Friday, March 31, 2006

Time begins on Opening Day

Only three more days until normalcy returns to my life. Or escapes it. Scanning the morning box scores, listening to Skip and Pete on the car radio, downing a beer at the Ted, complaining about the crappy music they play in between innings (please, retire the "Friends" theme. Kill the Rembrandts if you must) ... everything's right with the world.

So I'll take this opportunity to re-post Pultizer Prize winner Thomas Boswell's famous compiliation of reasons why baseball trumps football. Among my favorites:

Bands;

Halftime with bands;

Cheerleaders at halftime with bands;

Everything George Carlin said in his famous monologue is right on. In football you blitz, bomb, spear, shiver, march and score. In baseball, you wait for a walk, take your stretch, toe the rubber, tap your spikes, play ball and run home;

Baseball has no penalties at all. A home run is a home run. You cheer. In football, on a score, you look for flags. If there's one, who's it on? When can we cheer? Football acts can all be repealed. Baseball acts stand forever;

Instant replays. Just when we thought there couldn't be anything worse than penalties, we get instant replays of penalties. Talk about a bad joke. Now any play, even one with no flags, can be called back. Even a flag itself can, after five minutes of boring delay, be nullified. NFL time has entered the Twilight Zone. Nothing is real; everything is hypothetical;

Football fans tailgate before the big game. No baseball fan would have a picnic in a parking lot;

The baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, N.Y., beside James Fenimore Cooper's Lake Glimmerglass; the football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio, beside the freeway;

Baseball means Spring's Here. Football means Winter's Coming;

Without baseball, there'd have been no Fenway Park. Without football, there'd have been no artificial turf;

Nothing in baseball is as boring as the four hours of ABC's "Monday Night Football";

The best ever in each sport - Babe Ruth and Jim Brown — each represents egocentric excess. But Ruth never threw a woman out a window;

Football coaches walk across the field after the game and pretend to congratulate the opposing coach. Baseball managers head right for the beer;

and

Football is played best full of adrenaline and anger. Moderation seldom finds a place. Almost every act of baseball is a blending of effort and control; too much of either is fatal.

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