Is Baseball The Real American Pastime?
By Alexander Corrigan
Baseball is considered to be the national game, the national pastime, as American as apple pie and the Fourth of July. I whole heartedly disagree.
I contend that baseball is not the most American sport; it is really not that American, with two notable exceptions. The first being the overt marketing by huge corporations, as evidenced by the beer sponsors, the huge advertisements on billboards, and the fact the stadium is named after something corporate (like CitiField for instance). The second being the large number of players from humble foreign backgrounds coming to play in the big leagues, the show, the MLB, to make millions and live the American Dream.
Beyond the fairytale aspect of the American Dream and the corporate imperialism perpetrated by the various sponsors vying for millions, if not billions, of dollars, what is really American about baseball? Who decided that baseball was America’s sport? Why would baseball be our national sport? It is another sport we do not dominate in, we may have the best players in the world playing in the MLB, but how many of them are American?
Baseball does not exemplify what America, as a nation, is all about. It is not the most clear-cut choice to be our national sport. And frankly it is boring. Any true to the core red-blooded American will agree with me that Football should be America’s sport, game, and official pastime. And I’m not talking that silly foreign game Soccer or its mutant hybrid blood-sport cousin Rugby or Aussie Rules or Gaelic Rules.
One might actually contend that Basketball should be the national sport because it was the only one that was actually invented in America, well let me just say that is ridiculous. Maybe Lacrosse should become the national sport too. No, let me stop that argument right there, even though basketball is decidedly more American that baseball. How does that American national team not dominate every game like the Harlem Globetrotters? We’ve won more Olympic medals in basketball than any other country but how does the 2004 Athens squad win a damn bronze medal? Lebron, Iverson, Carmelo, Amar’e, D. Wade, I mean it was the second coming of the dream team and they placed third behind Argentina and Italy. Furthermore there are literally tons of excellent international players.
Getting that out of the way lets move back to baseball. Baseball is being played less and less by Americans, with incredible players being transplanted from Asia and Latin America. How many times have you seen a post game interview with a player that hardly had a grip on the English language? If your answer is somewhere around a million than you understand what I am saying. Furthermore have you noticed how every team in the league has a Spanish-language website, even going as far as to have Spanish jerseys (Los Mets I’m pointing my empanada at you). Now truthfully I have no problem with the Spanish websites and advertisements at all, but how can you call yourself America’s game? Seems like false advertising to me.
And when was the last time the American team did well in international competition? Well the World Cup of Baseball has been won by the American team only four times, while the Cuban team has won an astonishing 25 times. That is why this game is their national sport, it’s what Cubans play and what they’re good at. The Japanese team has won the World Baseball Classic every time it has been played, also names baseball as their national sport, the American team came in fourth only once. My point is baseball is simply not a sport that Americans can dominate in, and will not dominate in.
Plus when you really think about it baseball doesn’t really have enough action. It can be very long and very boring. Honestly who wants to see a three-hour game that ends with a one-to-zero score at the end of the game? I think taking steroids out of baseball took out the one thing American players were still good at, hitting the long ball.
Finally to the point Football is a sport that only Americans play well, for instance the Canadian Football League is comprised mostly of American players that didn’t make it in the NFL. It goes for the NFL Europe too. It’s a brutal sport where there is constant action, concussions and big hits. This is a sport that is dominated by the bigger, stronger and faster. It so perfectly echoes American sentiments and overall disposition. The game is played like Chess rather than Checkers, meaning there is a very complex strategy that goes into the construction of elaborate defenses and calling offensive plays. Football is also the biggest money making sport in the Unites States. It is the most watched and most profitable of the big four sports. It’s aggressive, violent, and strategic and only has 16 games a season, not 162 like baseball, making every game count.
Plus its so much bigger on the college level, have any of you ever watched a college baseball game? But everybody knows the Notre Dame Fighting Irish because of Rudy. Or have you ever been in the state of Florida during the yearly Gators v. Seminoles game? There are more businesses closed during the Florida (Gators) v. Florida State (Seminoles) game than on Christmas day. College football is a huge moneymaker for the university, and is the easiest way to solicit alumni donations. It is also what attracts those lucrative endorsement and equipment deals, like Penn State only using Nike products.
Which brings me to my conclusion, Suffolk Community College not having a football team wearing the Sharks logo is just about a step above terrorism. Not having a football team is basically like punching the American Flag in the face. And furthermore a good football team is all a school needs to have a “Good Athletic Program.” Plus think about all those public school kids with grades not strong enough to get into a division one school or didn’t have a chance to play for scouts, getting a second change to live their college ball dreams. In closing it is the opinion of this student that all Suffolk Community College is missing is a Football team, to play a true American Sport.Explore posts in the same categories: Op-Ed, Sports