Well folks, another baseball season done. Some curses started, other curses continued, one curse ended, and most baseball fans sighed a sigh of relief when Rizzo caught that ball because it finally signaled a few cliché-less weeks before the mainstream media would ramp up their narrative of curses again.
Curses aside, I have a tiny confession to make: I watched a grand total of two-and-a-half innings of all the World Series games. “WHAT!?” you scream. “HOW?!” you yell. “WHY!?” you pester. “I GET IT ALREADY” I retort.
It’s true – after the Jays struck their way out of my heart and the ALCS, I put my TV remote down and emerged from the fog of baseball playoffs right into the fog of a Toronto autumn. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated 1) the historic significance of one of these two teams winning the World Series, 2) the likeable personalities on both teams, and 3) the caliber of baseball being played but it STILL wasn’t enough to have me peruse the Reddit MLB Streams thread in order to flick on the game. And while I am writing this post, I realized that baseball need take no offence to my sin because this is simply my response to almost every final match-up for each of the major four sports.
I suffer from fatigue of sport at the end of each pro-league season. There were so many meaningless games at the beginning of that respective sport’s year that by the time that important games roll around, I don’t have the same burning passion to consume them that I did several months prior. In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself more of a hockey fan than I do baseball and the minute my favourite hockey team gets the boot from the playoffs (or doesn’t even make it at all), I shut it down there too. Same thing goes for basketball. Does this mean that I am more a fan of my favourite teams and not the sport itself? I would argue no because I am very happy to turn on random games at the beginning of the season even if they aren’t featuring the Jays, Sens, or Raps.
I think there’s only one league that got the length and pacing of their season right, and that’s football. I’m a whole-hearted believer in the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” because I am craving football the nights of the week it’s not playing. There are only 16 precious weeks of the year that regular season football is being played and only 3 precious days of those weeks that I am able to take in NFL football games. Each game carries such significance because letting even one or two of those close games go can be the difference between a winning and losing season.
So what’s the solution then in order to get more casual fans to more rabidly consume a sport? This is a giant topic of which we can only skim the surface in this post, but I can think of one idea off the bat, but I don’t think the owners or players would ever go for it because it would mean cutting revenues proportionally to the number of games chopped from the schedule. Other ideas then? Well how about I save those for another day but in the meantime you let us hear your ideas and we go from there.