Today’s the day. Friends and family come together to eat food, socialize, and watch the big game. Whether it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the Oakland Raiders or it’s the New England Patriots vs the Seattle Seahawks, we tend to schedule our whole Sunday around this event.
I am a Patriots fan (I know, I know), yet my excitement for the day tends to be based on getting together with loved ones and enjoying their company. I obviously would like to see my team win, but I’ll recover rather quickly if they lose, even if it’s their third straight Super Bowl loss. Yet when the Rockies lost the World Series in 2007, and when they were eliminated from the playoffs in 2009, I remember that event haunting me all the way until the next season started. Is this because my fandom with the Rockies is stronger than that of the Patriots, or is this because the Super Bowl has turned into more of a social gathering than a sporting event? I’m going to briefly put my baseball bias aside, and argue which event is better to watch sports wise. This isn’t a scientific approach or based off of a studied experiment, it’s strictly based on what I’ve observed over my sports-viewing years.
The Super Bowl is more of an annual get together than a highly anticipated sporting event. It's one the biggest events every year in America. Since the Super Bowl is one final game, it’s held at a neutral stadium. The two teams battle in between commercial breaks (which most viewers are more excited for than the game itself) before giving way to the biggest moment of the night: the halftime performance. The halftime performance usually includes young pop stars or old rock and roll artists, which appeal to just about every demographic. Once that is over, if you’re lucky, you will have a close score and exciting final two quarters to finish off the NFL season.
But should it really hold that top spot over other sports? Are you even guaranteed a competitive, exciting game? Obviously, in any playoff sporting event, there’s the chance the game will be a complete blowout and you’ll find yourself playing Flappy Bird on your phone instead of paying attention to the television. But that’s okay, there’s still a guaranteed three more games in the series, right? No, there’s not. But hey, at least Aunt Susan made great potato salad! And if Aunt Susan’s famous potato salad wasn’t up to par this year, there were some hilarious commercials and an awesome half time show by an overrated pop star to enjoy. Unless your team is playing and you’re a die-hard fan, chances are you don’t care about the outcome of the game as much as you care about the success of the party being held.
While the Super Bowl is one final game between the two remaining teams, the World Series is an ongoing battle with a team needing four wins before they can deem themselves champions. Instead of a neutral location, the home field advantage is given to whatever team is in the league who won the season’s All-Star game. You don’t usually hear many family gatherings for the World Series since it’s a best of 7 series and games run throughout the week. But just because the World Series doesn’t call for a giant party, it’s still one of the most watched sporting events in America. While the Super Bowl could be a blow out and will not be enjoyable for most sports fans looking for a competitive game, in the World Series, if a game happens to be a blowout, you still have a guaranteed three more games to watch. Since the World Series doesn’t fall on a Sunday, you more than likely will have work and/or school on those days, and there is no better cure than getting through a dreadful work day than knowing you have a cold drink in the fridge and a nice seat on the couch waiting for you when you get home to indulge in hours of playoff baseball.
With that being said, the World Series should be a more enjoyable experience for the fan with a passion for competitive sports. This is a baseball blog--what do you expect me to say?
Enough about that. Spring training is less than a month away and after today, we’re in the final stretch of the offseason. Here's some quick reads to help pass the time:
And what do you know: Grant Brisbee wrote about this very topic.
Russell Wilson played two minor league seasons with the Colorado Rockies as a second baseman, and is now leading the Seattle Seahawks to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Wilson can also throw a pretty decent fastball, but he’s probably glad he chose the football route at this point.
Sabr Analytics Awards: Voting Now Open – Fangraphs
I linked this in last Sunday’s Rockpile, but I thought I would link it again now that voting is open. Two writers from SB Nation, Grant Brisbee and Jason Turbow, are nominated and could use your vote if you enjoy their work.