It’s as American as hot dogs, apple pie and….the NFL?
By Dylan Gehlbach
As of now, the Yankees and Orioles are tied for first in the AL East. The White Sox are two games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. The Reds are battling with the Nationals for the best record in the National League. With the addition of a second wild card this season, both Los Angeles teams are only two games out in the wild card race. Not to mention that Miguel Cabrera is lined up to win the Triple Crown for the first time in decades but still could lose the MVP to rookie phenom, Mike Trout, who would be just the third rookie to ever win that honor. All of this is happening with three days remaining in the regular season. So I’ll ask: What reason does any well-rounded sports fan have for not watching baseball today?
Oh, yeah: Football.
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is its present, and it’s not even close. In last year’s MLB playoffs, not one playoff game that aired on TBS gained as many overnight viewers as Fox’s NFL pregame show that Sunday, according to USA Today. Let that sink in for a minute. More people tuned in to watch a PREGAME show for the NFL than a 3-hour-long MLB playoff elimination game.
To put things more into perspective, the same USA Today post stated that 44.1% of Milwaukee households watched Green Bay’s lopsided win over the Broncos last season. On the same night, 20.3% of Milwaukee households tuned in to watch the Brewers’ playoff game against the Diamondbacks. Keep in mind, this was only the second time the Brewers had made the playoffs since 1982.
It’s clear that professional baseball is overshadowed in ratings by professional football in any circumstance, and most sports fans would admit that. So how did we get to this point? What makes football so much more popular as a sport in general than baseball? Maybe it’s the the length of the MLB season, it could be a generational lapse, or maybe the pace of football is just more appealing than baseball in our high-paced society. Whatever the cause is, it has left baseball in the dust.
I would tell you to spend your Sunday night watching baseball rather than the Sunday Night Football game between the Giants and the Eagles, but the critical primetime matchup between the Angels and the Rangers isn’t on any major network tonight. Not one baseball game is.