Thunderdome! - Baseball is Better Than ...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thunderdome! - Baseball is Better Than ...

. Friday, January 23, 2009

Like a great deal of the population of this amazing city, Steve and I are not only die-hard baseball fans, but crazy about Chicago sports in general. And really, when you get down to it, not just Chicago sports, but sports in general. But there's nothing - absolutely nothing - that compares to settling into that hard plastic green seat for the first time and knowing there's an entire season in front of you. So as a way of killing time, we're going to compare baseball to each of the other sports that we get nuts about, and explain to you why baseball is King Shit of Fuck Mountain.


What's great about it: It's arguably the most popular sport in America, and Our Fair City is blessed with the greatest team in the league's storied history. Add to that the fact that I went to school at the football-mad University of Tennessee (we used to be a powerhouse - I swear!), and I've spent much of my life watching, reading about, and playing (poorly) football. My parents used to turn down the TV volume to listen to Gary Fencik and Hub Arkish call games that featured the Fridge, Willie Gault, and of course, Da Coach. I suppose I'm one of the few people that have pleasant memories of their mom cursing at the television. Shit, I love me some football.

10 Habits of Highly Effective People, #11: Somehow look intimidating while wearing a sweater under a blazer

Why baseball is better: When you come down to it, sports fans are like junkies. There's always got to be that next game, that next season, that next fix. (This very characteristic has led to more shitty sitcom episodes than Jon Cryer, Fran Drescher, and the entire cast of Friends combined.) Football just can't physically provide a baseball-like fix of 162 games. My obsession over football runs deep, but is cut off just as it's reaching its prime - somewhat like Joy Division's recording career. Yeah, I just compared the NFL to Joy Division - suck on that, you hipster fucks!

Somehow related to football - doesn't that piss you off, art students?

Also, like any red-blooded Midwestern kid, I wanted to be a professional athlete. I wanted to play baseball or football. Hell, Bo Jackson could do it. Which dream do you think died first? Do you think it was the dream of competing with athletes like this:

Objective: PAIN!!!

Or like this?:

Objective: Hostess Fruit Pies (TM)!!!


What's great about it: When you have a sport where people are allowed to beat the everloving fuck out of each other, it tends to cut down on the oversized egos. The NHL is refreshingly devoid of T.O., Stephon Marbury, or Manny Ramirez. Their most controversial player is a guy who made a dumb sloppy seconds joke - which means that every male who went to high school could automatically qualify for that role. The play is fast-paced (well, for most teams), and there are a quality number of games in a season, as well as a playoffs season that runs longer than any of the Seinfeld spinoffs dreamed.

Points deducted for allowing the creepy Howie Mandel clone onto the ice

Why baseball is better: First and foremost, a man had to die to give the Blackhawks a shot at respectability again. This was an owner who literally thought that televising games would hurt attendance. Here's his memorial last year:

Also, can anyone tell me what the hell the Versus network is and why I should be watching sports on it?


What's great about it: Actually, I hate basketball. It takes my alma mater being ranked in the top 25 to get me to care. And even then, I don't necessarily go out of my way. I mean, if it's such a great tactical sport, than why can kids go from high school straight to the pros - I'd like to see a linebacker try and do that. Why do teams who finish below .500 regularly make the playoffs? Why are players such selfish spoiled dicks that they can bring down a coach (see: the Bulls last 3 coaches)? You could spend an entire season watching only the last five minutes of an NBA game, and you wouldn't miss crap. Really, I like a sport where scoring means something in every situation - not something that's bound to happen 30-60 more times on both teams before you're done watching.

The father will later have that same look of disappointment when, upon his 17th birthday, the boy says "dad. I just ... I just wanna DANCE!"

Also, let us not forget Dick Vitale's existence. People have earned PhDs in astrophysics and quantum mechanics with the expressed intention of inventing a time machine and aborting the man in the womb. That's why I support more funding for higher education.

"I've got severe braaaiiiiiiiin damage, babyyyyyyyy!!!"

Why baseball is better: Because fuck basketball - basketball sucks.


What's great about it: See, you wouldn't think two red-blooded, two-fisted, whiskey-drinking sumbitches would have a soft spot for the beautiful game. But you'd be wrong. Steve once spent some time in London, appreciating the game and trying not to be stabbed. I myself love Scotland's Celtic FC, and subscribe to their version of I also regularly go out to tailgate and support our local club, the Fire. Nowhere else in this city can you pay 20 bucks and sit in spitting distance of the field. A soccer match is a great exhibition of skill and tactics, and the history and tradition between some European rivals predates even our beloved Bears/Packers throwdown by decades. It's also a game that screams to be watched with a cold beer, which places it high in my book.

Why baseball is better: Well, I'm going to go ahead and point to this as a facet of the game which I wish would die and burn in fiery Whore Hell

Also, this guy was just named the best player in the world by FIFA, the sport's worldwide governing body:

Go back to New Jersey!

While we'll always love other sports, there's nothing that will ever offer the level of obsession we feel about our Cubs. If I were trying to piss Steve off and pull a reference out of my ass, I would cite the Hindu mythology of Krishna and Radha. But I will not. Oh, what the hell, it's what you came for right? BOLLYWOOD DANCE PARTY!

Enjoy your weekend.


Steve said...

Wow John - quite the epic post. Glad you got that down in the first 15 minutes of your lunch break.

Meanwhile, that bitch from the bright eyes concert called, she wants her ian curtis references back (that super inside joke presented for an audience of 2!).

Sam said...

i really appreciated the lagaan clip at the end..very nice

Elaine Petricca said...

yesss Lagaan. great movie.

Ace said...

Most... thorough... post... ever.