a $50 bat, and so much more.

 

I think this comes down to preference. Instead of baseball, there’s always whiffle ball and those bats and balls are about $5 altogether. Not to mention you can play whiffle ball with only two people.

 

When he was a young man in Panama, Mariano Rivera had to use makeshift bats and balls to practice. He even crafted a glove out of a milk carton. I can’t really agree with this point, because as I said, it comes down to what you want to do.

 

3) Football statistics are simple are require little mathematics to compute.  

 

I stink at math.

 

4)  The average fan can pick up and understand football. In baseball, the average fan cannot tell the difference between a two-seam, a four seam, or a cut fastball.

 

I think this point simply comes down to how fast you learn things. I myself am slow to pickup on things at times, other times I catch on relatively easy. It took me a few years to learn all the rules of both baseball and football, but I learned, didn’t I?

 

5) Baseball is hyper sensitive to the elements. Football players play through rain, snow, sleet and everything in between.

 

Excellent point. In football they do not care if it’s raining, snowing, freezing rain, below zero temperatures–they play in anything with the exception of thunderstorms because it’s too dangerous.

 

In baseball, a slight drizzle could cause a rain delay. The tarp comes on the field and the fans are waiting for the players to come back out, getting soaked in the rain. I can remember when I was a freshman in college four years ago, I was talking to this girl I had a crush on.

 

She asked me how the Yankees were doing, as she knew how big of a fan I am. I told her about how the night before they were in a rain delay and how the game was eventually called. Her response:

 

“A-Rod is getting paid how much money? I think he can play in the rain!”

 

Point taken.

 

6) Every baseball player is presumed a cheater until proven otherwise. Football has no such problem.

 

There are cheaters in every sport.

 

I guarantee that there are a number of players in football who have used steroids and illegal substances. The NFL’s policy is that the players are responsible for what they put into their bodies. If the players who use do get caught, they are suspended, which is also MLB’s policy.

 

As for baseball, we’re playing in the steroid era. There are literally hundreds of players who have (at some point) used steroids. I think (sadly) the point is applied to most sports. Everyone–not just in baseball–is a cheater until proven otherwise.

 

7) The individual baseball games are meaningless. Game 34 means just as much as game 134. What you’re watching has no bearing on the season.

 

Yes and no. This point really depends on who you are watching play. Sometimes it takes more than 162 games to get into the postseason; ask the Twins and Tigers of last year. They played game 163 to determine who would win the AL Central and it wound up being one of the greatest games of the season.

 

But if you are watching the Kansas City Royals, or the Pittsburgh Pirates, or the Baltimore Orioles, or any team with a low payroll in last place…or even the Yankees or Red Sox or any team with a high payroll in first place…then yes, I see the point.

 

8)  In baseball, a team can effectively remove the opposition’s best player from the game through the intentional walk. Football has no equivalent.

 

OK, good point. I’ve always seen intentional walking as a sort of loophole; many people use the term “bush league” to describe it. But if you’re a baseball fan, it works for your team and against your team in certain instances.

 

The only way to take out a football team’s best player is through physicality. If you hurt them on a play and injure them, then you have succeeded. But unlike baseball, there is no loophole to take a player out like the intentional walk.

 

9) In football, playoff games actually mean something. That one game decides who progresses and who stays home.

 

A good but sketchy point. Football has that no-nonsense mentality in terms of the playoffs. “You can’t win the game? Go home.” No matter what, one team will go “one and done,” so to speak.

 

In baseball there is a little more margin for error, considering it’s a series of games, not just one. But one game can mean something; for example, if the Yankees play the Twins in the ALDS, and they blow them out in game one, that can set the tone for the entire series.

 

In one game, a baseball team’s morale can go up or down, possibly determining a series.

 

10) Football rules make for dramatic comebacks. A team down by two scores can easily make up ground in the final period of play.

 

I can’t totally agree with this point, because there have been numerous baseball comebacks over the years. Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS, and I can think of at least three other comebacks the Yankees made this past October.

 

Football rules are designed for comebacks. If the Giants are down by two scores in the last 2:30 of the fourth quarter, they could potentially drive the ball down the field, score, recover an onside kickoff, drive the ball again, and tie the game (possibly even win it if they go for the two point conversion instead of the point-after-touchdown)

 

It’s extremely difficult to do that, but so is hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie a game. It’s hard to accomplish in both sports, honestly.

 

And…a walk-off home run is just as good as sinking a field goal as time expires..isn’t it?

 

11) Football games are lively, upbeat, and exciting. In today’s world of instant gratification and limited attention spans, many cannot appreciate the finer points of baseball.

 

Excellent point. Baseball is a slow-moving sport, let’s not kid ourselves here. A pitcher can take literally 45 seconds to a minute to throw a pitch. A batter can step out of the box whenever he pleases, and it can be a full 10 minutes before there is even a base hit.

 

With football, there has to be action within a certain period of time, no matter what. There’s constant action, every player is moving and it can be exciting. I’ve fallen asleep during some baseball games, simply because there was nothing happening.

 

My younger sister recently became a huge sports fan (I’m not sure how) but I was talking football with her the other day. Then she starts going on about college basketball and I finally looked at her and asked, “Why aren’t you a baseball fan?”

 

She replied, “It’s too slow. There is no action. At least with basketball and football they move around!”

 

My grandfather over heard our conversation and he looked at me, chimed in, and said, “She’s right. You have to be die-hard to watch baseball. With other sports like hockey and football and basketball there is consistent action. Baseball does not have that.”

 

12) Myron Cope. Anyone in baseball ever come close?

 

I had no clue who he was until I looked him up. Apparently Myron Cope was a journalist and sports broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a legend in steel town, holding the title as “Voice of the Steelers.”

 

I’ve never heard of him, let alone his voice, but from what I gathered he was very good at what he did. And I certainly admire and respect him for it.

 

But there are baseball announcers who have done extremely great work; baseball has had announcers with distinctive voices and easily recognizable catch phrases.

 

“Holy cow!”–Phil Rizzuto. Case in point.

 

That does it for Part I of this blog. I will be back with the final 13 points as well as a wrap up on this subject.

4 Comments

For me there’s no comparison. Baseball is better than football in every way. I love that it’s a game within a game: there’s a pitcher against a batter at the same time as the rest of the players are participating. I love that there’s no time clock and a game lasts as long as it lasts. I love that the players aren’t wearing protective gear that hides what they look like. I could go on and on, but baseball has my vote!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Football is great and all, but it really is no comparison. In fact, if you are truly a baseball lover, then this would be an obvious choice in my opinion. There’s no competition. None at all. There’s no clock in baseball. The ball is not the focus of the game in baseball, it’s the human being crossing home plate. That’s important. The human element.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Ok, so I know you didn’t write this list so let me start by saying:

The guy/girl who wrote this sounds like a flash in the pan football fan and has zero sense of research. Otherwise known as a “moron”.

With that said, let me explain:

First off, comparing football and baseball is like comparing apples and oranges. Sure they’re both fruit and grow on trees…and round…that’s, essentially, where the comparisons end.

1. All 11 players play at the same time? Nonsense. How many receivers do you see run a quick route and walk it off when the QB hands the ball off to a running back or passes to another receiver? Quite often. The only sports that involve every player are basketball, hockey, soccer, rugby…actually almost every team sport OTHER than baseball and football.

2. You can play “football” with 2 people? Nope. That’s called “catch”. Sure, you can’t really start a pick-up game of baseball, but that has nothing to do with how inferior it is. I think it makes the game more intricate. Football is fun to play though, for sure.

3. Football stats are easier to compute? So this person is a statistician? How hard is it to count a players home runs as they leave the park? How about each time a player crosses the plate? RBI? Runs Batted In. ERA? Easy. Average earned runs given up per nine innings. Maybe this guy can tell me what the hell a QB rating is??

4. The average fan can understand football easier? The “average” baseball fan doesn’t NEED to know what a two-seam fastball is to understand that the pitcher is throwing it in hopes that the batter doesn’t hit it. That would be an “above-average” baseball fan, in my opinion. Football? I would be surprised if an “average” fan could explain a slant route or how an audible works.

5. Baseball is hyper-sensitive to the elements. Yep. Baseball players are too smart to play in the rain and snow.

6. Baseball players are cheaters until proved innocent, football has no such concerns? Holy cow this person is a communist! In America, people are innocent until proven guilty. Unless your head has grown to the size of a small planet ala Barry Bonds. Besides, ever heard of Shawne Merriman? Yeah, I thought so.

7. Individual baseball games are meaningless? I can see where this person is coming from, but let me make clear that the schedule is like this because baseball is a less aggressive sport. Also, this makes it so teams with WINNING RECORDS are rewarded with a trip to the playoffs. In football a team with a .500 record can sneak in to the playoffs and get lucky throughout and win the Super Bowl. Where’s the justice in that??

8. Baseball can effectively remove the teams best player by walking them. Well smart guy, this puts their best player on base. This means they can score a run or steal a base or distract a pitcher from focusing entirely on the batter. So all you’ve done is effectively removed them from roughly a 33% chance of getting a hit, let alone a game altering hit.

9. In football, playoff games mean something? See number 7. Also, baseball relies on pitchers to control the game. There are 4-5 different pitchers on any given staff. A baseball team isn’t defined by one of those pitchers as much as a football team is defined by its QB. Just a quick side note: this means the hitters have to learn the pitches of 4-5 different starting pitchers and train themselves to hit the pitches they throw. The ones that can effectively do that are what some might consider “good”. Imagine how hard it is to be “great”? Baseball is so badass.

10. Football rules make for dramatic comebacks? Ever heard of the walk-off home run? That was designed so it can only happen at home! Beat that football!

11. Football is lively, upbeat, blah blah blah, people need instant gratification and don’t have the patience for baseball. I agree with this one to a point. There was a study done (you can google it I’m sure) and what was found was that there was only 11 minutes of actual playing time. 11 minutes of playing time doesn’t translate to lively and upbeat in my book.

12. Myron Cope? This is where this person lost all credibility for me. HARAY FREAKING CARAY?? Wow. The nerve of some people! Because of this I don’t wish to read the rest of this persons “reasons” because they aren’t going to be valid. I hope he feels thoroughly schooled.

http://ridiculouslyroyals.mlblogs.com

Ok, so I know you didn’t write this list so let me start by saying:

The guy/girl who wrote this sounds like a flash in the pan football fan and has zero sense of research. Otherwise known as a “moron”.

With that said, let me explain:

First off, comparing football and baseball is like comparing apples and oranges. Sure they’re both fruit and grow on trees…and round…that’s, essentially, where the comparisons end.

1. All 11 players play at the same time?
Nonsense. How many receivers do you see run a quick route and walk it off when the QB hands the ball off to a running back or passes to another receiver? Quite often. The only sports that involve every player are basketball, hockey, soccer, rugby…actually almost every team sport OTHER than baseball and football.

2. You can play “football” with 2 people?
Nope. That’s called “catch”. Sure, you can’t really start a pick-up game of baseball, but that has nothing to do with how inferior it is. I think it makes the game more intricate. Football is fun to play though, for sure.

3. Football stats are easier to compute?
So this person is a statistician? How hard is it to count a players home runs as they leave the park? How about each time a player crosses the plate? RBI? Runs Batted In. ERA? Easy. Average earned runs given up per nine innings. Maybe this guy can tell me what the hell a QB rating is??

4. The average fan can understand football easier?
The “average” baseball fan doesn’t NEED to know what a two-seam fastball is to understand that the pitcher is throwing it in hopes that the batter doesn’t hit it. That would be an “above-average” baseball fan, in my opinion. Football? I would be surprised if an “average” fan could explain a slant route or how an audible works.

5. Baseball is hyper-sensitive to the elements.
Yep. Baseball players are too smart to play in the rain and snow.

6. Baseball players are cheaters until proved innocent, football has no such concerns?
Holy cow this person is a communist! In America, people are innocent until proven guilty. Unless your head has grown to the size of a small planet ala Barry Bonds. Besides, ever heard of Shawne Merriman? Yeah, I thought so.

7. Individual baseball games are meaningless?
I can see where this person is coming from, but let me make clear that the schedule is like this because baseball is a less aggressive sport. Also, this makes it so teams with WINNING RECORDS are rewarded with a trip to the playoffs. In football a team with a .500 record can sneak in to the playoffs and get lucky throughout and win the Super Bowl. Where’s the justice in that??

8. Baseball can effectively remove the teams best player by walking them?
Well smart guy, this puts their best player on base. This means they can score a run or steal a base or distract a pitcher from focusing entirely on the batter. So all you’ve done is effectively removed them from roughly a 33% chance of getting a hit, let alone a game altering hit.

9. In football, playoff games mean something?
See number 7. Also, baseball relies on pitchers to control the game. There are 4-5 different pitchers on any given staff. A baseball team isn’t defined by one of those pitchers as much as a football team is defined by its QB. Just a quick side note: this means the hitters have to learn the pitches of 4-5 different starting pitchers and train themselves to hit the pitches they throw. The ones that can effectively do that are what some might consider “good”. Imagine how hard it is to be “great”? Baseball is so badass.

10. Football rules make for dramatic comebacks?
Ever heard of the walk-off home run? That was designed so it can only happen at home! Beat that football!

11. Football is lively, upbeat, blah blah blah, people need instant gratification and don’t have the patience for baseball?
I agree with this one to a point. There was a study done (you can google it I’m sure) and what was found was that there was only 11 minutes of actual playing time. 11 minutes of playing time doesn’t translate to lively and upbeat in my book.

12. Myron Cope?
This is where this person lost all credibility for me. HARAY FREAKING CARAY?? Wow. The nerve of some people! Because of this I don’t wish to read the rest of this persons “reasons” because they aren’t going to be valid. I hope he feels thoroughly schooled.

http://ridiculouslyroyals.mlblogs.com

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