Rod Jones

Baseball fans, stop reading this now. This column is not for you.

Instead, let’s consider this a call for the anti-baseball fans to unite and reclaim the territory of excitement. It’s time to take to the streets and protest this disgusting lack of competitive action.

It seems that about this time every year, the spectator sports world comes to a screeching halt. It usually starts at the end of post-season play for the National Basketball Association (depending on which teams are still playing) and goes all the way up until the preseason polls are released for college football and the professionals begin preseason play. Oddly enough, baseball is now at center stage, spreading uninhibited into the lives of Americans whether they care to watch it or not.

In fact, most fans might as well unplug their televisions for the rest of the summer. Only the ones who are fortunate enough to get Australian Rules Football have a legitimate excuse to tune in. But no matter what steps are taken, there seems to be no sure method to prohibit baseball from trickling into the nation’s stream of consciousness.

It’s a sad world we live in where anti-baseball fans have to wait for the late summer gridiron games that don’t really mean anything. I even know a few people who are still discussing those spring training college football games, the ones where the team actually plays against itself. Those games were over a month ago.

In all possibility, the preseason games are held only to pull the nation out of its doldrums. Perhaps they can be thought of as riot control methods, when sports fanatics simply can’t take it anymore. Just when they think it’s the end of the universe, football comes to breathe some new life into the lungs of the asphyxiating populace.

Sports pubs across the nation now sit silent, with nary a hoot or a holler for any specific team. The only sound is a low murmur of voices discussing who is looking good in football training camp or who needs to be traded.

Sure, there are the occasional moments of excitement. Maybe a nice prized fight or a really intense round of cricket will get people excited for a moment. Heck, even a soccer game can work wonders if it ends in a shoot-out.

And every four years it’s nice to have the option to check out some Olympics events. But even those seem to be more of a way to pass the time. How many people actually watch ping-pong unless there’s a gold medal on the line?

It’s obvious that baseball is the reason bowling is televised. Baseball is also the reason golf is televised. After all, baseball and golf are pretty much the same game. In both cases a player hits the ball and runs around the field. The only difference is the speed at which the player runs.

Well, there you have it. My rant about the summer sports scene is out of the way for this year. So if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s a big bowling match starting soon.


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