Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wolfman-Arent: How Roger Goodell Burned Baseball, and Buried the Past

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.

Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:08 AM | 121 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rumors

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:19 AM (#3887359)
I doubt the timing was on purpose, but the same thought had crossed my mind.
   2. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:26 AM (#3887363)
Gods, I hate pro football.
   3. Gotham Dave Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3887364)
This is why nobody should watch ESPN. All I've heard about the NFL is a headline I saw through the window of a newspaper box.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:36 AM (#3887365)
Who won the Super Bowl last year? Seriously. Steelers? Packers?

Something like that. Now who won the mythical NCAA championship? I have no ####### clue.
   5. cabintwelve Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#3887366)
Hyperbole much?

And I'm with #3. The only thing I've heard about the NFL in the last couple of days was two guys from work talking about fantasy football.
   6. Bhaakon Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#3887368)
Funny thing about it: When I listen to local sport broadcasts, baseball dominates for the entire spring and summer, and still holds a strong minority of the airwaves during football season, but any national broadcasts are 90% football (and most of the rest is college football). San Francisco can't be the only place it's like that (and it's not the world series, it's been like that as long as I've been paying attention, maybe a decade or so).
   7. madvillain Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:53 AM (#3887370)
My enjoyment of baseball isn't infringed because ESPN isn't covering the trade deadline. That's what the Internet is for.

Besides, this reminds me of that knock against the NYTs middle-brow style section: if they are covering it, you can be sure it's already passe.
   8. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:58 AM (#3887371)
They pay people to play football? Outside of Columbus, Ohio and Auburn, Alabama? I didn't know.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:16 AM (#3887380)
I vaguely heard something about football. Stltoday still puts baseball on the front page, not football. I think I heard something about Brett Favre....Is he back.
   10. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:05 AM (#3887388)
Well, it's only making things right, because coverage of the 2011 Super Bowl took a ridiculous and unfair publicity hit from the Egyptian revolution.
   11. bads85 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:10 AM (#3887390)
Well, it's only making things right, because coverage of the 2011 Super Bowl took a ridiculous and unfair publicity hit from the Egyptian revolution.


And The Black Eyed Peas might never recover.
   12. KT's Pot Arb Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:11 AM (#3887392)
Who cares about the fact that football is a more popular sport? Baseball is about tradition and resisting anything that would improve the game, and not caring that fewer kids play it and care about it every year.
   13. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:15 AM (#3887393)
Agree with many here (#'s 3,4,5,etc.), especially #7. It's all about the internet for baseball (or any other sports) fans. So much coverage available. ESPN is lucky to get me to watch Sunday Night Baseball (on mute), at best. What they are/aren't covering hasn't mattered to me in ages. MLB Network, MLB.com, the handy MLB At-Bat App and the internet have everything covered. So, unless in all this the NFL found a way to beat MLB's Media Marketing, they have not yet "laid baseball to rest".

Business as usual, except it'll be a hectic week for sports writers that cover multiple sports....and with that in mind, you'd think some might be able to come up with better articles than this....
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM (#3887401)
Funny thing about it: When I listen to local sport broadcasts, baseball dominates for the entire spring and summer,

We need you to trade your entire population base to Washington. Here it's March Madness, the NHL and NBA playoffs, Tiger Woods (still) and the Redskins, Redskins and Redskins. The Nats get maybe 5% of the air time unless they win about 10 in a row, then it may be 10%.

--------------------------------

Who cares about the fact that football is a more popular sport?

It's been obvious for nearly 60 years that football is by far the most popular sport in terms of both casual fan interest the national media coverage, and that this is never going to change until the NFL sits out about three straight seasons. OTOH it's also obvious that in terms of financial stability, baseball is in an infinitely better position now than it was 60 years ago. I'm not sure why football's greater popularity means that baseball can't prosper any more than China's growing prosperity means that the U.S. is doomed.
   15. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM (#3887402)
If there were a lot of big trades, baseball would be making bigger headlines. That the end of a very long and contentious strike has football dominating headlines for a while is to be expected - "news" is about the new. The strike is big news, as is its end. There is no "excitement" around the trading deadline because there are no blockbuster trades in the works yet. Maybe there will be.

And if you don't want to hear about Football, watch the MLB Network. That's what I do.
   16. majorflaw Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:20 PM (#3887412)
a very long and contentious strike


Psst. It was a lockout not a strike. Big difference. Pass it on.
   17. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM (#3887413)
Football is the more popular sport because the National Pastime is "watching television" -- and football is just about perfect for television, while baseball is not particularly good for television (alternately, football is not that good for radio, while baseball is just about perfect for radio).

Additionally, hockey is the best sport to be at in-person, and basketball is the best sport to read about in the paper the next day. ;-)
   18. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM (#3887414)
I'd buy the conspiracy if they announced the new CBS on the day of the All-Star Game. But five days before the non-waiver trade deadline? Meh.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM (#3887418)
Football is the more popular sport because the National Pastime is "watching television" -- and football is just about perfect for television,

And gambling, and violence.
   20. Lassus Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3887419)
Oh please*


*Referring to excerpt.
   21. OsunaSakata Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:50 PM (#3887421)
It's been obvious for nearly 60 years that football is by far the most popular sport in terms of both casual fan interest the national media coverage, and that this is never going to change until the NFL sits out about three straight seasons.


Just to be pendantic, it's been more like 45 years. You couldn't place football's media dominance at any point before the "Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM (#3887425)
Just to be pendantic, it's been more like 45 years. You couldn't place football's media dominance at any point before the "Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958.

Also, while the NFL may be dominant in TV ratings (which is highly skewed by the relative rarity of games, played on fall/winter Sundays when there's nothing else to do) and fan identification in polls, MLB generates more revenue, and its revenue is rising faster.

Far more people will go to an MLB game this year than a NFL game. They will spend more total time watching MLB.

At the end of the day, as a business, MLB is beating the NFL right now in terms of what matters, revenue and profit growth.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM (#3887428)
Football is the more popular sport because the National Pastime is "watching television" -- and football is just about perfect for television, while baseball is not particularly good for television.

I've been hearing that forever, and I've never bought it. About all you miss watching baseball on TV is the panoramic view that enables you to notice shifts in fielders' positions and follow the baserunners when a ball is hit into the gap. But during day games and twilight times it's also easy to lose sight of the ball off the bat when you're sitting in many parts of the lower deck. The truth is that the only advantage of "being there" is if you require the "atmosphere" of "being there", but this applies to any sport, not just baseball.
   24. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3887429)
I concur with McCarver in #15: even Mike & Mike are devoting quite a bit of attention to MLB this morning, thanks to yesterday's trades, as well as the Santana no-hitter.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3887430)
very long and contentious strike


Just so I'm clear, this is the strike/lockout that has cost the NFL the grand total of one exhibition (oops, "pre-season") game, right? I've been amused by the coverage of this. Anyone who thought the NFL was going to miss a single game this year was naive at best.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3887433)
It's been obvious for nearly 60 years that football is by far the most popular sport in terms of both casual fan interest the national media coverage, and that this is never going to change until the NFL sits out about three straight seasons.

Just to be pendantic, it's been more like 45 years. You couldn't place football's media dominance at any point before the "Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958.


Which splits the difference at 53 years. But I should have said 50 to begin with, beginning with TGGEP and "The Violent World of Sam Huff", a CBS special which aired two weeks after the 1960 World Series.

-----------------------

Also, while the NFL may be dominant in TV ratings (which is highly skewed by the relative rarity of games, played on fall/winter Sundays when there's nothing else to do) and fan identification in polls, MLB generates more revenue, and its revenue is rising faster.

Far more people will go to an MLB game this year than a NFL game. They will spend more total time watching MLB.

At the end of the day, as a business, MLB is beating the NFL right now in terms of what matters, revenue and profit growth.


And at the end of the day, they've both prospered beyond any reasonable level of expectation, and it doesn't matter a bit which method you choose to define "popularity".
   27. Bob Tufts Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:38 PM (#3887446)
At least the NFL and NBA have proven that you need hard salary caps and strict restraints on salaries in order to have labor peace and competitive balance....oh, wait!

Considering the drastic economic situation that these two leagues claim, does it make you wonder if Stern and Goodell are not the geniuses the media tells us that they are - and that Selig is not the joker he is portrayed to be?
   28. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3887455)
Gods, I hate pro football.


This.

Take away the gambling & the steroid-freak players -- as I've said before, it's basically no better than watching a bunch of sideshow geeks bite the heads off chickens, so of course it's going to appeal to the lowest intellectual level of an already-stupid public -- & you've got nothing.
   29. Barnaby Jones Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3887465)
And I'm with #3. The only thing I've heard about the NFL in the last couple of days was two guys from work talking about fantasy football.


My awareness of football is limited to the TV in the restaurant I lunched at yesterday. They had the NFL network on, where they had live coverage from the "Free Agency War Room." Said war room was just one bespectacled gentleman sitting by himself at a tiny desk in a tiny cubicle, with a scribbled upon white board behind him, and a little league style trophy next to his laptop.
   30. Bob Tufts Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3887478)
Take away the gambling & the steroid-freak players -- as I've said before, it's basically no better than watching a bunch of sideshow geeks bite the heads off chickens, so of course it's going to appeal to the lowest intellectual level of an already-stupid public -- & you've got nothing.


and the six hours of drinking....and the cheerleaders.....it's no different than the WWE!
   31. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3887488)
Take away the gambling & the steroid-freak players -- as I've said before, it's basically no better than watching a bunch of sideshow geeks bite the heads off chickens, so of course it's going to appeal to the lowest intellectual level of an already-stupid public -- & you've got nothing.

Ninety thousand fans didn't pay to watch the Alabama Crimson Tide intrasquad spring game because of the gambling.

Baseball's a great sport, but the idea that the popularity of pro and college football in the United States is some kind of monte game underpinned primarily by gambling and violence, and their inherent appeal to couch potatos, is simply preposterous.
   32. puck Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3887493)
MLB generates more revenue, and its revenue is rising faster.


It does? I thought MLB was a billion or two behind the NFL. Which is still pretty good for MLB, because you know, it's a dying sport and all.
   33. spike Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3887510)
Ninety thousand fans didn't pay to watch the Alabama Crimson Tide intrasquad spring game because of the gambling.


As they displayed in the Iron Bowl last year, Alabama is not quite a pro football team yet.
   34. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#3887518)
Yeah. I'm in the middle of SEC country, maybe an hour closer to Auburn than to Alabama, & while the abuses are legion, I'm not quite ready to follow SBB's lead & conflate college & the NFL.

As for SBB's precise point, let's be honest -- there's nothing the hell else to do in Alabama on a given spring Saturday than to go to an intrasquad game, anyway (depending on whether it's tornadoing out). Trust me: I've been here nearly 10 years now.
   35. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3887519)
Top three stories (judging by their sidebar) on Sportscenter last night (1am) were MLB, MLB, MLB.
Baseball's biggest problem is one of media perception, not product or sales.
   36. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3887522)
>MLB generates more revenue,

The latest figures I've seen is total revenue of $7.2 billion for MLB, $9.0 billion for the NFL.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3887527)
The truth is that the only advantage of "being there" is if you require the "atmosphere" of "being there", but this applies to any sport, not just baseball.


I think a lot of things make football a much better TV sport than in-person one, or at least reduce those "being there" differences. The pace (play, time for review, play), weather and interminal TV timeouts make going to the game less appealing than staying home for many people. And the once-a-week schedule allows you to recapture some of that atmosphere at home (having your buddies over for beer and the game is a lot easier on a Sunday afternoon than a Wednesday night).

I have no doubt that football is the No. 1 spectator sport, and as SBB notes it's more than just gambling driving it. But the gap between it and baseball is not as large as the TV numbers suggest (though maybe not so much where you live).
   38. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3887552)
I didn't follow the NFL lockout very closely at all, but it looks like at one point the NFLPA decertified. Now it looks like next week the NFLPA will recertify.

I was always under the impression that decertification was the "nuclear option" for unions. Is this not true? It seems kind of like an empty threat if a union can recertify so quickly and easily.
   39. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3887560)
I'm not sure why football's greater popularity means that baseball can't prosper any more than China's growing prosperity means that the U.S. is doomed.


If you ain't first, you're last.

About all you miss watching baseball on TV is the panoramic view that enables you to notice shifts in fielders' positions and follow the baserunners when a ball is hit into the gap.


But that's absolutely one of the best parts of being at -- or watching -- a baseball game!

As for "being there," the major problem with watching football (especially NFL) in person is the whole being there thing.
   40. Shredder Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3887564)
It's kind of funny. I know a ton of sports, many of whom are huge NFL fans, but not too many that are big gamblers, so the perception I get from my friends is that gambling isn't a big part of the appeal of the NFL. But the NFL clearly sees it differently. This is a league that fines you if you don't tell them exactly who is injured and is or isn't going to play a good four days in advance of the game. There's only one reason to do that. If the NBA were like the NFL, there would be no Willis Reed moment. And the rule about designating your quarterbacks into slots before the game? Imagine if MLB had a rule that said you were forced to designate a closer, and if you brought in your closer to pitch the eighth inning, your next best setup guy was not allowed to pitch in that game. It's pretty ridiculous.

The whole labor dance was a joke. I was rooting for a lockout and a lost season, just for the train-wreck appeal, but there was no way they were going to miss games this year. The casinos and the beer companies have too big a stake. They were never going to let the owners and players screw up the season.
   41. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3887572)
There's only one reason to do that.

While it helps gamblers, the primary reason for this rule is to give your opponent a fair opportunity to prepare for the game.
   42. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3887584)
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.

The fact that NFL preseason begins shortly after baseball's trading deadline is just a mere coincidence. The NFL doesn't care a whit about anything having to do with MLB's schedule.
   43. Eddo Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3887591)
Take away the gambling & the steroid-freak players -- as I've said before, it's basically no better than watching a bunch of sideshow geeks bite the heads off chickens, so of course it's going to appeal to the lowest intellectual level of an already-stupid public -- & you've got nothing.

Or, you know, those of us who like NFL football might find it *more* intellectual than baseball. Football employs much more strategy and tactics than baseball.

I don't care if you don't like football. But don't try to convince us you're morally superior because of it; just accept that other people have different preferences than you.
   44. spike Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3887596)
@34, The "nothing better to do" angle is part of it, but I am a 4th generation Auburn man, and from personal experience there is a lot more at work than football when it comes to why the college sides are so insanely popular, even at places that haven't won in some time.
   45. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3887602)
The fact that NFL preseason begins shortly after baseball's trading deadline is just a mere coincidence. The NFL doesn't care a whit about anything having to do with MLB's schedule.

This year's number was little down because of the pending lockout, but the 2010 NFL Draft had a TV rating twice as high as Lakers/Thunder NBA playoffs the same day, and three times Cavs with LBJ vs. Bulls.
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#3887604)
Or, you know, those of us who like NFL football might find it *more* intellectual than baseball. Football employs much more strategy and tactics than baseball.

That's a paradox that's always intrigued me, too. Coaching a decent high school team takes far more "intellect" than managing a major league baseball team. Baseball's appeal to "intellectuals" therefore must have little to do with the intellectual effort that goes into producing the games, and must be located elsewhere.

This truism likely rests within the subconscious of many baseball fans, and finds expression in denial, e.g., "football only appeals to gamblers and degenerates."
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3887613)
Considering the drastic economic situation that these two leagues claim, does it make you wonder if Stern and Goodell are not the geniuses the media tells us that they are - and that Selig is not the joker he is portrayed to be?


I'm a vocal minority, but I love mostly what Selig has done, and he's basically has been Midas when it comes to MLB. Yes he got his butt kicked on national tv by the NFL and Congress because Congress was too busing getting on their knees to swallow the NFL's stuff. But for the most part, regardless of what the hard core fans say, Selig has helped build the growth of baseball and has done it for a long period of time(after some really bad moves early in his tenure, and one series of criminally evil/corrupt move in 2004/2005)
   48. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:24 PM (#3887615)
And the rule about designating your quarterbacks into slots before the game?


That has nothing to do with gambling, but is designed to prevent abuse of the practice squad/third quarterback spot.

The baseball equivalent is setting your postseason roster, but being allowed to replace injured players.
   49. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3887625)
Baseball's appeal to "intellectuals" therefore must have little to do with the intellectual effort that goes into producing the games, and must be located elsewhere.


Primarily from the literature on the game, or at least from those producing the literature.

In addition, football's rise in popularity tracks pretty well with when American began becoming as dumb as rocks, so there's that.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#3887628)
That's a paradox that's always intrigued me, too. Coaching a decent high school team takes far more "intellect" than managing a major league baseball team. Baseball's appeal to "intellectuals" therefore must have little to do with the intellectual effort that goes into producing the games, and must be located elsewhere.


This is true. Coaching football requires far more preparation and planning than managing a baseball team, but baseball has long been the sport favored by intellectual types while football had more of a blue-collar appeal. I think it has to do with our involvement. We're not managing the game, so that doesn't factor into it's appeal. But the sport lends itself to interesting study, particularly on the statistical front. Likewise, football fans don't have to know squat about gameplanning and can simply enjoy the big hits, and it historically wasn't easy for the layperson to study (though that is probably changing).
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#3887631)
This year's number was little down because of the pending lockout, but the 2010 NFL Draft had a TV rating twice as high as Lakers/Thunder NBA playoffs the same day, and three times Cavs with LBJ vs. Bulls.


I think that is because there is actually something exciting that has meaning going on every five minutes during the draft, in NBA all that matters is the last 4 minutes of the game. You can flip to the draft watch 8 picks, go back to the game one team is up by 14 go back to the draft for another 8 picks go back to the game and the other team is up by 14 in a game in which the final score is going to be a difference of 8 as the refs make sure to control the game.
   52. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#3887632)
That has nothing to do with gambling, but is designed to prevent abuse of the practice squad/third quarterback spot.

If it's that big of a deal, just cut some anonymous 3rd team lineman or expand the active roster by 1 and let the coach decide if he needs a placekick holder specialist or 3rd QB more.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3887638)
Or, you know, those of us who like NFL football might find it *more* intellectual than baseball. Football employs much more strategy and tactics than baseball.


That's a paradox that's always intrigued me, too. Coaching a decent high school team takes far more "intellect" than managing a major league baseball team. Baseball's appeal to "intellectuals" therefore must have little to do with the intellectual effort that goes into producing the games, and must be located elsewhere. Perhaps football is too complicated for them.

I'd say that baseball's appeal to "intellectuals" has to do with the fact that (a) non-"intellectuals" clearly favor football, which gives baseball a quasi-counter-cultural appeal, (b) its slower face allows more time for reflection, (c) its documented history dwarfs football's by any possible measure, and (d) you seldom have to put on thermal underwear in order to enjoy it. I don't think that being "complicated" enters into it at all, especially since as you say, on-the-field football strategy really is a lot more complicated than baseball's.
   54. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3887640)
don't care if you don't like football. But don't try to convince us you're morally superior because of it;


Morally? Not at all. (I can't conceive of any sort of moral consideration in following a sport in which it's pretty much a given that the hulking, steroid-ridden brutes who play it are going to die young & with all sorts of physiological problems, up to & including brain damage.)

Intellectually, now ...
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3887659)
In addition, football's rise in popularity tracks pretty well with when American began becoming as dumb as rocks, so there's that.


The 1920s? College football was extremely popular then and has been ever since.
   56. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3887663)
The 1920s? College football was extremely popular then and has been ever since.


It seems to me that it's pretty clear the context for most of the comments in this thread is pro football. Whatever form of dyslexia prevents you from reading & comprehending those three letters (perhaps you're puzzling over just what orp football is?), as previously evinced in your #31 post, really needs to be seen about.
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3887680)
Football is for sissies. If you want real violence, I mean real manly violence, watch MMA. If you want to watch someone get jumped from behind while being distracted by another person, pro 'rasslin is year-round.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3887684)
It seems to me that it's pretty clear the context for most of the comments in this thread is pro football. Whatever form of dyslexia prevents you from reading & comprehending those three letters (perhaps you're puzzling over just what orp football is?), as previously evinced in your #31 post, really needs to be seen about.

If college football has been immensely popular for 100 years, how could America becoming stupider explain pro football's popularity? Pro football is immensely popular because (American) football is immensely popular.
   59. CrosbyBird Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3887690)
Intellectually, now ...

Football is much more complicated than baseball. It may not be the thing that most fans appreciate about the sport, but that's true for pretty much everything. The typical baseball fan is no more cerebral than the typical football fan.

Baseball is definitely my favorite sport (with a big drop to pro football as #2), but there is a lot more to track in a football game than there is in a baseball game.
   60. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3887699)
True, I suppose. Many's the time I've wandered into a sports bar during an NFL broadcast & mistaken it for a Mensa meeting. The audience shots during those broadcasts strike me as the equivalent of convocations of Nobel Prize winners.
   61. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3887705)
In addition, football's rise in popularity tracks pretty well with when American began becoming as dumb as rocks, so there's that.

I always love it whenever a comment labeling others as stupid contains a fourth grade level grammatical error.
   62. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3887712)
Many's the time I've wandered into a sports bar during an NFL broadcast & mistaken it for a Mensa meeting.

So you don't know how to pick your bars. Either that or the better ones prefer remaining free of poseurs.
   63. JJ1986 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3887737)
If it's that big of a deal, just cut some anonymous 3rd team lineman or expand the active roster by 1 and let the coach decide if he needs a placekick holder specialist or 3rd QB more.


Teams dress 7 or 8 linemen and there is no such thing as a holder specialist. If teams had to dress one fewer player it would mean a starter had to play special teams (probably a 2nd RB or starting DB).
   64. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3887753)
Teams dress 7 or 8 linemen and there is no such thing as a holder specialist. If teams had to dress one fewer player it would mean a starter had to play special teams (probably a 2nd RB or starting DB).

One of the best things that could happen to pro football: reduce the roster size considerably - less specialization, more two-way players. Bring back Ray Guy!
Another: stop the clock a lot less, so a 60-minute game takes something closer to 60 minutes.
   65. Kurt Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3887755)
#60 is crying out for someone to repost that gif of the Yankee bleacher creatures.
   66. cardsfanboy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3887768)
One of the best things that could happen to pro football: reduce the roster size considerably - less specialization, more two-way players. Bring back Ray Guy!
Another: stop the clock a lot less, so a 60-minute game takes something closer to 60 minutes.


I think football would be more fun if there were two 30 minute clocks, each team has their own clock to use as they want. :) Add in an overall clock of 3hours which doesn't pause or stop as the time limit for the entire game. No automatic kickoffs at half time, you have one kick off to start the game, and the game pauses at predetermined times(roughly) by the master clock.
   67. spike Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#3887772)
less specialization,

So much this. Personally, it's what ruins the game and makes it all but incomprehensible to anyone that was not brought up on pro football. Between the byzantine rules and constant substitutions,it's unwatchable to me now, and I was much more a football fan growing up. I can't understand why rugby hasn't ever gotten traction sometimes - plenty of hitting, decent amounts of scoring, non-stop action, and genuine 80 minute two way tough guys.
   68. Copronymus Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3887781)
One of the best things that could happen to pro football: reduce the roster size considerably - less specialization, more two-way players. Bring back Ray Guy!


I think this CBA deal actually bumped the NFL's roster size up to 90. We may not have long until every team is carrying a specialist kickoff taker in addition to the field goal kicker and the punter.
   69. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3887786)
I can't understand why rugby hasn't ever gotten traction sometimes - plenty of hitting, decent amounts of scoring, non-stop action, and genuine 80 minute two way tough guys.

I started peeking in a couple years ago, and have picked it up recently and I like it. It's a never-ending series of option plays, as college football was BITD. The World Cup is this September and I'm definitely going to follow it.
   70. Conor Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3887795)
I think this CBA deal actually bumped the NFL's roster size up to 90. We may not have long until every team is carrying a specialist kickoff taker in addition to the field goal kicker and the punter.


I believe teams have to be down to 90 players or something like that in the next couple of days. The game day roster is 45 players, I believe. Pretty sure they didn't double that.
   71. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3887805)
Another: stop the clock a lot less, so a 60-minute game takes something closer to 60 minutes.

I can't believe a baseball fan would complain about a game taking longer than expected.
   72. spike Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3887810)
The World Cup is this September and I'm definitely going to follow it.

I lived in South Africa briefly and my hosts used to good naturedly tease me about the American Eagles national team. My response was always that the day America takes rugby seriously is the day the rest of the world will cry - we are the undisputed champions of growing 6'5 250lb dudes with a mean streak who can run like the wind all day long.
   73. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3887831)
Actually, I was a pro football (AFL, not really NFL) fan as a kid. Around age 13, though, I wised up. Not sure what happened -- I lost interest, to a certain extent, in baseball & basketball (other than the ABA) around the same time, too, but baseball I eventually came back to. Who knows?

To be perfectly honest, what really raises my hackles isn't the game itself so much as the constant media fellating of the NFL (& of course so many sheeplike fans' buying into that), not to mention my innate hatred of spectacle. (If the Super Bowl is the be-all & end-all of your sport, as it allegedly is, why not let the game sell itself instead of dolling it up with halftime extravaganzas by this or that entertainer?)
   74. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3887842)
I can't believe a baseball fan would complain about a game taking longer than expected.

I absolutely hate that nine-inning games routinely take three hours.
However, it's completely inexcusable that a rigidly-timed game should take three times as long as the "clock" time. That's just foolishness.
   75. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3887856)
we are the undisputed champions of growing 6'5 250lb dudes with a mean streak who can run like the wind all day long.


If they had to run like the wind all day long they'd be closer to 210lb in a jiffy.
   76. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3887857)
If the Super Bowl is the be-all & end-all of your sport, as it allegedly is, why not let the game sell itself instead of dolling it up with halftime extravaganzas by this or that entertainer?

The halftime extravaganza and all the theater is a big part of what has made the Super Bowl so huge. It gives the women and the casual fans who aren't so much into the game something to look forward to.

I just wish Bud Selig and the risk-averse men who run baseball had half the vision that Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue did. It's the year 2011 and baseball fans still have to endure seeing great games ruined by lousy umpires because they refuse to allow even a modestly sensible replay system.
   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3887866)
The halftime extravaganza and all the theater is a big part of what has made the Super Bowl so huge. It gives the women and the casual fans who aren't so much into the game something to look forward to.


Which of course I don't like, being a bitter old misanthrope & all.

Still, though, if "a big part of what has made the Super Bowl so huge" (which you're certainly correct about, of course) is crap that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual sport, maybe that particular emperor really isn't wearing as many clothes as people pretend it is ...
   78. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3887875)
... and there is no such thing as a holder specialist.

Not yet there isn't. But then it wasn't all that long ago that teams had a "kicker" instead of a Placekicker and a Kickoff Specialist as well as a "center" instead of a Center and a Long Snapper.
   79. JJ1986 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3887884)
I think there is currently one kickoff specialist in the NFL. It's not a position teams have room for.
   80. Kurt Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#3887944)
spike - I've tried rugby and can't get into it, but Aussie Rules is just fantastic.
   81. CrosbyBird Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3887955)
I absolutely hate that nine-inning games routinely take three hours.
However, it's completely inexcusable that a rigidly-timed game should take three times as long as the "clock" time. That's just foolishness.


Football is pretty damn close to perfect in terms of timing (except for the abortion that is the Super Bowl halftime show). It's a sport that is designed for television. Individual plays are so exciting and complex that you want to see them multiple times from different angles, and speeding up the game would take that away.

Unless you don't like football. Then the games are too long.
   82. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3887975)
I can't understand why rugby hasn't ever gotten traction sometimes - plenty of hitting, decent amounts of scoring, non-stop action, and genuine 80 minute two way tough guys.

Plus, they know how to tackle.

Football is pretty damn close to perfect in terms of timing

I don't know you could watch an NFL football-related product and come away with this conclusion.
   83. puck Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#3887978)
I don't know you could watch an NFL football-related product and come away with this conclusion.


The rest of his post was an important part of his point. There's a rhythm to the game that people have become accustomed to. The breaks in play have become a feature rather than a bug.
   84. puck Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#3887981)
I can't understand why rugby hasn't ever gotten traction sometimes - plenty of hitting, decent amounts of scoring, non-stop action, and genuine 80 minute two way tough guys.


I assume we're talking about rugby union? There's sort of non-stop action...not as much as rugby league or sevens. Then again, given how US sports go, non-stop action isn't necessarily a selling point here, as everyone's now accustomed to having breaks when watching sports.

I imagine to a new American viewer, rugby union appears slow in its own way. It has a lot of play stoppages and other procedural things that are confusing to novices--not that this at all compares to the rules of the NFL/NCAA football, but we take those for granted most of the time. So the unfamiliarity, rucks, mauls, and the re-starts (scrums and line-outs) make rugby union a bit of an acquired taste.

The biggest reason, though, must be that so many people already like football, so they don't need something that's sort of like football, but not quite as good/familiar. E.g., there's no forward pass and the speed at which players move owing to their starting positions as play starts...I think football fans would really miss that.

Maybe rugby is for people who don't like football, but still want to watch a sport where players run around and hit each other. Are there enough of such people for rugby to gain much traction?
   85. puck Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:36 PM (#3887983)
I'm interested to see rugby sevens in the Olympics, though. Does that count as real rugby?
   86. smileyy Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#3887999)
The Rugby and Aussie Rules I've seen have been pretty compelling. Not wearing pads pretty much keeps players from killing themselves a little bit on every play like NFL players do.
   87. spike Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3888001)
@85, it does if you've ever tried it. It's quite the demanding physical event.

@86, the lack of pads adds a brutal honesty to the game. You gotta take a blow to deliver one. The aggregate pounding adds up, while diminishing the potential for a truly savage event that being hit with a bit of plastic with considerable force behind it offers.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#3888012)
I like watching Aussie Rules. It's much more open and fluid than rugby. It looks like a lot of fun.
   89. CrosbyBird Posted: July 29, 2011 at 03:32 AM (#3888058)
The rest of his post was an important part of his point. There's a rhythm to the game that people have become accustomed to. The breaks in play have become a feature rather than a bug.

Exactly. There's very little that anyone could do to speed up the game that would enhance the television experience, and that's the one I care about. (All of that service to the television experience makes the in-person experience less wonderful, I suppose, although I've never minded much when I've been at a game.)

Football gives you roughly eleven minutes of action on a sixty minute clock in three hours, but most of that action is good enough that you want a bit of time to process it. I also firmly believe that the pauses allow for more organization and strategy on the offensive and defensive side in a way that no sport other than baseball can match (and that is a huge part of what I love about both sports). The strategic element is rarely about who reacts more quickly, but the individual plays are, so you get the best of both worlds... strong tactical decisions that need to be executed with lightning precision.
   90. smileyy Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:25 AM (#3888066)
I also firmly believe that the pauses allow for more organization and strategy on the offensive and defensive side in a way that no sport other than baseball can match (and that is a huge part of what I love about both sports). The strategic element is rarely about who reacts more quickly, but the individual plays are, so you get the best of both worlds... strong tactical decisions that need to be executed with lightning precision.


I agree, but I also feel like the presentation of the game on tv gives the viewer no notion that that strategy is happening.
   91. Gaelan Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:48 AM (#3888071)
Football is pretty damn close to perfect in terms of timing (except for the abortion that is the Super Bowl halftime show). It's a sport that is designed for television. Individual plays are so exciting and complex that you want to see them multiple times from different angles, and speeding up the game would take that away.

Unless you don't like football. Then the games are too long.


I played football at a high level (in Canada so its not that impressive), I coached football, and my brother is the defensive coordinator of a national power (again Canada) and all of this is crap. The time between plays is all ########, the endless advertisements is a rip-off and the strategy detracts from the game. Moreover, if you don't know any better, listening to the commentators might fool you into thinking that it was actually complex. I could learn an NFL playbook in a day. Plus, because of all the stops these plays are very easy to execute. Soccer and hockey both have complex systems that are more difficult to execute precisely because the play never stops whereas football is an endless procession of set plays. What could be simpler?
   92. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:54 AM (#3888076)

However, it's completely inexcusable that a rigidly-timed game should take three times as long as the "clock" time. That's just foolishness.


Except that, for most football fans, the things that happen when there is no action on the field are just as interesting and entertaining as the things that happen when there is action on the field.

I can't understand why rugby hasn't ever gotten traction sometimes - plenty of hitting, decent amounts of scoring, non-stop action, and genuine 80 minute two way tough guys.


A lot of fans don't want non-stop action. They like planning and strategy -- anticipating it, watching it unfold, and discussing it after the plan is executed. Rugby, soccer, hockey and lacrosse all involve more or less on-the-fly improvisation for the whole game. And what strategy there is (matchups, line changes in hockey) are hard for the casual fan to see and appreciate. In football, basketball, and to a lesser extent baseball, there is much more scope for the manager or coach to "draw up a play."

Take Belichick's decision a couple of years ago to go for in on 4th and 2 deep in his own territory late in the AFC championship game. That provided endless fodder for discussion, both before it happened (during the timeout) and after it happened. Every armchair quarterback had an opinion on it, some for, some against. People talked about it for days. You don't generally see that in the "non-stop" games. Instead, you can ##### about the refs, or you can sigh about what might have happened if the ball hadn't hit the crossbar. That sort of thing limits the range of possible discussion (and argument) topics.

I kind of like rugby, but I was brought up on football, and the lack of replays kills me. Half the time there's some crucial call, but you can't see anything in the mass of bodies, and just have to trust the referee. I want the game to pause, so I can savor the triumphs (and bemoan the disasters) that occur in the course of play, not just have it all shoveled down my throat as quickly as possible.
   93. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 05:02 AM (#3888081)
Moreover, if you don't know any better, listening to the commentators might fool you into thinking that it was actually complex. I could learn an NFL playbook in a day. Plus, because of all the stops these plays are very easy to execute.


I disagree, though perhaps it's a difference of definition. Take Ben Muth's discussion of offensive line play on Football Outsiders. That's something that one almost never hears anything about on TV, but it is a) immensely complicated (at least to this fan) and b) overwhelmingly important.
   94. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 29, 2011 at 08:23 AM (#3888100)
I used to like football. Then, two things happened: (a) it dawned on me just how damaging the sport is to the people who play it, and (b) they let Michael Vick back into the league.
   95. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:27 AM (#3888105)
NFL fans are incredibly insecure. Baseball still gets more people out to a game than football (football/hockey/basketball combined actually) and it's not even close. If this fact bothers the football fan, figure out how to play more than once per week. Tough ####.
   96. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:33 AM (#3888106)
NFL fans are incredibly insecure.


That's because football sucks.
   97. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: July 29, 2011 at 10:57 AM (#3888114)
I used to like football. Then, two things happened: (a) it dawned on me just how damaging the sport is to the people who play it, and (b) they let Michael Vick back into the league.

I think an overwhelming majority of the football players who find themselves debilitated after their playing days are over would say they wouldn't trade their NFL career for health in later life. I only played sports through high school, and through a combination of catching in baseball and offensive/defensive line in football, I still can't kneel down without feeling a ton of pain. I'm glad I played these sports and would have continued doing so beyond high school if I were good enough. I imagine that mentality only gets magnified when you reach an elite level.

It'd be nice if an NFL player could have a 5-10 year career and retire with no long-term damage, but the athletes are much better educated about the risks of what they do than they were in the past, and the league is constantly changing the rules in an attempt to protect the players. The game can be cringe-inducing when someone gets seriously hurt, but so can baseball. As long as the participants understand what they're getting into, I have no problem watching. It's not like it's bullfighting or something.

As far as Vick goes, I originally didn't want him back in the league, and I still don't like him for a variety of reasons. But he's said and done all the right things since he's come back. He's been working publicly and vocally with the Humane Society of the United States to speak out against dog fighting, even helping lobby recently for a law that would criminalize attending a dogfight. I have no idea whether he's sincere or not, but it's good for the cause of animal welfare, and that's all that matters. I'm now glad they let Vick back in the NFL, even though I'll never root for him.
   98. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:18 AM (#3888115)
I used to like football. Then, two things happened: (a) it dawned on me just how damaging the sport is to the people who play it, and (b) they let Michael Vick back into the league.

I used to like football. But then I lived in Europe for 10 years. The only games that I saw was occasionally watching a game on British TV. They would have a condensed game that would be broadcast in an hour.

When I came back, I couldn't believe how slow football is. I still like to watch rugby though.
   99. Morty Causa Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM (#3888117)
Pete Rozelle's not commissioner anymore?
   100. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:58 PM (#3888135)
I agree with Gaelan, football is NOT that complicated. Football people are fond of making it seem complicated but it's really not.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCesar Cabral tossed from game, from team
(3 - 10:48am, Apr 19)
Last: Captain Supporter

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(88 - 10:24am, Apr 19)
Last: Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water

NewsblogPirates Acquire Ike Davis From Mets
(26 - 10:23am, Apr 19)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogRosenthal: MLB likely to adjust two rules: plays at home & transfer catches
(3 - 10:20am, Apr 19)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogNY Daily News: Secret Service Threatened To Shoot Mr. Met
(17 - 9:39am, Apr 19)
Last: AndrewJ

Newsblogmets.com: Through hitting system, Mets aim to build winner
(1 - 9:34am, Apr 19)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(334 - 9:31am, Apr 19)
Last: EddieA

NewsblogDesign Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.
(78 - 9:26am, Apr 19)
Last: TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(331 - 8:50am, Apr 19)
Last: Joe Bivens, Minor Genius

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1681 - 8:13am, Apr 19)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogRB: Carlos Beltran: more of a center fielder than Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb or Duke Snider. So what?
(34 - 4:54am, Apr 19)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogMitchell: Now Playing First Base for the Yankees
(55 - 1:57am, Apr 19)
Last: Dan

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(901 - 1:38am, Apr 19)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogOMNICHATTER FOR APRIL 18, 2014
(150 - 1:29am, Apr 19)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOrioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park
(27 - 12:57am, Apr 19)
Last: Belfry Bob

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 1.1157 seconds
52 querie(s) executed