Thursday, May 8, 2014

60 Ways Baseball is Better than Football

It is that time of year that the NFL draft is upon us.  It always reminds me why baseball is a better game.  It also makes me recall an article  by Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post from back in the mid 80s where he gives his reasons why baseball is better than football.  Since his Post item is roughly 30 years old, I thought I would give a more up to date version.
My 60 ways why baseball is better:
1) Baseball has no halftimes
2) Baseball has no halftime performances by bands or anybody else.
3) Baseball has innings vs. time clock.  You have to get all the outs no matter the lead.  No milking of clock to ensure a victory and comebacks are always possible.
4)In football a coin flip decides who gets ball first, in baseball home team always has last chance. True home field advantage
5)Each baseball stadium has it's own unique dimensions.  Another home field advantage. Plus the different ballparks allows each team to be built differently.  Unlike in NFL, everyone runs the seem to run the same offense because all the fields are the same size.
6)Baseball has the near elimination of domes and astroturf.  Much more common in NFL.
7)Baseball fans are closer to the field, easier to interact with players and not be 10-20 yards away from the field of play.
8) You can get a baseball as a souvenir from the game, in football they put a net up so you can't get to the ball after extra point and field goal attempts.
9)Baseball stadiums are appealing to the eye and have history to them, football stadiums all look the same.
10) If you go early you can watch batting practice at a baseball game, in football you get to see the stretching and warmups.
11) Baseball has free giveaways and promotions at games and post game fireworks.
12)Baseball is more enjoyable to watch at the ballpark where football, the tv is a better option.
13)Almost on any given day, you can decide midday if you want to go to a ballgame, you have to wait a week for each game.
14)Because it is played daily, you only have 24 hours of hype and second guessing opposed to a week or more of senseless talk
15)In baseball, you have an option to keep score of the game.
16)The next day you can see the boxscore of a baseball game and fully understand what happened during the game. you can't do that in football.
17)Baseball is easier to follow by everyone even the manager/coach. Ask the manager what happened on a play after the game, he would say pitcher hung a pitch or outfielder missed the cut off guy.  Ask a football head coach, he says he has to check the game film before knowing what exactly happened.
18)Baseball games are not decided by kickers while rest of game is played by some of the best athletes in the world.
19)Football players are too specialized. There is very little amount of players playing multiple positions.
20)In baseball every batter has a turn at bat no matter what, you can't feed your star running back or wide receiver the ball every play.
21)In baseball, umpires are full time employees and in the NFL, the referees are part time employees while they have normal full time jobs.
22)Baseball allows individualism in uniforms: high socks, flatbilled caps,etc. In football, players get fined for not abiding by the strict dress codes.
23)In NFL, you have parity scheduling. The bad teams get an easy schedule to increase competitiveness.  Unheard of in baseball.
24)In the NFL draft, a player is picked heavily on the combine and individual workouts. 40 yard dash, strength and agility drills.  Baseball draft is decided more on what the player does on the field.
25)In baseball, you don't have to be a certain size to play a position. If you can hit or pitch you will have an opportunity. In football it is much more about measureables.
26)A player doesn't have to fit in a certain scheme of a football coach. Like an offense who doesn't utilize the fullback or tight end. Imagine a baseball team without a second baseman?
27)Once drafted, the pay scale is more aligned to way it should be. Unproven draft pick makes as much or more than Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in the NFL.  Rookies are least paid in baseball.
28)In baseball you have longer careers and guaranteed contracts.  Players have better opportunity to make a living and fans get follow their favorite players more.
29)In baseball, you don't have players quitting midcareer and in their prime because of fear of injuries like concussions.
30)MLB takes care of former players with pensions much better than NFL
31)You have less protective gear like helmets, it allows fans to see the individual player more like Max Scherzer's dual colored eyes or Rollie Finger's handlebar mustache. Football players are covered in helmets and pads and look almost unhuman.
32)The crime and drug rate in baseball is more comparable to society where as in football, it is more comparable to the inner city gangs and Hells Angels.
33) Baseball has been virtually unchanged over it's history which makes it easier to make comparisons between players from different eras.
34) Baseball celebrates all parts of it's history.  NFL seems to only talk about the Super Bowl era. 1972 Dolphins are not the only team to finish season undefeated(see 1948 Cleveland Browns). Why isn't Willie_Thrower a household name among football fans?
35)The baseball Hall of Fame is in a small village in upper New York and the local economy is dependent on. While the NFL Hall of Fame is just two buildings and a field right off the highway in middle America.
36)The World Series is differentiated by the year its played not by Roman numerals. Easier to remember who won the 1984 World Series more than Super Bowl XXIV.
37) The World Series is played on the homefields of the participants thus rewarding the teams and fans. Not a rotating group of neutral sites.
38) The MLB All Star is played on rotating MLB parks which rewards the fans and not played in a far off warm weather locale after the season is done.
39)As a part of All Star activities, MLB has the Home Run Derby, football has nothing comparable.
40)Even though baseball is "America's Pastime", it is played internationally and players come from all over to play in the majors.
41) There are international tournaments in baseball such as the Little League World Series and World Baseball Classic.
42)Baseball has Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch, NFL has?
43)Baseball has Who's on First? and Casey At the Bat. Football has ..Super Bowl Shuffle?
44)Baseball means spring is here, football... winter is coming.
45)Baseball looks easy yet it is very difficult. The best hitters fail roughly 7 out of 10 times.
46)Because the game has much more failure, it humbles the players more. See Adam Jones of Baltimore Orioles vs NFL's Adam "Pacman" Jones.
47)In baseball you have an option of finesse(knuckleball, slow curve, bunt, etc). football is all harder and faster.
48)Baseball is so unique, no matter how many times you have watched. A play can still make you say "I've never seen that before", football is much more limited.
49)Baseball has the minor league farm system, it allows players to become better players over more time, chase their dreams longer, mature later.  Not every player is ready right out of college to play among games best.
50)In the NFL, if your favorite team struggles, you are stuck with the players all year. In baseball, you can make a trade midseason to improve your favorite team in the now or future.
51)Baseball's ceremonial first pitch is better than the honorary coin flip.
52)Baseball allows players to use their own individual batting stances and pitching motions.  Football teaches one way to play.
53)Baseball stats and records are more cherished and remembered than in football.
54)There is many more rule changes in football vs baseball
55)If you collect the sport's trading cards, In baseball if a player reaches the majors he is almost guaranteed to be on a MLB baseball card. A player in the NFL can play 5+ years and still have no trading cards.
56)Overall, baseball make better movies
57)Quarterbacks ask the crowd to quiet down, pitchers never do.
58)Baseball is more enjoyable on the radio if you can't make it to the game or a television.
59)There is no penalty flags that disallow plays. No touchdown called back because of an unnecessary illegal block 40 yards away. Or even worse, a player getting hurt on a play that officially never happened.
60) Baseball's audience is not largely based on gambling habits like in football where weekly bets are made and fans hang on to every game just because of their fantasy team. 

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