Despite football’s Popularity, Baseball Still No. 1

by Staff

Baseball is the national pastime and it will continue to be wellinto the future. The only sport that can be a challenger toovertaking baseball as the No. 1 sport in the United States isfootball. Football, though, has a few flaws that keep it belowbaseball.

Don’t get me wrong. I love football and enjoy spending my weekendmornings watching it. But there is just something about baseball thatwill always keep me more entertained and more involved in it, and Ithink this is the same for the majority of sports fans across thecountry.

The biggest complaint about baseball is that it is too slow. Ifyou watch a football game, it’s easy to notice how the players spenda lot of time standing around on the field doing nothing in betweenplays. Football is a stop-and-go sport, like being stuck in rush-hourtraffic. Baseball, on the other hand, is steady and constant for theentire game, like driving on an open highway.

Baseball isn’t as intense as football is, but it’s not a slowsport either. Every at bat – and in some cases every pitch- is important in baseball and could determine who wins thegame. Football is intense for the five seconds when the play istaking place, then a 30-second break for the quarterback to get theplay from the head coach and all the players to set up again.

One of the best things about baseball is there is no clock. Thereare nine innings, with each team needing to get three outs perinning. Since there is no clock, the losing team knows exactly howmany chances they have left to get back in it. In football, thelosing team must battle the clock, as well as the other team, late inthe game. All the winning team has to do is play a game of “keepaway”by running the clock out, and the losing team may never even get achance to tie or win. With baseball, no matter what happensthroughout the course of the game, the winning team knows it has toget 27 outs to win.

There’s also the comparison of watching the best players in eachgame play.

Right now Barry Bonds is the most intimidating batter to pitch toin baseball, so of course, pitchers usually walk him. But regardless,they still have to face him and they still have to put him on basejust because they decided not to pitch to him.

If Marvin Harrison, one of the best wide receivers in football,faces a really good defense or they just stack everybody on him, hecan be completely taken out of the game. Nobody can be taken out ofthe game in baseball. Every batter must be dealt with.

In one season, there are 162 baseball games and only 16 footballgames played per team. As tough as football is, it proves baseballplayers have more endurance and stamina because they play almostevery day for six months. Football players play one game a weekthroughout the season. This gives football players nearly a week tolick their wounds over any injuries, whereas baseball players need toplay through the pain or suffer missing games and possibly theirspots in the lineup. This can get tough, especially when baseballplayers make a living having baseballs thrown 100 mph at theirheads.

Strategy is my final point. Despite all the crazy playbooks thatcome with football, there is more strategy involved in baseball. Ahead coach for football must get his team more prepared in thepreseason and before a game than a manager does for baseball. But amanager must make more important moves at critical points during thegame itself. It becomes like a chess match between the two managers,as they each try to figure out what move the other manager will donext.

Examples of these moves are pinch hitters, when to go to thebullpen and having a base runner steal, just to name a few.

When it comes down to crunch time in football, the head coach canjust give his players the play to run and hope they can pull it off.

Baseball and football are both incredible sports and they bothhave extremely exciting and memorable postseasons. If I had to pickone, it would be baseball, and I feel that for a long time to comethe slight majority of sports fans would feel the same way.

– Tim Miguel is a journalism junior and a senior staff writer forThe Daily Aztec. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinionof The Daily Aztec.