Football or Baseball: Part II

Welcome to part two of my analysis of baseball and football. Let us continue! Here’s part one if you missed it.

 

 


Baseball or Football??? 

Why Football is Better than Baseball, Part II

 

13) The NFL draft is actually relevant.

 

Agreed. The MLB draft is not nearly as talked about as the NFL draft. Since 1936, the NFL draft has attracted people from all over the world; people come from everywhere to find out which pro teams the eligible college players are going to go to. As long as I can remember the NFL draft has been on TV and everyone I know talks about that last weekend in April.

 

Only up until recently has the MLB draft been televised and simply put, nobody cares about it. Analysts on ESPN have gone as far as saying that the baseball draft is just not interesting. Some of these baseball players who get drafted do not show up in the MLB for years, if they make it at all.

 

In football, there are a large majority of players who get drafted out of college and the next year they are either starting or at least standing on a pro football field.

 

This kind of leads into the next point, which is…

 

14) College Football matters.

 

Excellent point. My philosophy has always been, the more years you play organized before turning pro, the better and more disciplined you will be as an athlete.

 

There just are not a lot of baseball players who go to college, whereas basically all the NFL players go to school. In fact, before some of the football games (when the teams are going through their starting lineups) the players come on and give their name and alma mater. For example, Eli Manning will come on and say, “Eli Manning: Ole Miss.”

 

I tend to have a lot more respect for the baseball players that do educate themselves. Mike Mussina is a perfect example. He attended Stanford University and pitched there for four years before turning pro.

 

Mussina was never the most overpowering pitcher in the MLB, but he had wits; he was one of the smartest pitchers in the game. He could change speeds like no other pitcher during his playing days. He never threw a 100 mph fastball but it didn’t matter. He perfected his craft on the collegiate level before turning pro and he’ll probably be a hall of famer because of it.

 

15) Every football team has a specific philosophy on offense AND on defense.

 

I see where he is coming from, but I don’t know if I completely agree. In football, there are certain ways to execute different plays on offense and defense. For instance, if a quarterback is in the pocket looking to hook up with an open receiver, the defensive end must fight to flush him out, apply pressure on him, and force him to scramble.

 

On defense in baseball, you have to make plays. If the ball is hit to you, it’s your job to ensure an out by making a putout, catch, or assist. I guess you can say philosophies are quite different, but I’m not sure what he was getting at with this point.

 

In my view, in both baseball and football, teams have to play both sides of the field.

 

16) The American and National Football Conferences play by the same rules.

 

ABSOLUTELY YES. This is an advantage football has over baseball. The same rules apply to both conferences whereas the National and American Leagues in baseball have a different format, in terms of one position.

 

I never understood the designated hitter rule. Why does the AL have it and the NL doesn’t? It’s an unfair advantage the NL has over the AL in the World Series, not to mention the DH extends players’ careers. Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, and countless others have been able to keep their careers going because of the DH rule.

 

I suppose in that regard it’s helped players, but to me it’s ridiculous. I’ve even heard people say it should be done away with. Both leagues should go by one rule. Either have the DH in both leagues or don’t have it at all.

 

17) Coaches spend more time coaching in football. Baseball managers only manage.

 

I can’t really speak for this statement.

 

In baseball spring training and in batting practice and in football mini camp and practice, I really have no idea what goes on and neither does anyone. Unless you are standing on the sidelines or on the field with the team, you have no clue what the manager or coach is telling their players.

 

I agree that baseball managers are simply there to manage, with their coaches doing a lot of work (bench coach, bullpen coach, hitting coach, base coaches, etc.) but they are also most likely doing a good amount of instructing as well.

 

Yet in football, there are defensive and offensive coordinators, wide receivers coaches quarterback coaches…and so on and so forth.  

 

I do know that head football coaches manage games just as baseball managers manage games; collectively they are in charge and (in certain ways) dictate what’s happening on the field. Baseball managers decide who plays and who sits but football players can take themselves out of a game if they want.

 

18) Football plays can be diagramed and discussed. Baseball only uses sequences.

OK, it’s a point. Football players can literally sit down and map out with Xs and Os what to do in certain offensive and defensive situations. There can be numerous scenarios on what plays are being used and what to do when those plays are utilized by the opposition.

 

In baseball it’s different. When there is a runner on first base and the ball is hit on the ground to the second baseman, the shortstop must cover second base to get the lead runner out first, and then throw to first base to turn the 4-6-3 double play.

 

By that example, the point is valid. It’s just a sequence. The players do not have to diagram a double play and discuss it because the play is simplistic.

 

19) The climax of a football game always comes at the end. A baseball game can be over by the second inning.

 

This statement is false. The biggest play in any game can happen at any time. If anyone happened to catch the New Orleans Saints vs. the Arizona Cardinals this past Saturday, the game was over by the second quarter.

 

The Saints came out and absolutely dominated the Cardinals, and before halftime everyone knew which team was going to win. Just as a baseball game can be over by the second inning, a football game can be over by the second quarter.

 

Furthermore, a baseball game’s climax can also come at the end of a game. It’s called a walk-off home run.

 

20) A baseball game can theoretically go on FOREVER.

 

This is true. In football the game is designated to 60 minutes, but includes three timeouts for each team (in each half), a 15 minute halftime, injury timeouts, challenges, etc. But you know that unless the score is tied, by the end of the fourth quarter, someone wins and someone loses.

 

If there is a tie, 15 minutes of overtime is played. Whoever scores first wins. If no one scores, the game’s over in a draw. Those are the rules, I did not write them.

 

In baseball the game can, as stated, go one forever. Aug. 7 of last year comes to my mind. 15 innings of Yankees vs. Red Sox until Alex Rodriguez finally ended the game with a walk-off home run at 1:00 in the morning.

 

Fun game to watch, but absolutely brutal in terms of time. It was going on forever.

 

21) In football, team depth matters. The third-best wide receiver matters whereas the third-best shortstop does not.

 

A valid point. You could be the third, fourth, or even fifth best player at your position in football and still get a chance to prove yourself and play on the professional level.

 

I’m just going out in a limb, but Yankee farmhands who play shortstop and third base probably won’t be seeing the big leagues anytime in the near future. And…does Ramiro Pena really mean as much to the Yankees as Derek Jeter?

 

On the other side, Sinorice Moss can mean just as much to the Giants as Amani Toomer did; Toomer was a number one receiver, Moss is a second team player. And even though he’s a second team player, he’s made a touchdown catch in the NFL.

 

Not to single out Pena, because he has started at shortstop for the Yankees, but other Yankee farmhands have not even had the chance to hit a big league home run.

 

22) Football features team slogans and cheers: (eg.) J! E! T! S! JETS JETS JETS!!!”

 

This has got to be the worst reason on this list. I don’t even know if I should go into it or not. I’ve heard “Waltzing Matilda” chants from games at the World Cup in soccer.

 

“Let’s Go Yankees! (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!)”

 

I rest my case.

 

23) Football rivalries are bitter and plentiful.

 

There are rivalries in every sport.

 

The most significant rivalry in baseball and probably in sports in general is (gasp!) Yankees vs. Red Sox (it’s a shocker, right?) Other than that rivalry in baseball, I can really only think of Yankees/Mets, White Sox/Cubs, Giants/Dodgers, and Cubs/Cardinals.

 

I’ve noticed as a football fan that rivalries among division opponents are more prevalent. I am a Giants fan and I can see how badly the Giants hate both the Cowboys and Eagles. As a Yankee fan, we hate the Red Sox, but really don’t care as much about the Orioles or Blue Jays, who are also in our division.  

 

Plus, football rivalries extend beyond the division. I mean, the Ravens hate the Colts because the Colts moved out of Baltimore and into Indianapolis. Now whenever the Ravens play the Colts, the fans in Baltimore feel the Ravens should crush the Colts because in their eyes, the Colts ditched them for another city.

 

I guess in football things can get rather personal whereas in baseball, everything is basically dominated by the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry.

 

24) There is parity in football. You can stink today and win it all tomorrow.

 

I could not agree with this statement more. Equality is where it’s at.

 

When the Giants went on their incredible run in 2007-2008 to win Super Bowl XLII, they were coming off a miserable 8-8, 2006-2007 campaign. They were literally abysmal one year and won the whole thing the next year.

 

The Miami Dolphins are another example. They didn’t win anything from 2007-08, but in 2008-09 they came back to edge out the Jets, Bills, and Patriots to win the AFC East. They were horrible one year and won their division the next.

 

In baseball, all the same teams are expected to be there at the end–the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Phillies…it’s almost like we already know who’s going to win the majority of the divisions and who’s not.

 

In baseball, do we really expect the Royals to be a playoff team at the end of the year? There are teams in baseball who haven’t been contenders in quite some time and are not getting any better anytime soon. Any given year, a football team can win.

 

Plus, many of the races are a lot more exciting in football; the Giants were in the race up until the second to last game of the year, and really it was any team’s title to win. The Cowboys and Eagles were also contending and there was no clear winner of the division up until the very end.

 

Eventually the Cowboys claimed it with the Eagles winning a Wild Card spot. Unfortunately, the Giants were left out, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come back next year and win it.

 

In 2009, the Yankees practically had the AL East won by the beginning of August. The baseball regular season almost got boring toward the end.

 

25) There is a salary cap in football.

 

Probably one of the biggest reasons many people feel football is fairer and more equal than baseball. It’s a great point and again, it goes back to fairness.

 

At the end of 2008, the Yankees spent almost a quarter of a $billion on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira…added on to the $290 million they are paying Alex Rodriguez…and so on and so forth.

 

There is nobody telling the Yankees no. They can spend as much money as they want without anyone blinking an eye. With that, they dominated their division in 2009 and subsequently won the World Series. I will never feel in my heart that money can buy a championship; titles come from team chemistry and the will to win, coupled with everything going right for the team.

 

But I can’t help but notice how much money the Yankees spent. And if you don’t notice a problem in payroll disparity, you are blind. I love the Yankees very much, but they helped create the problem of unequal payroll (even Yankee writers have noted this)

 

In football, each team is given only a certain amount of money to spend and with that they can sign players, draft picks, etc. With each payroll, every team has a chance to win every year. It’s equal, something baseball hasn’t been for a long time.

 

When free agency in baseball arose, it changed the game. And there’s free agency in football too, but even the best football player will not make the type of salary Rodriguez, Sabathia, and Teixeira make.

 

Yet…some people may not know this, but George Steinbrenner learned his baseball methods as a football coach. Quite ironic, if you ask me.

 

 

It’s a really tough argument. I think there are many great points the author made in his column as to why football has an edge over baseball. I personally enjoy both sports and baseball will always be my first love. But football is a great sport too.

 

There are some other reasons I thought up on my own as to why football might be considered better than baseball. For starters, the Pro Bowl (the NFL equivalent of MLB’s All-Star Game) has no bearing as to where the Super Bowl is played. I think that’s a great point.

 

The team with the better record should have home field in the World Series; MLB just instituted that stipulation to entice the players to care for the game and actually play. MLB says, “Winner gets home-field in the World Series.” They might as well just say, “Act like you care about this game and play.” Football doesn’t have that.

 

Another reason (and it kind of goes back to territory) is the Super Bowl location: it’s always played on neutral ground. The World Series is not like that. One team has an advantage and the other doesn’t.

 

I’ve read some silly arguments, like football is better because of the cheerleaders. Well, not that it’s too disturbing watching pretty girls cheer on their team from the sidelines, but baseball doesn’t need them. That’s always been my take. And it’s not like every football team has cheerleaders. The Giants don’t.

 

Baseball can be looked at as better because there is a game every day, despite the slow-moving action it is fun to watch, and players can be extremely smart and still win.

 

My overall opinion: it’s a tie. Baseball has been around a lot longer than football and it owns the label as America’s pastime. It always will. I think there are a lot of problems with the game today–payroll disparity, an unequal playing field on many levels, and greed among the players.

 

But I’ll always love baseball. I’ve developed unconditioned love for the sport.

 

I’ve been a football fan for about seven years now and I also have a great admiration for the sport. It’s a fast-paced, high-action, and fun sport to watch. I love the game and even though it wasn’t my first love, it still holds a great place in my heart.

 

But never mind my opinion. What really is better: football or baseball? After what I’ve written, it’s up to you to decide.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers

%d bloggers like this: