Results tagged ‘ Super Bowl ’

Catching up with Eli Manning – again!

While the Yankees are enjoying an off day in the midst of winning six of their last seven, their football counterparts – the New York Giants – are getting prepared for mini-camp this week. Each year, the day before football activity starts, two-time Super Bowl champ and MVP Eli Manning hosts the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic at the Mount Kisco Country Club.

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Last year I had the pleasure of covering the event, and as fate would have it, I was given the assignment yet again this year. This year marked Manning’s seventh year as host of the outing; the QB speaking with the press, then demonstrating what it’s like for a blind golfer to sink a putt on the green.

Instead of simply blogging about the experience of interviewing a legendary player as I did last year, I’ll post some video I took of Manning’s demo, and him answering a couple of my questions, as well as my story for the newspaper.

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Note: part of my first question was cut off at the beginning (didn’t hit record until I after had asked the first part of it). The question to Eli was, “What kind of advice would you give to young athletes in New York, like Matt Harvey, who are following in your footsteps, becoming franchise players very quickly?

Another side note: Shout out to the gentlemen from the Public Access TV station. Afterward they approached me and gave me a proverbial “pat on the back” telling me I asked a couple of good questions. Thanks for that, fellas.

Anywho, on to my story from the day…

MOUNT KISCO – The 2013 NFL season will surely bring plenty of storylines and work for the New York Giants, yet every year, before the football madness ensues, quarterback Eli Manning dedicates himself to a worthy cause. Guiding Eyes for the Blind put on its 36th annual golf classic at the Mt. Kisco Country Club Monday afternoon, and for the seventh consecutive year, Manning was on hand serving as host.

The MVP of Super Bowls 42 and 46 started golfing at a young age, and was introduced to the Guiding Eyes tournament by blind golf champion Pat Browne – a longtime friend of the Manning family. The Giants’ QB looks forward to the outing every year, and has noticed steady growth and participation over time.

“It’s really grown over the years,” Manning said. “I got to meet a lot of people whose lives have been greatly impacted by Guiding Eyes and the guide dogs, so it’s been a pleasure to work with them over the years.

Seeing first-hand some of the success that these people have because of their guide dogs; the impact it’s made and how it’s changed their lives, and how the guide dogs have helped them go on to have successful careers in anything that they want to do. There’ve been a lot of amazing stories that have occurred because of this. I’m really proud to be involved and keep helping out.”

Manning also spoke about how impressed he is with the blind golfers, who year in and year out make the Guiding Eyes golf classic a tremendous success.

“Having been in this tournament a number of times and played with some of the blind golfers, it’s amazing to watch them go out there and compete, get around the course, and make pars,” he said. “It’s incredible, it’s a lot of fun to be here and watch them do their craft.”

Taking to the practice green, Manning put on a blindfold, and got a taste for what it’s like for a blind golfer to sink a putt. Standing 14 feet from the hole, Manning swung his putter and came up just short during the demonstration, missing the hole by about three inches – contrary to last year when on his first attempt, he sank the putt from 10 feet away.

Manning also offered a look into the Giants’ upcoming season, which will begin with an automatic bang when the G-Men face off with the Denver Broncos in Week 2; Manning being pitted up against his older brother Peyton for the third time in his career. Although Peyton has won the first two meetings between the brothers, Manning wants nothing more than to turn the tables and make the third time the charm.

“At the end of the day one of us is going to lose,” he said. “I’ll look forward to the day, it’ll be the third time I’ve gotten to play against Peyton’s team before and I don’t know if it’ll be the last one – it could be, so hopefully I’ll get a win under my belt. He’s already got two wins.”

Manning might have all the incentive he needs to want to beat his brother this season, yet reaching Super Bowl 48 when it’s all said and done may be on the top of his to-do list, considering the big game will be held on his home turf: MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands.

“I think anytime you have the Super Bowl in your home town or in your home stadium, you’d like to play in it and be a part of it,” he said. “You want to win a championship, it’s always your goal, but it would be very special to be the first team to play a Super Bowl in your own stadium.”

Manning then finally offered some words of wisdom to up-and-coming athletes in New York who’d like to follow in his footsteps: a path that’s led to a legendary career, one that will undoubtedly live forever in the minds of New York area sports fans.

“Work hard, be a good teammate, try to earn the respect of your teammates, coaches, and fans,” he said. “Enjoy being an athlete in New York – and if you win a championship, it makes things easier.”

Something to hang our hats on

Tonight Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale dominated the Yankees, and for as crummy and as inconsistent as Phil Hughes has been this year, he didn’t pitch poorly. Hughes, allowing just two runs in a solid seven innings pitched, came up on the short end of the stick – as did the Yankees, losing 2-1 and getting swept in three games at the hands of the pale hose.

The best part of this trip to Chicago for the Yankees, aside from leaving: Derek Jeter, who homered in all three losing efforts. It marked the first time in the captain’s career he went deep in three straight games.

Thankfully for the Yankees, they will not play the White Sox again during the regular season. However if the two teams meet in October, Chicago can head into the series with a positive mindset, knowing they took five of seven games from New York this season.

If you saw my tweet from earlier tonight, the White Sox scare me.

But the Yankees can concern themselves with the postseason when the time comes, and for now worry about  fending off the Tampa Bay Rays – who have pulled to within three games of the AL East lead. That once comfortable nine-game division gap has thinned and the Rays now have a chance to swipe the East from the Yanks.

Better pitching and series wins are what the Yankees need to put first and foremost in their minds down the stretch and into September.

For tonight, though, I’d like to make reference to something that not a lot of people really know about; perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the recent sweep and being at the mercy of the White Sox.

If you follow football, which is rapidly approaching, you know that the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in February, beating the New England Patriots, 21-17. Their last game before the Super Bowl, as most fans know, took place in San Francisco. The Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game on a game-winning field goal booted through the uprights by Lawrence Tynes.

What most people don’t know is that Kyle Williams – San Francisco’s punt returner who fumbled the ball, setting up the Giants’ game-winner – is the son of White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams.

That’s right. The White Sox GM’s son was the goat of the NFC Title game.

Chicago may have completed its little sweep of New York tonight, but if you ask me, the NFC Championship game is proof of why Chicago is called the “second city” and New York is number one – which they’ve proven 27 times in baseball and most recently in football.

It may not be much, but hey, it’s something to hang our hats on.

That Championship Season

*To all of my football lovers out there: this one is for the Giants. Because we were ALL IN.*

Before Super Bowl XLII in February of 2008, then-Giants’ wide receiver Plaxico Burress predicted his team would beat the Patriots by a score of 21-17. New York wound up beating New England in exciting fashion, 17-14. It may have taken another four years but last night Burress’s prediction finally came to fruition.

In Super Bowl XLVI the Giants beat the Patriots 21-17, in another exhilarating title match.

I can’t really explain why – maybe it’s just God’s way – but whenever the Giants and Patriots meet, the Giants seem to have their number. Two weeks ago I wrote about all the similarities between this year and their last Championship season.

And both Super Bowls proved to be just as comparable.

2007: The Patriots led at halftime, but not by a lot: 7-3.

2011: The Patriots led at halftime, and again, not by much: 10-9.

2007: Eli Manning had the ball on his own 17-yard line, Giants trailing 14-10 with just 2:39 left in the game.

2011: Eli Manning had the ball on his own 12-yard line, Giants trailing 17-15 with just 3:46 left in the game.

2007: On third and five Manning evaded what looked like a sack, threw up a Hail Mary, and miraculously hit David Tyree, who pinned the football up against his helmet for a 32-yard completion and a first down. The catch laid the groundwork for the winning touchdown.

2011: On the first play from scrimmage, Manning found Mario Manningham near the sideline and beating double coverage, hooked up with him for a 38-yard gain, giving the Giants prime field position to set up a score.

2007: Manning hit Burress in the end zone for a TD with just 35 seconds left on the clock. Tom Brady and the Patriots failed to move the ball into field goal range as time ticked down and lost by three points, 17-14.

2011: Ahmad Bradshaw hesitantly ran the ball into the end zone for a TD, leaving Brady and the Pats with only 57 seconds to score a touchdown. And once again, Brady and his receivers failed to move the ball down the field, losing by four points, 21-17.

2007: Manning wins the Super Bowl XLII Most Valuable Player award. He went to Disney World and the Canyon of Heroes – in that order.

2011: Take a guess who won Super Bowl XLVI MVP….Yes. It was Manning again. Today Manning was once again at Mickey Mouse’s home – and tomorrow he’ll be with his teammates in the Canyon of Heroes.

This year truly was, as Yogi Berra would say, déjà vu. Or déjà blue, depending on which way you want to phrase it. New York once again triumphs over New England, and gets the opportunity to celebrate a huge win.

Jubilation in New York. And for the fans in Boston; New England: more heartache.

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe had it right today when he wrote,

“History Repeats:

Instead of celebrating a grand slam–championships in every major sport over a period of four years and four months–New Englanders are spitting out pieces of their broken luck, bracing for the avalanche of grief from those annoying New Yorkers.”

Yeah, pretty much spot on.

Every fan of the Patriots must be saying “Mario (bleeping) Manningham” right now, the same way four years ago they were undoubtedly saying “David (bleeping) Tyree” – and just like most Red Sox fans in the past have exclaimed, “Bucky (bleeping) Dent” and “Aaron (bleeping) Boone.”

A win like yesterday is the type of victory that can carry New York bragging rights over New England for a long way.

I know as a fan of the Giants, and as a fan who doubted they would go anywhere this season, I was enthralled; fascinated. The familiar feeling of sports joy overcame me. One of my favorite teams won a title and I was so happy I got down on one knee and…I’m not calling it “Tebowing.” In the spirit of the win, I prefer to call it “Manning’ing.”

That’s what I did.

Tom Coughlin, the Giants’ Head Coach, seemed just as happy as I was, seeing as how he was on the hot seat when the Giants scuffled. Coughlin became the oldest Head Coach in the NFL to win a Super Bowl at 65 years. He is also only the second coach to lead the Giants to a Super Bowl win. Bill Parcells was at the helm of the squad for the Giants’ first two Super Bowl victories in 1986 and 1990.

As for Manning…well…

At the outset of the season he called himself an elite quarterback; a top five-caliber manager who deserves to be put on the same level as Brady. The media jumped all over that statement and put Manning under the microscope. When he struggled, they doubted his words.

But now that he has beaten Brady three times in his career – and twice on the worldwide stage – his bold words are now inarguable. Manning is an elite quarterback, and he is as every bit as good as Brady, if not better. He led his team in a total of eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season (including the postseason).

If that isn’t considered clutch, what the heck is?

And now, if anyone tries to call out Manning; say he isn’t one of the best QBs in the league, their point will be invalid. The proof of his greatness lies in his stat columns and the number of Super Bowl rings on his fingers.

No more Manning-bashing.

The Giants became only the fifth team in NFL history to win four or more Super Bowls. The Pittsburgh Steelers own six titles, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers both have five. The Green Bay Packers have four, and now, so does the so-called “Big Blue Wrecking Crew.”

That’s right. The Steelers have the most Super Bowl titles in history with six. Football certainly is a different game than baseball as far as the Championship goes, looking at the 27 World Series titles the Yankees have.

And speaking of the Yankees, Spring Training will be starting shortly. Pretty soon camp will start and before we know it camp will break, bringing the 2012 MLB season. Now that football season has come to a dramatic and happy ending, baseball is soon to begin.

And while we wait, we can enjoy yet another New York Championship.

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.  

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.

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