Opponion Forum Index
RegisterSearchMemberlistLog in
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
TV sports? Golf, baseball, and perpetual familiarity
Author Message
Reply with quote
Post TV sports? Golf, baseball, and perpetual familiarity 

I am in the majority of folks who do not watch golf on tv. I do, however, watch baseball on tv - an activity which is also under consistent fire - no doubt, from people who don't watch baseball on tv. The two are similar in that they each possess a husky chunk of downtime, which to the unaided(or, rather, inexperienced) eye seems 'boring' - quite frankly, as it should to someone who isn't familiar with the game or the players. With the exception of some highlight-reel-worthy rally or some 18th hole duel between masters, neither sport is suited for your average joe to simply plop down and jump into expecting stimulation.
Nonetheless, here is why I watch baseball on tv, and I think, with any luck, it will translate into why folks watch golf on tv: I like the idiosyncrasies of the players - I like how Nat's first baseman, Nick Johnson, can field the ball whilst blowing a bubble of what's-got-to-be no less than 2 pieces of Bubble Yum or Bubblicious. I like how Sox fielder Coco Crisp's stance forces his chin into his shoulder producing a self-caricature of a player already in possession of a comics page caliber moniker(I say that endearingly), and then there's the personal match-ups - say, this guy has a history of crushing this guy's so-beloved-outside-fastball and they both darn well know it - or that guy has a history of throwing at this guy's face when he inches on top of the plate like he so often does. If you just plopped down on the couch and turned on the game, without prior history, Jose Guillen getting struck out by Pedro Martinez means little, but if you knew that last time they met, Pedro beamed Guillen three times, the last of which prompted a bat-wielding Guillen to begin charging the mound, only to be finally be talked to and calmed down by the oldest player in the game, 48 year old Julio Franco, then you would probably find yourself being a little more entertained.
I watch baseball initially because I love the game, but also because of the accumulation of little things that compose those three hours, whether they be slivers of history, some superstitious idiosyncrasy, or a call-up from Triple A's first chance for a moment of glory. Those bold moments of action help - the triples, homers, the double-plays, but those tiny bits of comedy or history that manifest only with familiarity and repetition keep me tuned to the game in the 'dull' space that lies between those moments.
My point is I would imagine people watch golf on tv because they always have. My roomate(actually, watching golf on tv as I write this) has always watched golf on tv hence he continues to do so - he knows the players, he knows their weaknesses and their stengths, he knows this player has a particular dislike to this particular course or hole or that player has a particular dislike for, say, Europeans, or cellphones(even I remember Tiger's mantra of "Oh, c'mon" in the direction of an exceptionally cellphone equipped peanut gallery - or, rest-in-peace, the Dickensian clad Payne Stewart's celebratory hoots at the '99 U.S. Open, which arrived only short months before an ill-fated trip in a lear jet robbed him of his life). Perpetual familiarity is what I'm getting at(which I'd imagine also works wonders for the ratings of daytime soap operas). Familiarity with something you enjoy and the possibility of your enjoyment increasing with your familiarity of what you enjoy - a cycle, alright, but hardly vicious.

Reply with quote

To me, watching baseball is just as boring as watching golf, cycling, NASCAR, etc. In a baseball game, only when a player is hit by the ball and starts a brawl, I'd call that a game.

Reply with quote
Post baseball... 

Ah yes, televised baseball. I always hear from people that going to a baseball game live is fine, but watching it on TV is boring, but I tend to differ. Personally, I find televised baseball much more interesting than say, football or hockey. Sure, football has the same repetitive actions as baseball (I mean really, how different is hiking than coming up to bat?), but again, the added personal information is what really gets it. Like seeing Guillen at 1st base and thinking, there's no way that pudgy bastard is going to steal a base, and then hearing the announcers say "No worries about Guillen stealing a base", and then right when the pitcher is ALSO thinking that he doesn't have to steal a base, Guillen lumbers out to 2nd base and actually makes it. Another thing that I absolutely LOVE about baseball is that the players aren't afraid to curse. There's nothing better than watching a game and hearing the pitcher scream "*Bleep*" after giving up a hit, and then realising that the closest camera was on the 3rd base line, so imagine how loud that curse must have been if it's picked up by cameras that far away, on TOP of the sounds of the crowd?
After moving here 3 months ago, I haven't been able to watch much baseball (save for 12:40 am on sundays and wednesdays and a single live game, Great Britain vs Ireland- Ireland won.. total "stadium" attendance: ~40), so even when I do get to watch it, it's without the lazy-afternoon-on-the-couch feeling. I'm hoping that as it gets closer to the World Series, that the American pub in Trafalgar Sq. will show the games instead of the Sunday football, and I'll be able to reclaim some of that feeling of summer before it slips away into the dark ages of British winter.

Reply with quote

It seems like baseball is a dying sport in the states. The TV ratings are very low, games are too long, no super star, only super drug dudes like Barry Bond and Mark Mcguire. Most of NFL games are played in front of sell-out crowds, but if you look at the stand in a baseball game, it sure looks empty. I guess the sports fans can only spend so much on games and the baseball is on the cutting block.

Reply with quote
Post baseball on the cutting block? 

dude, are you kidding me? have you ever gone to a cubs game? they lose all the time and they almost always sell out.. people make grudges and keep them, just look at the various rivalries in New England. It's true that the same teams often win, so if you follow the teams other than that, it can be frustrating.. but that also weeds out the fair weather fans. Attendance might be lower than at your average football game, but remember, there's only um, 15 or 16 games in a season (not including playoffs)? Baseball has 160 per team. That's a crapload of games, and considering your average game has about 24K attendants, I'd say that's not bad.

Reply with quote
Post Re: TV sports? Golf, baseball, and perpetual familiarity 

Van de Guerre wrote:
"I am in the majority of folks who do not watch golf on tv. I do, however, watch baseball on tv - an activity which is also under consistent fire - no doubt, from people who don't watch baseball on tv."

The stick, the ball and glove is in no way indangered of becoming a passe American pasttime, IMHO. I remember a time when baseball was meaningless to me and a grandpap who changed my life and way of thinking. I used to think the guy was just bored when he archived every Cleveland Indians game on VHS for an entire season. He brought me to my first, second and so-on Cleveland game at the ol' Dawg Pound, which has since been retired by bull doziers & dynamite, in a celebration no doubt filled with as much reluctance as excitment in the midst of what was sure to be a new beginning. The sky lit up like one of the many clenched penants from Cleveland's past - however I hate to admit, I still wasn't a true fan. Then my patriarch sports hero, 'ol Papa got really ill. I would sit in the hospice with him and watch the tribe. He normally wouldn't speak a word during the game, but this was different... He was passing his torch. And sometime during that season, it happened. Like getting hooked on cigarettes, you're not really sure when the exact moment was... but it happened nonetheless.

Baseball is a sport that is 90% patience and 10% balls to the wall excitement. In the 10% lives some of the most potent thrills you can ever experience in a sport.

A year after he died, in 1997 the Indians finally made it to the seventh game of the World Series. At first I thought it might be a little unfair he didn't live to see it, but after they blew it to the Marlins and I reitired a perfectly good television set, I'm mostly glad he didn't.

Display posts from previous:
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum