The day I stopped gambling was the day I stopped watching football.
Mark it down, carve it in granite, encase it in flowing eulogies.
On July 25, 2011 the National Football League finally laid baseball to rest. Not only did players and owners agree to a new collective bargaining agreement, but they did so with emphasis - as if to prove one last time that football, not baseball, is now America’s game.
Whether it was a power play or mere coincidence I do not know, but it is clear the timing of the NFL agreement savagely undermined the usual excitement surround Major League Baseball’s trading deadline. During the last week of July, in a period of summer doldrums usually dominated by baseball news, the NFL announced a triumphant conclusion to their very contentious and public negotiation.
What’s more, the announcement set into motion the most volatile and consequential period of player movement in NFL history. This immediate onset of manic transacting quickly buried the baseball buzz machine, relegating MLB’s quaint-by comparison trade rumors to the back pages.
The visuals provided by SportsCenter contain all the necessary evidence. As I write this, baseball highlights cower in the corner of the screen, barely visible next to the massive and constant NFL team profiles inhabiting the network’s sidebars. Even on a day that saw a no-hitter and a major deadline trade between two historic franchises, Baseball Tonight anchor Karl Ravech admitted that the day’s headlines had been dominated by football. The boys of summer lost out to the boys of fall…during summer.
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