Back in the Game

Posted: July 31, 2012 in NFL, Olympics
Tags: , , ,

It’s been quite awhile since the last post. My sincerest apologies. Between recent travels and a new internship, my ‘freelance’ blogging time has been a bit cramped. Nevertheless, I’m back and will attempt to do as much as I can, when I can…

So, my borderline perverted family friend (you know who you are!) wanted me to write about the over-the-top sex-fest that allegedly takes place among the athletes at the Olympics. But once I started to think about it, I only had two thoughts: 1) It has already been covered in depth by ESPN the Magazine and 2) What do you expect to happen when you have thousands of the most athletic/amazing/rock hard bodies in the world living in close quarters? Are they supposed to just stand there with an awkward face and breathe heavily? I imagine in the minds of two Olympic-caliber athletes, there is little holding you back when the worst-case scenario is an accidental spawning of one of the most freakishly athletic offspring the world has ever seen… But I digress…

The real story on Twitter/The Internet about the Olympics is the uproar over the delayed-programming on NBC. But to those bitching about the delay, please just be quiet. NBC is not catering to those of you us out there who are sitting on their asses in front of a television at 1:30 pm on a Tuesday. They are catering to those who have jobs. Those who purchase things. Those who have a wife and kids at home in the evening that eat up the sentimental storylines. Advertising drives everything. Why would NBC squander away hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to please those who spend their weekday afternoons in front of their twitter feeds or televisions? Sidenote: NBC’s 3-day average viewership throughout the first weekend of competition was the best of any summer Olympics ever.

NBC – 1 Crybabies – 0

But speaking of orgies and annoying television – can someone please tell ESPN that Tim Tebow is not good… either is Mark Sanchez… and either are the Jets!! I am not quite positive, but I’m pretty sure the New York Giants won the Super Bowl last year and are in the exact same market – Where is the ESPN-led orgy about them?

Tebow and Sanchez are frauds. Both benefited in college by playing on teams that surrounded them with more talent than any opponent they ever faced. Both then got drafted by NFL teams with strong-defenses and were asked simply ‘not to lose the game’. How are they any different than Matt Leinart? They have undeservedly benefited from an absurd amount of media-driven hype, but in reality are just a couple of Trent Dilfers, without his Super Bowl ring… I am a diehard fan who can watch sports for 48 hours straight without blinking, but yesterday, even I had to turn my television off after ESPN dedicated an entire day to two shitty quarterbacks and a non-playoff team… ESPN, I don’t care how many orphanages he visits, please don’t shove endless video clips of a shirtless Tim Tebow down my throat. That’s just not my thing…

But the more I watch the Olympics, the more I thank God it’s almost football season! There are currently two dudes with mesh screens over their faces poking each other with rail-thin swords on my television. There are few things more disturbing than watching a passionate crowd cheer on two men who are playing a refined version of tummy sticks… Gross. How are some of these sports still in the Olympics?!? Equestrian? Speed walking? Ping Pong? If you’re going to have questionable ‘sports’, at least bring back something entertaining like Jousting! Only then would we really find out what kind of ‘athletes’ these people are…

August 12th. Closing ceremonies. That’s the day. Mark it down. At that point, it’s just football and pennant races. The sports world gets placed back on its axis and all will be right. Let’s just hope the Mayans weren’t right. On second-thought, part of me genuinely hopes the Mayans were right… It’s the only way we’ll ever truly settle the ‘Tim Tebow is the Second-Coming’ debate. That’s that.

Reality television is crippling baseball. What used to be summer’s great pastime – where young boys spent their evenings next to their fathers praying their favorite team could finish the ninth inning before bedtime – is slowly being replaced.

You see, sports were the original reality television. Long before networks decided to tape people living together, or create made-for-TV races around the world, or give some rich playboy 15 stunning women to choose from, sports were the original ‘did you see that’ television.

Previous generations grew up idolizing star-athletes whom they spent countless hours bonding with through their radios and televisions. Young boys everywhere took their allowances to the nearest memorabilia store to buy a pack of trading cards, hoping to pull their favorite player out of the unknown. But to the younger generation, it has all changed.

When television producers realized the ‘unknown outcome’ of sports is what drew the audience and their loyalties, they asked, “How do we emulate this ‘unknown’ to a non-sports audience?” Or, “How do we imitate this appeal to those who enjoy dancing, singing, traveling, cooking?” Answer: Competition. Competition is what America loves. The successes, the failures, the trials and tribulations – America loves it all. Instead of doing a show about how to dance, producers decided to have them compete. Instead of doing a show about how to cook, producers decided to have them compete. At that point, sports were no longer the only competition in town. They had company, and lots of it.

Baseball has seemed to take the majority of the beating when compared with the other two major sports. Football benefits from its’ limited number of games and the consistency of its’ programming. Basketball is benefiting from a new wave of budding superstars. Baseball is slow. Baseball is plentiful. Baseball is no longer the only show in town.

In the past, when a young boy watched baseball in the summers, much of the reason was because there was little else on television. Now, that same young boy is just as likely to tune into Duets or Dancing with the Stars as he is a Tuesday night baseball game. Just one generation later, the young boy who grew up rattling off the stats of the entire Yankees lineup, would likely have a greater chance of rattling off the past 5 winners of American Idol. It’s not matter of right or wrong, it’s simply different.

Baseball seems to be losing the younger generation of America. A generation that thrives on multi-tasking and constant chaos has trouble sitting on their hands for 3 1/2 hours straight for 162 games a year. Instead, baseball has attempted to do everything in its’ power to make stadiums more ‘fan-friendly’. Last season, I went to a minor-league baseball game and it was if I walked into a carnival, and a baseball game just happened to be playing in the middle of it. People, it is just a freaking t-shirt! It is not like they are throwing gold nuggets into the crowd. Please relax.

Should baseball continue down this path, the television audience will soon be gone. If younger generations only identify with baseball because of its’ ‘carnival-like atmosphere’, why would they ever watch a game from home? There is no carnival at home… just a slow, drawn-out game they didn’t even pay attention to when they were at the stadium.

Now a days, no one wants to make time for 162 games that each take 3 ½ hours to watch. In that same time span, one could watch at least three television shows – all while getting instant updates about the game on their Twitter feed. Technology has changed. Competition has changed. Consumption has changed. It’s about time baseball finally got caught up to speed. That’s that.