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Viva Medias B's
02-01-2006, 10:27 AM
As a spinoff to the Paul Tagliabue thread, I want us to explore how the National Football League became more popular than Major League Baseball. Furthermore, I would like us to also explore the seemingly impossible task of how MLB can reclaim the No. 1 popularity status from the NFL.

I believe a combination of things helped the NFL overtake MLB: Pete Rozelle, sports betting, and MLB's own problems. Pete Rozelle became commissioner of the National Football League in 1960. This was the time that MLB was king. From then until his retirement in 1989, Rozelle guided the NFL's meteoric rise. He was a marketing genius who expanded the league, primarily through the merger with the upstart American Football League. Rozelle was the father of the Super Bowl. He also oversaw the creation of NFL Films, which expanded the league's marketing outreach to fans. The commissioner expanded the league's presence on television, especially when he and ABC Sports' Roone Arledge created "Monday Night Football." NFL Properties, which licenses the sale of all NFL team merchandise, was his idea. Rozelle also got NFL owners to engage in a system called revenue sharing so that there would be no NFL George Steinbrenners buying championships.

Sure, Pete Rozelle has his share of miscues. His decision to play games the Sunday after the John F. Kennedy assassination was widely criticized. And toward the end of his reign as commissioner, he had to endure labor strife in the league. But without a doubt, Pete Rozelle was the most prolific commissioner in the history of sports.

Critics could charge however, that the popularity of sports betting helped Rozelle make the NFL what it is today. For each Super Bowl alone, billions of dollars are bet (legally and otherwise). There are plenty of shows on radio and television devoted to the point spread and the over/under, and some have theorized that "Monday Night Football" was created at least partially because such a game could serve as a "get even" game to offset gambling losses incurred on Sunday. There is no doubt in my mind that sports betting is the mother's milk of the National Football League. It is not the sole reason the NFL is as popular as it is; legitimate fans of the game of football do watch it, you know. But where would the NFL be without sports betting?

Finally, with Rozelle and sports betting fueling the NFL's ascent, Major League Baseball did just about everything it could (unintentionally) to grease the skids. In some ways, it still does today. With the NFL on the rise, MLB was plagued by labor strife, drug scandals, poor marketing, and ineffective leadership. Labor strife between MLB players and MLB owners has turned many fans off to baseball. For the best example, see 1994. It is true that the NFL has has its own labor strife over the years, but it was able to overcome the embarrassing 1982 and 1987 strikes.

Furthermore, the NFL has enjoyed labor peace since that '87 strike. Of course, we could argue that the NFL has had labor peace because the NFL owners are much stronger than the NFL Players' Association. In contrast, the tables are reversed in MLB where the MLB Players' Association since the days of Marvin Miller has been the dominant force over MLB owners in labor relations. The MLBPA is perhaps the most powerful union in this country while the NFLPA under Gene Upshaw is hardly as effective.

The NFL and MLB have had their share of drug scandals. However, the NFL has managed to deal with the drug issue more effectively than MLB. With stronger ownership, the NFL was able to impose stringent drug testing and outlaw the use of performance enhancing drugs. Such provisions in MLB came much more slowly. Sure, MLB has recently imposed very strict penalties for the use of performance enhancing drugs. However, prior to this, MLB took hits from player recreational drug use scandals during the 1980s and players' use of steroids since then. In short, the NFL dealt with this much more effectively than MLB did and, hence, was not as hurt by it.

Whenever Pete Rozelle came up with something like NFL Films, NFL Properties, or the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball missed the boat. From Bowie Kuhn on down and afterward, MLB was too old school and was not proactive in marketing. The idea of MLB Films or MLB Properties to market MLB did not dawn upon them. That is yet another reason why it fell behind the NFL. Sure, today, such marketing initiatives are in place for Major League Baseball. However, the development of these marketing initiatives came well after the horse left the barn. It continues today. In 2003, the NFL launched The NFL Network which serves as yet another marketing tool for the league, 24/7/365. Why can't Major League Baseball do something like that? The MLB Network would be a great way to market baseball. Not only could it cover the baseball season from Spring Training to the World Series, it could also provide coverage of the goings on in winter baseball and offseason transactions.

Since the days of Rozelle and today through Paul Tagliabue, the NFL has had strong leadership. The same could not be said about MLB, from Kuhn to Bud Selig. Today, Bud Selig looks like the spinless leader there to do the MLB owners' bidding. He is hardly independent of them. Some could say that Tagliabue is not independent of the NFL owners, either. However, he is clearly his own man in comparison to Selig.

So, now, how does Major League Baseball rebound and overtake the National Football League? It would be an incredible task that many say would not be possible. However, I think we at WSI are pretty creative. At least most of us here believe that baseball is the greatest game on earth, despite the greater popularity of professional football. How do you think this goal could be accomplished? Having a commissioner with the genius of Pete Rozelle would be a start.

34 Inch Stick
02-01-2006, 12:46 PM
Why not just submit this as an article to WSI.

goofymsfan
02-01-2006, 01:01 PM
One thing that I think has helped the NFL is that there is a more level playing field. Fans feel like their team(s) has a chance to compete and make the playoffs. In baseball, how many teams are out of the playoff race from day one? It makes it hard to stay in love with a game where the disparity is so great. The owners do play a part in this by not using the tax sharing to better their teams.

The past few years have been nice not seeing the Yankees win a World Series. By the same token, I never would have guessed the Seahawks would be going to the Superbowl, but they are. They were never out of the playoff hunt, even though they started off the season 2-2.

Fenway
02-01-2006, 01:19 PM
The NFL is also "event television". Fans plan their weekend around their home teams game.

Baseball is there everyday for 6 months so casual fans don't plan their lives around games.

Gambling is a huge part of it though the NFL would never admit it. In any event people will watch a neutral game in the NFL but almost never watch a regular season baseball game that doesn't involve the home team.

Can MLB ever regain the #1 position? I doubt it especially with that birdbrain in Milwaukee running things. However Americans show their love for baseball by the way they flock to see minor league games all over the country ( with the exception of Florida which may explain why MLB is having such a hard time there, the attendance in the Florida State League is awful )

A lot depends on where you live as well. Baseball is #1 east of the Hudson River...football while popular is a distant second in both New York and Boston. But go to Philadelphia and it is all Eagles 365/24/7 with the Phillies fighting the Flyers for #2.

The Midwest with it's love for College Football sees that translated into huge support for the NFL teams. Even the Lions have solid support and they haven't won anything in 50 years. Chicago is a Bears town first and then baseball.

But don't tell me baseball is dying. Look at how many bought XM just for baseball. They jumped from 3 million to 6 million in a short period of time and MLB was a big reason.

1951Campbell
02-01-2006, 01:19 PM
I have heard over and over again that betting has made the NFL popular, often stated as "if it weren't for the betting, no one will care." I'm sorry, but anecdotal that doesn't seem true to me. I and many of my friends live and die with the Packers, and none of us put money on games. My dad lives and dies with the Bears, and has never bet. Same for my grandfather, who is now deceased but was an older, older guy and followed the NFL literally from its inception. And here on WSI, the Bears talk this season wasn't about parlays and over/unders, it was about the team.

Does betting on the NFL put eyeballs in front of TV sets? Sure, but let's not overstate it to such a degree.

Madvora
02-01-2006, 01:40 PM
That's a great post Viva. Nice job.
I agree with Fenway about the "event" too. It seems like the novelty of a baseball game gets a little thin with the general public due to the tons of games that occur every day during the summer - supply and demand.

One other thing about football is that more people tend to have interest in, or support a team outside of their hometown (as compared to baseball fans.) This may be because of betting.

jdm2662
02-01-2006, 01:54 PM
What makes the NFL appealing was already mentioned. There are only 16 games a season, one a week. The only Bears games I've missed since 1984 are when I had to work. My dad used to get the basement cleaned on Sundays just in time for the Mike Ditka show. We made sure we were all downstairs by the time it was on. It has not changed today. My weekends are arranged around football. I also happened to like football better, but that's just my perference.

Now, for other teams I follow, Fire, Bulls, Sox, there are many more games to watch. I don't arrange my schedule around the games, unless it's a playoff game. It's not going to change. Football games are rare compared to the rest of the sports. The season is also the shortest.

The one edge MLB has it's availablity of highlights and games. We all know about the TV package MLB.com has, but they also allow you to view highlights for free. Also, they are releasing box sets, which can only help. NFL Films used to have a web site where you can view clips for free, but they no longer have that. Let's also not get into the availablity they make NFL footage. They do have replay on ONDEMAND which is great, but it could do more. MLB is improving, but it still has ways to go. They can't do anything about the long season, but it's a downfall they will always have vs the NFL.

Whitesox029
02-01-2006, 03:43 PM
What makes the NFL appealing was already mentioned. There are only 16 games a season, one a week. The only Bears games I've missed since 1984 are when I had to work.
All this does is to prove that baseball fans are more into their sport than are football fans. One reason I have never been particularly interested in watching football is that...well...they only play once a week. With baseball, you get your fix daily. To be honest, when the Sox were on those winning streaks this year I could barely stand to wait 20 hours between the end of one game and the start of the next. Not only that, but the regular season spans 6 months, which means every team's fans get to see their team in action almost every day for half of a year. Throw in spring training and the playoffs and baseball season pretty much lasts from Mid-February to late October. I see this as a good quality, and I don't really see how a person can be passionate about something that only happens weekly. Being a baseball fan is a full-time job, while being a football fan is more casual. Anyone can follow football and be considered a fan, but baseball really separates those who care from those who don't.

PaulDrake
02-01-2006, 11:19 PM
Football is more amenable to TV than baseball. In 1950 baseball was far and away the most popular sport. TV really put Pro football on the map in a big way. In 1958 the Colts beat the Giants in that famous sudden death overtime game, and at that point the momentum was shifting. By the time of the first Super Bowl in January 1967 football had overtaken baseball. It's still that way today and I don't see that ever changing. Baseball will always be my favorite, but with each passing year I become more of a retro OF.

Professor
02-02-2006, 08:01 AM
Interesting analysis, but the perspective is too narrow, I think. That is, thus far we have only hit upon the sports-related issues. But sports occur within a larger social spectrum. Think about the following cliche response most, if not all of us have heard from football fans contra baseball: "Baseball is too slow." Obviously, this hasn't always been the perception of the game. So what have been the cultural (educational/technological/psychological) shifts in our society such that baseball appears lacking to people?

I will proffer a short and incomplete reply. We are getting more simple-minded which requires ostentatious displays even to warrant our attention. Football is explicit. Baseball, on the other hand, is appreciated because of its many nuances--the beauty is in the details. If more and more of our society loses the ability to appreciate the graces of the game because they require study, knowledge, patience, attention, experience, and so on, then it ought not be surprising that another sport stand above baseball in the eyes of the public at large.

Rooney4Prez56
02-02-2006, 12:46 PM
All this does is to prove that baseball fans are more into their sport than are football fans. One reason I have never been particularly interested in watching football is that...well...they only play once a week. With baseball, you get your fix daily. To be honest, when the Sox were on those winning streaks this year I could barely stand to wait 20 hours between the end of one game and the start of the next. Not only that, but the regular season spans 6 months, which means every team's fans get to see their team in action almost every day for half of a year. Throw in spring training and the playoffs and baseball season pretty much lasts from Mid-February to late October. I see this as a good quality, and I don't really see how a person can be passionate about something that only happens weekly. Being a baseball fan is a full-time job, while being a football fan is more casual. Anyone can follow football and be considered a fan, but baseball really separates those who care from those who don't.




I love the Bears, but I agree with you. I love watchin the Sox every day, even if they lose. I never have to wait long to see a Sox game. I enjoy watching football games, and I watch the Bears every week. But the Sox will always be #1 because I really get into them. Look at us! We carry our Cub hatred all year long, but I don't carry my Packer hate all year. As for the NFL being bigger than MLB, I got three letters for you - MNF.

churlish
02-02-2006, 03:40 PM
Another reason that explains the difference is the amount of games vs. the cost. It costs nothing to watch the Bears on TV. They have eight home games a year. The Sox have 81 home games. So, I went to 3 games in Chicago, which costs a lot of money for a college student like myself. Parking is outrageous and traffic is a pain. So, I went to 3 out of 81 games. In other words, it takes a lot for people to go to each game. To go to a Bears game, its the same hassle, but you're getting more for your money in the sense of 8 home games vs. 81.

On the other hand, I went to all three games of a Sox-Royals series in KC last year, and it was a great experience. It was cheap parking, you could sit anywhere you want, and the Sox swept. However, I had a hard time convincing the Royals fans that the Sox were better than the Royals.

RedHeadPaleHoser
02-03-2006, 06:42 AM
Excellent thread, and excellent posts all.

My take on this, is quite simply this: football leveled the field by controlling salaries. This is NOT a "I want a baseball salary cap" thread, but another post said it best: you can tell 2 weeks into the baseball season with some certainty which teams won't get far. In football, every year, you have a chance to make your team stronger - but all the teams play by the rules. Some GM's (like Angelo) have done good and bad jobs at developing and landing talent; besides their crumbling in the playoffs, the Bears defense is in position for at LEAST 3 years, barring injury. A position player gets hurt(i.e., Urlacher), and the opposing team can exploit that weakness. IMO, you have a deeper field of depth for the players in a certain position in baseball(Mackowiak as a "utility" guy). If an entire starting rotation was injured, that's doomsday....but one starter on the DL does not lose a season for you. Look at the Bengals - there was talk Carson Plamer was DONE as QB. Imagine if that's true - getting a new starting QB that can produce in the NFL is a tough thing. Developing pitchers is as well, but it does not lie on one person's shoulders.

Do I think baseball will ever be as "socially" popular as football? No. Do I think there is more emotion in baseball between the game and its fans? Just watch When It Was a Game, and tell me what you think.

Railsplitter
02-03-2006, 09:27 AM
There are planty of men (my Dad among them) who seem to want to watch every game on the tube, up to and including the Arena league and NFL Europe. To perfectly honest, I don't give a rat's rear end about the Super bowl. There's nobody to root for or against (something that happens when a sport is devoid of personalities.

caulfield12
02-03-2006, 12:28 PM
Interesting analysis, but the perspective is too narrow, I think. That is, thus far we have only hit upon the sports-related issues. But sports occur within a larger social spectrum. Think about the following cliche response most, if not all of us have heard from football fans contra baseball: "Baseball is too slow." Obviously, this hasn't always been the perception of the game. So what have been the cultural (educational/technological/psychological) shifts in our society such that baseball appears lacking to people?

I will proffer a short and incomplete reply. We are getting more simple-minded which requires ostentatious displays even to warrant our attention. Football is explicit. Baseball, on the other hand, is appreciated because of its many nuances--the beauty is in the details. If more and more of our society loses the ability to appreciate the graces of the game because they require study, knowledge, patience, attention, experience, and so on, then it ought not be surprising that another sport stand above baseball in the eyes of the public at large.

1) Football is more macho and violent...which is also a part of the popularity of race car driving, along with the crashes and torn ACLs and concussions from helmet-to-helmet hits

2) Basketball and football started gaining more and more interest from inner city kids in the 1960´s and 1970´s, as the generation that grew up with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson was replaced by their children who played hoops instead of Stickball

3) Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan...one of the reasons that the NBA, and, to a lesser extent, the NFL, are struggling is because of the lack of superstars that people care about...witness the hoopla, or lack thereof, about Kobe Bryant´s 81 points, if Jordan did that, it would have been worldwide news, but more people are arguing its meaningless because Bryant is not a ¨team¨ player

4) You only need a ball-court-field or street to play basketball and football, you need more equipment and space for baseball

5) Youth soccer has taken attention away from baseball as well

6) Diffusion of talent...almost nobody in America knows the Top 10 collegiate players, but everyone could name 10 college basketball or football stars...NBA is getting the same way as baseball, almost all obscure international players

7) Baseball does have advantage of most meaningful All-Star game and more importance attached to statistics than any other sport....Joe DiMaggio´s hitting streak, Walter Johnson´s total number of wins, Bob Gibson in 1968, Ted Williams hitting .400, Roger Marris and Mantle in 1961...nobody remembers the years Barry Sanders or OJ Simpson carried for over 2,000 yards.

8) The event mentality...the one game, all-or-nothing, Super Bowl instead of a World Series of games...the near impossibility of coming back in a season in the NFL when you start out 2-6, for instance...2-6 is nothing in baseball, there is much ebb and flow throughout the season

9) More parity, salary cap and Free Agency has levelled playing field....KC Chiefs are very successful economically (top 5 in NFL), but they can barely compete in MLB....or think of teams in smaller NBA markets like Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Orlando, etc., that have succeeded

lostletters
02-03-2006, 02:25 PM
The economics of it are a little strange.

Baseballs I think hit rock bottum with the Strike and has been recovering since. Also I do not think the steriod problem had any negative effect on the popularity of baseball.

What is happening now is a bit odd and hard to place a finger on.

Baseball is finally on the uptrend again as far as attendence. While the Yankees and Boston drew well after the Strike, it is teams like the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers that needed to get back on track for thier to be an improvement as a sport. Also I think the TV ratings may be deceptive, largely because with baseball it is not casual "event" fans that drive it, but rather dedicated fans to the sport, baseball fans love baseball. While there is a hardcore contingent of NFL fans, most people who watch football games, watch football games. I think there is more patience to get into baseball, and more dedication. This has resulted in growing attendence numbers in recent years for baseball across the board. As the fans who are getting into baseball, really get into it, to the point of wanting to go to the park.


The NFL though is an event sport. It is a very short season with a big single event. This has benefited it economically. Additionally, there is more parody in the NFL. This is something that I think baseball should adopt.


I also think while in the US the NFL may be more popular, worldwide baseball is more popular. Baseball has internationalized much better then football. It is now probably the second most popular sport in the world (maybe third, depending on basketball). This is largely because baseball, like soccer, is an everyman sport, no matter your size, you can play the game. So while baseball is no longer the number one sport in the States, it has done an incredible job at spreading the sport internationally. In the end this may make baseball an even more fiscally sound sport then even Football. I think Baseball's Asian and Latin American strategy paid big dividends and it is finally starting to see the results.

Baseball still has problems, but I think the sport is on an uptrend. Its strike era ghosts are finally starting to fade away and the sport is close to becoming the main competitor for soccer worldwide.

Hitmen77
02-03-2006, 02:54 PM
1) Football is more macho and violent...which is also a part of the popularity of race car driving, along with the crashes and torn ACLs and concussions from helmet-to-helmet hits

2) ....

9) More parity, salary cap and Free Agency has levelled playing field....KC Chiefs are very successful economically (top 5 in NFL), but they can barely compete in MLB....or think of teams in smaller NBA markets like Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Orlando, etc., that have succeeded

Good points. I just couldn't help thinking of that old George Carlin routine:

(in deep, serious voice) Football is played in a stadium
(in light, happy voice) Baseball is played in a park!, etc. :smile:

Alot of good points by all. For me, there's nothing that can replace the feeling of going to a baseball game. Sitting out there on a warm summer evening at ballparks that are generally warm and friendly. Football, basketball, hockey are exciting to watch, but it's just not the same to me.

Baseball has made a bit of a comeback in the last ten years. I think replacing all those awful multipurpose, artificial turf stadiums with retro parks has helped bring out that appeal that baseball has over other sports.

I think the one thing that MLB could do to increase interest in baseball is to have a more level playing field in the league. ESPN and Fox and mediots like Bob Costas might think that focusing on the few most popular franchises and having them hog the playoffs is "good for the sport", but in reality it turns off fans interest in anywhere beyond the eastern seaboard or the few "chosen" markets such as St. Louis.

In the NFL, the Giants and Jets can't just use their New York power base to bury teams like Green Bay and Pittsburgh and I think that has helped make football more of a national game.

Fake Chet Lemon
02-05-2006, 02:36 PM
1) Gambling.

2) Gambling.

3) Changing demographics. Baseball still is the "thinking man's game." But as our country gets more diverse, newer generations of Americans will probably need an older generation (ie: father or uncle) to pass baseball on. Otherwise our future young short-attention span kids won't tune in by themselves. But they may pick-up on football if they have parent(s) disinterested in sports.

Fake Chet Lemon
02-05-2006, 02:42 PM
Good points. I just couldn't help thinking of that old George Carlin routine:

(in deep, serious voice) Football is played in a stadium
(in light, happy voice) Baseball is played in a park!, etc. :smile:

.

I've always wanted someone to re-do that bit, but from the baseball perspective. Such as:

IN FOOTBALL, when the clock says zero we quit and go home. Yeaaaaaa!

IN BASEBALL, the human combatants play inning after gruelling inning until their opponent has been destroyed. There is NO LIMIT to the innings, clocks and other outside forces are irrelevant on this battlefield.

OK, I'm starting another Thread that will go nowhere........................

AZChiSoxFan
02-14-2006, 02:02 PM
One thing that I think has helped the NFL is that there is a more level playing field. Fans feel like their team(s) has a chance to compete and make the playoffs. In baseball, how many teams are out of the playoff race from day one? It makes it hard to stay in love with a game where the disparity is so great. The owners do play a part in this by not using the tax sharing to better their teams.



At best, it's debateable as to whether or not this is true.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2315267


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/060124

Hangar18
02-14-2006, 02:09 PM
Letting teams move all over the place ..........
then finally dropping the ball regarding the Houston Oilers was the final straw for me. Just hasnt been the same for me since.

Dadawg_77
02-14-2006, 02:53 PM
1) Gambling.

2) Gambling.

3) Changing demographics. Baseball still is the "thinking man's game." But as our country gets more diverse, newer generations of Americans will probably need an older generation (ie: father or uncle) to pass baseball on. Otherwise our future young short-attention span kids won't tune in by themselves. But they may pick-up on football if they have parent(s) disinterested in sports.

Gambling started the NFL's popularity rolling. The NFL created the perfect "get even" game in Monday Night Football. Betters lost on Sunday placed more bets make up their losses while winners pressed their winnings. Either way, they were watching prime time football.

Football is the most difficult game to know, but the easiest to understand. The complexity of managing 22 different players can be mind boggling to coach but general concept of taking a ball 100 yards to score is very simple.


The counter culture movement of the 60's. Baseball was your father's game and young people revolted from the ideas and pastimes of their parents. Now as the Baby Boomers age and become more sentimental, you are seeing them come back to baseball. More of a reason Baseball fell then why football rose.

Playoffs contention. Fewer playoff teams mean less excitement during September and October. This is where I have to give Bud credit. The Wild Card was a ingenious move to draw more interest to the game.

mmmmmbeeer
02-15-2006, 06:03 AM
Great points by everyone.

A couple of folks kind of touched on it, but I think that the popularity of college football has had an impact on the popularity of the NFL. Draft day is considered a national holiday by many, college fans from around the country follow their favorite players in the NFL. College baseball has NO widespread popularity whatsoever. Minor league teams sometimes draw decent attendance but I'd guess that the large number of "fans" at each game are far from fans of the team but rather looking for something different to do for an evening. I know here in Tulsa we have the Drillers, a Rockies affiliate. They draw decent but I rarely see anyone walking around with a Drillers hat on or discussing how their season is going. But then there's OU and OSU football, which is inescapable.

I wouldn't say that college ball has made the NFL #1 in the nation, but I don't think it's something that can be ignored.

TDog
02-15-2006, 10:18 AM
...
9) More parity, salary cap and Free Agency has levelled playing field....KC Chiefs are very successful economically (top 5 in NFL), but they can barely compete in MLB....or think of teams in smaller NBA markets like Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Orlando, etc., that have succeeded

It looks like the NFL Players Union will successfully wrestle the salary cap from the league and never let it return.

The only reason there is a salary cap in the NBA is that the league was struggling enough (pre-Jordan) that owners could have done what the NHL owners recently did to get what they wanted from their most recent labor agreement.

Bucky F. Dent
02-18-2006, 05:26 PM
1) Football is more macho and violent...which is also a part of the popularity of race car driving, along with the crashes and torn ACLs and concussions from helmet-to-helmet hits


Darn it, Holden you beat me to it.

IMHO the cultural combination of short attention spans and acceptance of/lust for violence win the day for the NFL. Throw in a little T&A on the sideline, and you've got yourself a cultural revolution!

gehrtsox7
02-19-2006, 02:15 PM
One of the things that I come across all the time is that people say
"Why do you like baseball?, Its so long and boring". Sometimes you actually have to force people to watch a few games and get into it so they can see how addicting it can get. I've done this to a few people who had little or no interest in baseball and now they are obsessed like me. And as much as people hate the Yankees and Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers, they are basically the face of the MLB and they keep us on the map. Hopefully we can add the Sox to those teams after a World Series 4-peat.:dtroll: (is that a dancing chubacabra?)

Another thing that screws MLB is that all across america every idiot in every office is involved with some sort of "Fantasy Football" team, which makes everyone more involved, therefore they watch it more, and talk about it more and buy more merchandise, etc. etc. etc.