Chickashanews.com

October 5, 2012

Point-to-Point

BY JAMES BRIGHT and LAUREN CARTER
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Baseball is true testament to what sports should be - James

Baseball is America. It's that simple.

It's a game that has survived the test of time. There are still professional teams active today that came into existence in the mid 19th century. The oldest professional football team came into existence in 1898. Baseball is a game of chess actively played out in stadiums that are cathedral like in stature.

Unlike the other person involved in this little forum I'm not going to spend this space putting down football. I love football, but I find baseball to be a far more engaging sport.

Over the course of six months 162 games are played out at the professional level. This is downright grueling. It takes a true athlete to crouch behind a plate and get in front of 100 mph fastballs, sliders that break two feet across the plate and curveballs that appear to fall off a table at the last minute. This says nothing of fall tips, collisions and bats to the face mask that are also apart of a catchers day-to-day life. Sure, catchers aren't going to play all 162 games, but most will play at least 120 and there is no questioning the manly nature involved in putting one's body through that amount of punishment.

But forget the professionals. Let's look at the family unit and it has grown along with the institution of baseball. Almost every family has some sort of softball or baseball game at large events. It's usually the highlight of a reunion. The sport connects people in a way that few other things can. It's athletic, easy to pick up and good clean fun.

Finally there is baseball in the media. There are droves of films dedicated to this sport. Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Major League and most recently Money Ball all display multiple sides of this great game. It is a common topic for writers outside of the journalism industry. The simple fact is baseball is poetic in nature. An old catcher who never made it big teaching a rookie pitcher whose arm is a lighting bolt is an incredible impetus for a story. No other sport can provide this.

In the end, baseball is a slower game than football. It's methodical and requires commitment to understand decisions made across the board. But when someone does commit, he or she will be locked in for life as will their offspring.

Why bore yourself with baseball when football is on - Lauren

Baseball may have once been considered America's pastime, but that is no longer the case. Football is not only the better sport, it provides a much more thrilling atmosphere for its fans.

Nothing beats a Friday night football game. The best feeling is when the temperature drops and you're with your family and friends, wrapping up in the bleachers. Or going to the concession stand and treating yourself to some hot chocolate. When the marching band is playing, the crowd is cheering and booing in unison, and the underdog just ran a 40-yard touchdown, what could be a better atmosphere?

Football is the ultimate team sport. Eleven players run and hit their hearts out on every single play. Every player on the field is involved in the game. In baseball games on the other hand, we are basically watching two people play the game while everyone else stands and watches. I'm pretty sure I've seen people napping or reading at baseball games.

I find baseball long, boring and hard to follow. Baseball games are aired almost every day of the week, becoming mundane. Football rules are much simpler, appealing to a much broader audience. Professional baseball players are also more greedy, which makes watching the sport on a professional level much less appealing. There is no salary cap in baseball, therefore smaller teams lose out if they do not have the money.

Football games are also better because they are hardly ever canceled. Football games are played in the sunshine, the pouring rain and even snow.

Even if you can't attend a sporting event in person, watching football on TV is still better. If a sport was ever made for television, it was de football. A more thrilling game, football slows down tackles, zooms in on fumbles and pans out for long distance runs. Baseball is hardly thrilling for one inning, let alone nine.

The overall atmosphere at a football game and the sport itself is fundamentally better. I'd certaintly rather hear "Are you ready for some football!!" than a anti-climatic "Play ball."