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Why Is Baseball So Much Better Than Football?

(Thomas Boswell, Washington Post, January 18, 1987; excerpt)

1. Bands.

2. Haiftime with bands.

3. Cheerleaders at half time with bands.

4. Up With People singing "The Impossible Dream" during a Blue Angels flyover at halftime with bands.

5. Baseball has fans in Wrigley Field singing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the seventh-inning stretch.

6. Baseball has Blue Moon, Catfish, Spaceman, and die Sugar Bear. Football has Lester the Molester, Too Mean, and the Assassin.

7. All XX Super Bowls haven't produced as much drama as the last World Series.

8. All XX Super Bowls haven't produced as many classic games as either pennant playoff did this year.

9. Baseball has a bull pen coach blowing bubble gum with his cap turned around backward while leaning on a fungo bat; football has a defensive coordinator in a satin jacket with a headset and a clipboard.

10. The Redskins have thirteen assistant coaches, five equipment managers, three trainers, two assistant GMs, but, for fourteen games, nobody who could kick an extra point.

11. Football players and coaches don't know how to bait a ref, much less jump up and down and scream in his face. Baseball players know how to argue with umps; baseball managers even kick dirt on them. Earl Weaver steals third base and won't give it back; Tom Landry folds his arms.

12. Vince Lombardi was never ashamed that he said, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."

13. Football coaches talk about character, gut checks, intensity, and reckless abandon. Tommy Lasorda said, "Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it; not hard enough and it flies away."

14. Big league baseball players chew tobacco. Pro football linemen chew on each other.

15. Before a baseball game, there are two hours of batting practice. Before a football game, there's a two-hour traffic jam.

16. A crowd of 30,000 in a stadium built for 55,501 has a lot more fun than a crowd of 55,501 in the same stadium.

17. No one has ever actually reached the end of the rest room line at an NFL game.

18. Nine innings means eighteen chances at the hot dog line. Two halves means B.Y.O. or go hungry.

19. Pro football players have breasts. Many NFLers are so freakishly overdeveloped, due to steroids, that they look like circus geeks. Baseball players seem like normal fit folks. Fans should be thank-

ful they don't have to look at NFL teams in bathing suits.

20. Eighty degrees, a cold beer, and a short-sleeve shirt is better than thirty degrees, a hip flask, and six layers of clothes under a lap blanket. Take your pick: suntan or frostbite.

21. Having 162 games a year is 10.125 times as good as having sixteen.

22. If you miss your favorite NFL team's game, you have to wait a week. In baseball, you wait a day.

23. 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.

24. Marianne Moore loved Christy Mathewson. No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball.

25. More good baseball books appear in a single year than have been written about football in the past fifty years. The best football writers, like Dan Jenkins, have the good sense to write about something else most of the time.

26. The best football announcer ever was Howard Cosell.

27. The worst baseball announcer ever was Howard Cosell.

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