Live Blog Tomorrow, Plus: Why Baseball and I Are, Like, Unmixy Things

As a friend of mine put it, “Posts merely announcing something are pretty lame,” so before I announce tomorrow’s event, let me explain why I will NOT be live-blogging any of tomorrow’s baseball games:

It’s a constant source of guilt for me that I don’t like baseball more, but I can’t help it: To me, the games are either not important enough to be interesting (98% of the regular season), or too important to be meaningful (100% of the playoffs).  That said, I still dabble in baseball analysis myself, and I certainly understand the statistical appeal: the data-sets are huge, the variables are mostly independent, and—even in a post-Moneyball world—the screw-ups are ample.

I have many baseball-loving friends, and talking to them about this subject almost always goes like this exchange from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (with appropriate substitutions, and minus the sexual undertones):

[Me]: [Baseball?]

[Every Baseball Fan Ever]: Yeah.

[Me]: You seriously [watch baseball] for fun?

[Fan]: Well, not [minor leagues] or anything, but yeah. Don’t you?

[Me]: Actually, [no leagues] is more my specialty. I’m an avid [non-baseball watcher].

[Fan]: You’re kidding, right? I mean, you know how to [watch baseball]..

[Me]: Well, I took the class.. [Baseball] and [I] are, like .. un-mixy things.

[Fan]: It’s just because you haven’t had a good experience yet. You can have the best time [watching baseball].  It’s not about getting somewhere.  You have to take your time.  Forget about everything.  Just.. relax.  Let it wash over you.  The air..  motion..  Just, let it roll.

[Me]: We are talking about [baseball], right?

I also don’t entirely believe the hype about it being such an integral part of our national heritage, and I think that perception today has been influenced heavily by nostalgia from influential people like George Will and Ken Burns, and I posted a graph somewhat supportive of that a while back:

image

Note also that the NFL’s relative popularity vs. MLB is nothing new.  Here is a year-by-year plot showing the World Series ratings vs. Super Bowl ratings:

Since it’s inception, the Super Bowl has beaten even the highest-rated World Series game every single year (recently, it has even been beating the entire series combined for total viewers).

OK, so with that out of the way: Once again, I’ll be live-blogging NFL Sunday from 10am until the final whistle tomorrow—now powered by NFL Sunday Ticket!  Here’s the explanation, and here’s last week’s end product.

2 Responses to “Live Blog Tomorrow, Plus: Why Baseball and I Are, Like, Unmixy Things”

  1. That google book graph is interesting, but I see one limitation: the term football, especially prior to 1930 or so, is going to refer to three sports: American football (football), Association Football (soccer), and Rugby Football (rugby). Not a damning issue, but not a trivial one, either.

    Matt

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