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|Watching the NFL versus the MLB
Imagine placing two flat screen plasma TV's side by side in your
living room smack dab in front of your couch. You've got beer,
snacks a-plenty and fresh batteries in your clicker.
One TV has an NFL game on and the other has a Major League
Baseball game and they both start at the same time.
Besides this being many sports fans' idea of hog heaven and even
better than clicking back and forth between games with only one
TV, it's fun to watch the differences between these two pro
sports. Watching the NFL on TV is a weekly ritual; baseball is
on every night of the week, but watching the two combined is
almost as rewarding as joining a Cowboy cheerleader snuggle-fest.
And that's exactly what I did recently (not the snuggle-fest,
but the two TV's thing). Here's what happened:
The football game started with a massive kick to the opposing
team, and a line of 250-pound plus men with murder in their eyes
started charging after the poor slob who caught the ball. After
a few seconds he was crushed by his pursuers, becoming the
bottom man in a very scary adult male pig-pile. MLB players tend
to be a little mellower and less physical, but all pro players
in any sport need to be strong. Football players take steroids, baseball players get caught.
Meanwhile, the MLB game started off a little less exciting. My
heart rate and pulse began to slow down as I watched the catcher
and pitcher play catch as the batter just stood there spitting
and adjusting his crotch. I got quickly bored and turned back to
the NFL game.
In a matter of a three minute span two men had been injured,
with one having his ankle relocated to his armpit. A touchdown
was scored, the ball changed hands twice, and a whole lot of
tackling, smashing, crunching and finger-breaking happened.
Football is more of an immediate gratification, ADD-friendly
game to watch.
I glanced back at the MLB
game for a couple of minutes. Two strikeouts and four fly outs
came and went and we were already in the second inning, with
little action to show for it. A baseball game is more of a
wise-old-man kind of sport, where patience and number-crunching
are paramount. It reveres serenity.
Football reveres mayhem. Watching football gets me angry and all
charged up. Watching baseball makes me sleepy. In fact, I
usually like to watch the first two or three innings, fall
asleep, and then wake up to catch the last few innings. Watching
football players hit each other full force and light each other
up is exciting, and dozing is out of the question. Watching one
grown man with ball in glove chase another grown man to tag him
in a pickle is kind of funny.
As 10,000 commercials played on the football TV, I had a few
minutes to catch up on my MLB
Game. Finally, in the bottom of the third, a man hit the
ball and dropped it in the right field gap for a single. All the
baseball players, including the guy running up to first base,
seemed quite pleasant. Why not be? They were playing in a nice
park, on a nice warm and sunny day and no one had even broken a
sweat yet. The batter reached first base and started chatting
with the opposing team's first baseman. They started smiling and
having a great time with each other. My lip-reading skills are
not what they used to be but I think I saw one say to the other,
"Hi Johnny! How's the wife doing? It's been a while since we saw
her. We've got to get together sometime soon."
Growing restless, I turned back to the NFL
Matchup just in time to see one man standing over a writhing
and groaning man on the turf. I think I saw his lips yelling,
"Hey Bruno, while we were having breakfast together this
morning, your wife told me to tackle you into next Tuesday, did
I do a good job?"
In the very next play a running back was nailed in a
bone-splitting tackle. Indeed, his bone did split, and then
protruded right out of his bloody skin causing a wave of nausea
to spread over the crowd.
Fascinated but horrified, I quickly turned to the baseball game
and witnessed a wild pitch hit the batter on the finger. The
batter yelped and had to sit the rest of the game out, his pinky
To replace the
bone-sticking-out-of-his-leg guy in the NFL game,
a bulky player with flowing dreadlocks sticking out of his
helmet started lumbering onto the field. He had a huge cast on
his arm that looked like a big club. With the hand totally
encased, forming a big bulbous weapon, he shook it as his
opponents in defiance while possibly struggling to stick one
particular finger up, and then reluctantly joined the huddle.
It was nearing the halftime and so many timeouts had been called
that they seemed to have run out of commercials to play. So the
cameras started scanning the crowd. It was a lot colder where
this game was being held, and I could see people's breath. I
also saw a guy in shorts and no shirt who had painted his skin
from head to toe in his NFL team's colors. His head was shaved
and also painted, and he was wearing a big pig's nose on his
As I briefly scanned the crowd on the other TV, I saw lots of
people in button down, short sleeve shirts, baseball caps and
gloves on, waiting expectantly for that ever-elusive foul ball.
The first half started to wind down in the NFL game, and I
actively awaited gratuitous shots of hot cheerleaders. I was
rewarded with lots of silly pompom waving and cleavage. I then
happily turned back to the MLB game but only saw three heavy-set
women shoving sausage dogs and peanuts in their mouths.
At halftime I got a chance to go to the bathroom and grab
another cold beer and more snacks. There is never a big break in
baseball, and every time I go to the bathroom while watching
baseball I always miss the big play, which of course happened
this time too.
My MLB game continued to plod along when I got back, inducing
the unique ball-strike-out hypnotic state that only baseball can
cause. I was about to doze off when I was jarred out of my
trance by the flashy touchdown dance I saw on my other TV. The
guy who just scored was moonwalking across the uprights while
flapping his arms like wings. He then proceeded to do a
magnificent swan dive which turned into a double summersault
with a twist and finally landed perfectly on the field.
I then quickly caught the replay of the big baseball play I had
just missed. Someone hit a grand slam, rounded the bases and was
greeted by a big, warm, bouncing-in-unison group hug.
After a while, both games ended and I had experienced a full
range of emotions. Both games are great to watch and if you can
get past the roller coaster ride of stimulation, watching
football and baseball simultaneously is a blast. I decided to
keep both plasma TV's in front of the couch permanently
Finally, no football vs. baseball article could be complete
without mentioning one of the masters of comedy and this
subject, George Carlin. Here's a quote from Carlin's famous
monologue that inspired this article:
"And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely
In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the
field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling
the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in
spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short
bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy
territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground
attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's
defensive line. In baseball the object is to go home! And to be
safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home! "
Author: Jason OConnor Copyright: 2005
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About the author:
About the Author Jason OConnor owns and operates NFL and MLB Game
Tickets - a place to buy cheap tickets to NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA
and NCAA games. Find Red Sox tickets, theater tickets, and